Note 1: Sporadic road repairs on Mt. Charleston are affecting access to some trails at some times. Construction work is expected to continue through 2014. Check online or consider calling the Forest Service (866-388-7162) for status updates. See photos here.
Note 2: The Carpenter 1 Fire burned much of the Harris Springs Trail and South Loop Trail area. Trails in the affected area are closed. Areas near the burn area are closed "for public safety." Closed areas include most trails south of Kyle Canyon Road, such as the South Loop, Griffith Peak, Echo, Little Falls, and Lovell Trails. Trailheads are closed at Cathedral Rock and Echo. The closure still in effect during Fall 2014, and a new 5-year closure area (until 2019!) includes the Harris Springs Road and Harris Mountain Road areas.
The Spring Mountains are a long, linear, north-south aligned range of mountains (map) that stretch for about 55 miles and form the western border of the Las Vegas Valley. From the perspective of town, the Spring Mountains are anchored by Mount Charleston (11,918 ft) to the northwest and Mount Potosi (8,514 ft) to the southwest. Red Rock Canyon, directly west of town, lies between the two mountains, and the Cold Creek area lies north of Mount Charleston. The mountains rise from desert valleys at elevations below 2,000 ft to nearly 12,000 ft, creating a variety of climate and vegetation zones. Because they stand so tall and are completely surrounded by desert, the Spring Mountains form an island of mountainous habitat in a sea of desert. Isolation of the upland flora and fauna has resulted in the evolution of endemic species and subspecies, about 30 of which have been named; others surely await discovery.
Recreational opportunities include over 50 miles of maintained trails, four picnic areas, eight campgrounds, and several dirt roads. Hunting is permitted in season, and bicycles are permitted on some trails.
For More Information on Getting to Mt. Charleston, Hours of Operation, Entrance Fees, Car Camping, Hiking Permits, Precautions, Rules and Regulations, and Links to More Information, visit the Mt. Charleston Area Overview Page.