Charleston Peak from Trail Canyon, NV • Hike

Charleston Peak from Trail Canyon, NV

Guide 9 Triplogs Mine 0 0 Topics
4.6 of 5 
NV > Vegas
151 9 0
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Difficulty 4 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Round Trip 17 miles
Trailhead Elevation 7,744 feet
Elevation Gain 4,175 feet
Accumulated Gain 5,600 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 9 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 45
 Interest Seasonal Creek & Peak
 Backpack Yes
 Dogs not allowed
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8  2022-09-25 nikorock28
10  2022-07-20 Jim_H
21  2021-06-12
Charleston Peak Loop
15  2020-10-19
Griffith-Charleston loop
26  2020-09-26 John9L
24  2020-09-26 BiFrost
18  2019-07-14 te_wa
4  2018-06-22
South Loop Charleston Peak Trail
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author avatar Guides 64
Routes 71
Photos 9,045
Trips 2,056 map ( 12,465 miles )
Age Male Gender
Location Arizona, AZ
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Vegas Region
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Preferred Jul, Aug, Jun, Sep → 8 AM
Seasons   Late Spring to Late Autumn
Sun  6:45am - 5:08pm
Official Route
1 Alternative
Historic Fire Perimeteracres
🔥 2013 Carpenter 1 Fire58.0 mi*
Nearby Area Water
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Flora  Nearby
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Dance it on top!
by Jim_H

Charleston Peak has two trails that access it. The shorter South Loop Trail, and the scenic, but also much longer North Loop. The Trail Canyon trail is a great alternative to trim some miles off the North Loop's lower portion and allows you to hike the scenic upper trail to access Charleston Peak.
Trail Canyon trail leaves from the parking lot's north side and climbs gradually up the canyon on a very well-built trail. The trail gets steeper as you hike up, and begins to take on switchbacks shortly before you enter a regrowing burn area. Views open up in the upper sections, and soon you can see your destination. The switchbacks grow longer, and after a short distance, you are at the junction with the North Loop Trail.

Once at the North Loop Trail, turn left, and continue upslope. After 1/2 a mile you come to Cave Springs, and a trough with water in it, though the water is piped from a source higher up. This water may be reliable for most of the summer, or only in the early summer when snowmelt feeds it. This is the only source of water on the hike unless you melt snow in later spring.

From Cave Springs the North Loop gets progressively more interesting and substantially more scenic. Initially, you hike through the upper portions of the old burn, which has a lot of nice bristlecone and aspen. This gives way to a spectacular forest of old bristlecone pines, steep slopes, and impressive views of Kyle Canyon, Charleston Peak, and the cliffs along the hike. As you ascend, the hike only seems to get better. This is probably one of the nicest and most impressive sections of trail I have been on, and I highly recommend it.

After 4 miles of impressive hiking, you arrive at the base of the peak itself and begin the final push to the summit. Charleston is an ultra prominent summit despite its modest altitude of 11,918', so despite being below 12,000', you might feel like you are much higher. Barren rocky slopes and minimal vegetation could convince someone they were several thousand feet higher. On top, views are reported to be up to 300 miles on a good day. Enjoy them if you are lucky to have those conditions. From here, return the way you came, or descend the South Loop Trail, which goes to a different trailhead.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

This is a moderately difficult hike.

Leave No Trace and +Add a Triplog after your hike to support this local community.

2017-07-15 Jim_H
    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.

     Permit $$

    Paved - Car Okay

    To hike
    From Las Vegas, NV, drive north on US 95 out of town to the northwest. Almost immediately after the dense sprawl ends, SR 157 leaves from US 95 to the west. It is clearly marked and signed for Mount Charleston. Drive about 20 miles up the road, pass SR 158, and continue passing the campground and through the small towns on the mountain. Just as 157 is about to take a switchback up to the left, a road marked Echo Canyon Rd proceeds straight ahead, but as a separate road. Follow this road to the signed trailhead for Trail Canyon.
    page created by Jim_H on Jul 15 2017 9:02 pm

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