Cool Hike After the Hot Vegas Action
Fletcher Canyon Trail begins just across the road from the trailhead, on the north side of NV-157. It is wide & smooth, with gravel varying from marble to golf ball size, but mostly flat rocks, rather than rounded, so ankle spraining is not an issue. No need to stop moving to enjoy the beautiful scenery and towering canyon walls.
Despite being in a forest, the vegetation is rather open. As in most pine woods, there are few grab & stabs. There also were not many flowers: I spotted maybe a half dozen species, and then only a few instances of each. I found penstemon, paintbrush, Crimson Columbine, Western Blue Elder, Nuttall’s Linanthus and what was possibly a non-fruiting Virginia Strawberry (though, apparently, those are rare in Nevada).
Fletcher Canyon Trail crosses the wash a half dozen times between NV-157 and Fletcher Spring, after which the trail mostly disappears and you hike straight up the canyon bottom. I saw no standing, let alone running, water below Fletcher Spring. All the wash crossings were dry.
There were several sections of disconnected metal spring pipe along Fletcher Canyon Trail, all marked with graffiti.
The canyon walls don’t gain altitude as rapidly as the canyon floor, so as you head up canyon, the canyon becomes shallower. Above Fletcher Spring, it also gets much tighter, slotting to a point where your spread arms can touch both sides. The walls are remain sheer the whole way.
There is an unnamed spring about 500 yards above Fletcher Spring. It's a good place to relax before heading back down canyon.
It is possible to continue hiking up Fletcher Canyon: It's about 1300 AEG in a little over a mile. So, quite steep, but doable. North Loop Trail #146 is at the top of Fletcher Canyon, and can be used to access Cockscomb Ridge, Fletcher Peak, or even Mount Charleston itself. A one way shuttle hike to the Mahogany Grove picnic area, or Hilltop campground, would be about 7.5 mi. and 3200 AEG.
Fletcher Canyon Trail is quite popular, even on mid-week work days, so don't expect isolation, only beautiful mountains and much cooler temperatures. :-)
Check out the Official Route and Triplog.
WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.
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