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South Loop Charleston Peak Trail - 7 members in 16 triplogs have rated this an average 4.1 ( 1 to 5 best )
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Oct 19 2020
LindaAnn
avatar

 Guides 42
 Routes 382
 Photos 3,441
 Triplogs 1,184

40 female
 Joined Dec 24 2007
 Ahwatukee, AZ
Griffith-Charleston loop, NV 
Griffith-Charleston loop, NV
 
Hiking avatar Oct 19 2020
LindaAnn
Hiking18.88 Miles 5,267 AEG
Hiking18.88 Miles   10 Hrs   7 Mns   2.02 mph
5,267 ft AEG      46 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Route Scout GPS Route Recorded on Route Scout View
Parked at the Trail Canyon lot and started a few minutes before 0600. Headed back down the road to Echo trailhead and got on the trail over to South Loop. Saw a dead fox(?) alongside the road. A man was bit last week here by a rabid fox, so kind of interesting to see a dead one without any obvious injuries. There were also two horses standing in the road, staring at me.

Headed up South Loop, which I always enjoy. The trail is in good shape, and the switchbacks help the climb feel not too terrible. Saw seven bucks on the way up, they looked like they are used to people. Short break at the saddle, then over to Griffith. Short and steep, but in good shape. Once back down, I continued on South Loop over to Charleston. Despite the fire damage, I enjoy South Loop, although today’s views were limited by heavy smoke. Once over the next saddle, I veered off the official trail and stayed along the ridge. Better views, more enjoyable, and it cuts off some distance and elevation. Once at the crash site, I got back on the real trail and headed up to Charleston.

Short break up top, then down North Loop. I like the upper few miles of North Loop, through the cliffs, but after that, I always get bored with it. The trail itself is not in as good of shape as South Loop. At 1435, I chatted with three people who were still heading up to Charleston, and they were still about four miles and a lot of elevation from the summit. It had taken them all day to reach that point, and they looked tired. I suggested they consider turning around since their vehicle was parked way over at the beginning of North Loop, but they were determined to keep going. I asked if they had lamps and enough water. They said they did, but didn’t have much in the way of warm clothing. I wished them luck and kept going downhill.

The hike down Trail Canyon went by quickly, the trail is in good condition, and when I reached the parking lot, there was a police office parked a few cars over. I waved Hi, and he came over and asked if I came down Trail Canyon. After I said yes, he asked if I saw anyone, which I didn’t. I guess there was a lost hiker who was calling for help and was trying to find his way back to Trail Canyon. I gave the officer a quick description of the six hikers I saw on North Loop, but nobody fit the description of who he was looking for. As we were chatting, the lost hiker called him back and said he was on the right trail and heading down. I told the officer about the three hikers who were about to spend a very cold night somewhere on Charleston and let him know where their vehicle was parked. He thanked me for the info and said he’d make sure to let the next shift know to keep an eye on that vehicle in case it was still there tomorrow or if someone called for help.

Good hike, with warm temps for October. I’ve hiked through snow up there in mid October a few times, so today was definitely easy hiking conditions. A very smoky sky was the biggest negative.
Named place
Named place
Charleston Peak
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Isolated
Mostly past peak. Still some yellow aspens.
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1 archive
Sep 26 2020
John9L
avatar

 Guides 6
 Routes 172
 Photos 4,970
 Triplogs 1,630

male
 Joined Mar 12 2004
 Scottsdale, AZ
Charleston Peak from Trail CanyonVegas, NV
Vegas, NV
Hiking avatar Sep 26 2020
John9L
Hiking18.65 Miles 5,522 AEG
Hiking18.65 Miles   8 Hrs   51 Mns   2.36 mph
5,522 ft AEG      57 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Charleston Peak has been on my wish list for a long time. It shot up my list after Chumley and I drove through Vegas on our way to the Ruby Mountains in early July. It was on my mind and I decided to do this earlier in the week. I told Karl about it Thursday night and he was interested in joining me. He booked the hotel and I drove the sporty malibu. We would leave Phoenix on Friday afternoon and we stayed in a hotel in northwest Vegas. We were up early on Saturday and then on trail before 7am.

We started with Trail Canyon on the north end of the village. The trail makes a steady climb as it follows an old road. We were delighted to see the Aspens in prime color. This really added to a great hike. We climbed and climbed and eventually turned for Charleston. It was a long way as the trail wrapped around a ridge and then makes the final climb to the summit. I was gassed when we reached the top and was glad for the extended break. We would enjoy a summit beer and some food while we enjoyed the smoky views. All of southern Nevada is suffering under a cloud of smoke from the fires in California. Luckily it didn't ruin our hike.

After lunch, we continued north as we started the loop portion of the hike. We set a steady pace as the trail drops and then climbs a small way. As we headed north, we came over a ridge and saw total devastation from a fire in 2013. Thousands of trees were completely torched and all that remained was their charred skeletons. It was a bummer. We headed through and were saddened by may bristlecone pines that are gone. This goes on for a while.

With some effort we reached our turn, that leads down to the valley, and we took a break. From here, the trail makes a solid descent as it switches it way down. We were ready to be done and cruised down. We hit the bottom and then worked our way back over to the malibu. The area was very busy on this Saturday afternoon. We would reach the car around 4pm and we agreed to pack up and head back to Phoenix. It was a long day but well worth the effort. This was a great hike!
Flora
Flora
Bristlecone Pine
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1 archive
Sep 26 2020
BiFrost
avatar

 Guides 4
 Routes 354
 Photos 7,472
 Triplogs 899

50 male
 Joined Nov 20 2012
 Phoenix, AZ
Charleston Peak from Trail CanyonVegas, NV
Vegas, NV
Hiking avatar Sep 26 2020
BiFrost
Hiking18.65 Miles 5,522 AEG
Hiking18.65 Miles   8 Hrs   51 Mns   2.36 mph
5,522 ft AEG      57 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Great hike up Charleston Peak and the loop! John suggested the idea so sounded like a good plan. Headed up Friday night so we could get an early Saturday start which was just before 7am. Started from Trail Canyon trail head and began the several thousand foot initial climb which was pleasantly lined with aspens in fall color. Last time I did this hike it was June so I didn't realize just how many aspens are on this hike. Along with the foliage, the great views, and high quality trail this section is hard to beat. The views get even better about 6 or 7 miles up the trail when it reaches the main ridge line and then contours leading to the final switchbacks.

The final switchbacks are equally impressive even though the altitude burns a little more. The last mile is above tree line so nothing to obstruct the view except for the smoke from CA fires but still wasn't too bad. Finally made the summit and we enjoyed a great summit beer :D A handful of other people on the summit but not to crazy being so close to Vegas. We took a good break before continuing down the South Loop Trail.

On South Loop Trail the first part above tree line is nice easy walk but eventually we hit the burn section about 1.5 miles down the trail. The trail is fine through the burn but the damage is nuclear with only tree skeletons left and not much growing back. Most of the trees were Bristlecone pine so they probably don't grow back very fast or maybe not at all. The fire was in July 2013 and took out about 28,000 acres. After about 2 miles or so we reached the junction to head down off the ridge line and hiked out of the burn. From there it was lots of switchbacks that drops over 3,000 feet back down to the canyon. We were treated to some more fall color towards the bottom of the hike. Eventually we reached the South Loop trail head and then followed a few connector trails back over to the Trail Canyon start.

Great hike and still debate whether to do the loop next time or out and back on Trail Canyon. Trail Canyon is without doubt the nicer of the two trails but I dislike out and backs just enough to make the loop an option. Will see next time :-k
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2 archives
Sep 11 2020
ShatteredArm
avatar

 Guides 4
 Routes 82
 Photos 440
 Triplogs 84

37 male
 Joined Nov 30 2015
 Phoenix, AZ
Charleston loop (south north trail canyon), NV 
Charleston loop (south north trail canyon), NV
 
Run/Jog avatar Sep 11 2020
ShatteredArm
Run/Jog18.27 Miles 4,802 AEG
Run/Jog18.27 Miles   5 Hrs   10 Mns   3.57 mph
4,802 ft AEG      3 Mns Break
 
no photosets
1st trip
I've been wanting to do this one for awhile, and it's on the way back to phx and fits within my recent theme of ultraprominent peaks.

Climb up to the ridge isn't bad, nothing too steep. On top, the miles through the burn scar make one wonder what this place used to look like.

Spent a few minutes at the summit, the headed down north loop. Didn't see anybody until I was almost to Trail Canyon, which is odd, because North Loop was way more fun and scenic.

Flew down Trail Canyon. Smooth trail that's a lot of fun to run down.

Overall, fun day, great scenery, I'd go back.
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Jun 14 2020
DixieFlyer
avatar

 Guides 38
 Routes 383
 Photos 4,933
 Triplogs 344

male
 Joined Jan 07 2017
 Fountain Hills,
Charleston Peak - Las Vegas, NV 
Charleston Peak - Las Vegas, NV
 
Hiking avatar Jun 14 2020
DixieFlyer
Hiking19.30 Miles 5,374 AEG
Hiking19.30 Miles   9 Hrs   49 Mns   2.37 mph
5,374 ft AEG   1 Hour   40 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Charleston Peak has been on my radar screen for a while, and I finally got to hike it yesterday!

We started the hike bright and early at the Trail Canyon TH, which is where we also finished the hike. We began by hiking down the paved road for 1/4 mile or so to the Echo TH. Then we took the Echo Trail to the South Loop Trail at the Cathedral Rock Trailhead.

We then took the South Loop Trail all the way up to the summit of Charleston Peak. The trail was pretty steep until we got to a saddle down below Griffith Peak. There are lots of switchbacks on the trail, so the ascent was not bad. We hung out at the saddle for a bit and I contemplated going up to Griffith, but my compadres did not like the idea, so I'll save Griffith for another time. The saddle was at about 10,800' and the going was relatively flat for a couple of miles or more. Along the way we passed some airplane wreckage that supposedly had some connection to Area 51. There had been a fire on this side of the mountain at some point, so there are sections of the trail that go through burned out trees. Eventually we got to a point where the trail climbed 800-900 feet up to the summit. Most of this is above the treeline, and there are some nice views.

We hung around at the summit for a while and enjoyed the awesome views. It was a near perfect day weatherwise -- sunny with almost no wind -- and I did not even have a jacket on.

We then descended down the North Loop. We dropped about 1,000 feet in the first mile, and then the trail was relatively level for probably 3 miles. Eventually we started going downhill, and a couple of miles from the TH we took the Trail Canyon Trail back to the TH (this was at a well-marked trail junction).

I really enjoyed going down the north side, and that was the highlight of the hike for me. The views were outstanding, and once down below the treeline we went through an ancient bristlecone pine forest, which was cool to hike through.

The north trail was great to hike on, and we were able to pick up the pace on the descent.

There was one patch of snow on the north loop trail that we went through, but it was not in a sketchy part of the trail and it was no problem to get through without traction devices.

This hike is a winner in my book, and I would put it in my list of top ten hikes!
Fauna
Fauna
Mule Deer
Meteorology
Meteorology
Fire Burn Area & Recovery
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I'd rather die of exhaustion than die of starvation.
Jun 19 2019
Jim_H
avatar

 Guides 58
 Routes 55
 Photos 8,129
 Triplogs 1,757

41 male
 Joined Sep 08 2006
 Rancho Relaxo
South Loop Charleston Peak TrailVegas, NV
Vegas, NV
Hiking avatar Jun 19 2019
Jim_H
Hiking16.50 Miles 4,500 AEG
Hiking16.50 Miles   12 Hrs      1.38 mph
4,500 ft AEG10 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Don't attempt this trail until well after July 4th. Excessive snow is present!

My plan was for a loop going up the south and down the north loop. There is excessive snow on the north face of Charleston, and I wasn't about to kill myself going down that, slipping, and going off a cliff. This is despite the nearly clear appearance of the north loop itself. So, I went up and down this.

I really should have seen the snow, and gone up the north loop to as far as I could make it, and then turned back. The best part of the hike is the upper trail and cliffs, anyway.

There is about 4 to 5 feet of dense snow on the upper trail, and being unfamiliar with the route I went directly up a slope that had existing boots tracks. The hike on the ridge is a mix of snow, flowing sheets of water, dry rock, water flowing on the trail, and mud, lots of mud. It's really lousy and not at all worth doing.

Coming down was a nightmare. If you want to do this hike, wait 3 to 4 weeks.
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Reaching new standards in excelence.
Oct 17 2018
LindaAnn
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 Guides 42
 Routes 382
 Photos 3,441
 Triplogs 1,184

40 female
 Joined Dec 24 2007
 Ahwatukee, AZ
South Loop Charleston Peak TrailVegas, NV
Vegas, NV
Hiking avatar Oct 17 2018
LindaAnn
Hiking17.00 Miles 4,796 AEG
Hiking17.00 Miles   8 Hrs   29 Mns   2.13 mph
4,796 ft AEG      29 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I was originally going to do a loop of Charleston, going up the North Loop from Trail Canyon, then down the South Loop, but I had a little bit of a head cold and didn't know if I wanted to hike that far, so I decided on Griffith Peak as the consolation. Started around 0745 and headed up South Loop. It was about 30 degrees, but did not feel that cold since there was no wind. I made good time up the steep climb, and when I got to the turn to Griffith, I was feeling pretty good, and decided to head over to Charleston instead. Pleasant walk along the ridge; I had not been up there since before the fire a few years ago, and the lack of trees opened up the views a lot. The final half mile to the summit was slow, and I took a short break at the top, then headed back down. It was in the 30's most of the day, but I only wore a long sleeve shirt all day, only getting cold enough for gloves in the shade of the switchbacks on the way back down. Finished up at 1615, earlier than I thought I would.
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Jun 22 2018
toddak
avatar

 Guides 8
 Routes 5
 Photos 1,174
 Triplogs 445

55 male
 Joined Nov 15 2005
 Puhoynix, AZ
South Loop Charleston Peak TrailVegas, NV
Vegas, NV
Hiking avatar Jun 22 2018
toddak
Hiking19.50 Miles 5,000 AEG
Hiking19.50 Miles   8 Hrs   30 Mns   2.29 mph
5,000 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Outstanding loop around the rim of the gorgeous basin through amazing bristlecone pines. Went clockwise, road walk back to start. Who knew Vegas could be a hiking destination?!
Named place
Named place
Charleston Peak
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1 archive
Jun 24 2017
BiFrost
avatar

 Guides 4
 Routes 354
 Photos 7,472
 Triplogs 899

50 male
 Joined Nov 20 2012
 Phoenix, AZ
Charleston Peak Loop, NV 
Charleston Peak Loop, NV
 
Hiking avatar Jun 24 2017
BiFrost
Hiking19.77 Miles 6,101 AEG
Hiking19.77 Miles   10 Hrs   12 Mns   2.07 mph
6,101 ft AEG      39 Mns Break
 
1st trip
We started hiking about 645 from Trail Canyon Trailhead which connects with the North Loop Trail. It’s about 2 miles up Trail Canyon and 1700 feet gain to North Trail junction but high quality trail all the way. Once on North Loop Trail it’s less steep and some traversing towards Charleston Peak.

We ran into first snow at about 10,900 on North Loop Trail. There were a few sections of snow along the traverse but nothing that we couldn’t cross. The traverse also had some cool rocky cliffs on the approach to Charleston Peak. Just below the peak the final switchbacks kick in for the last 900 feet above tree line.

We took an extended break on the summit which we had to ourselves for about 10 minutes until a group of people came up from the South Loop Trail. After lunch break we headed down South Loop Trail which is slightly longer than North Loop. Just like North Loop the South traverses along the ridge line descending gradually for about 5 miles. The South Loop trail had been closed for several years because of fire damage in 2013 but has since reopened. Most of the first damage is in that 5 mile section on the south side of the ridgeline which sparred Kyle Canyon.

South Loop abruptly descends from the ridge line at the Griffith Peak junction. But before dropping down went up Griffith Peak about 1 mile round trip. The fire burned the summit but still nice views with elevation just above 11,000.

Back at the junction we headed down South Loop with impressive switchbacks dropping 2700 feet in about 4 miles. Again very good trail conditions as was most of the North and South Loop trail. Cathedral is the end of South Loop Trail so we used a connector trail over to Echo trail head and then hiked about ½ mile up the road to Trail Canyon trail head and our vehicle. Of course if we had two vehicles it would have been an easy shuttle but not really a big deal with only about a mile between trail heads.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Cave Spring Gallon per minute Gallon per minute
there is a spring box where the trail crosses with clear water for filtering
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1 archive
Jun 24 2017
slowandsteady
avatar

 Routes 67
 Photos 966
 Triplogs 694

46 female
 Joined Jan 05 2012
 Phoenix,AZ
Charleston Peak Loop, NV 
Charleston Peak Loop, NV
 
Hiking avatar Jun 24 2017
slowandsteady
Hiking19.77 Miles 6,101 AEG
Hiking19.77 Miles   10 Hrs   12 Mns   2.07 mph
6,101 ft AEG      39 Mns Break
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
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Aug 03 2012
VolcanoCLMBR
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 Routes 1
 Photos 1,968
 Triplogs 422

41 male
 Joined Sep 16 2011
 Phoenix
South Loop Charleston Peak TrailVegas, NV
Vegas, NV
Hiking avatar Aug 03 2012
VolcanoCLMBR
Hiking8.25 Miles 4,278 AEG
Hiking8.25 Miles   6 Hrs   30 Mns   1.27 mph
4,278 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
A friend recommended me this hike while in Vegas this past weekend, i took off from the Cathedral Rock trailhead as there is a construction inside the park area. I wasn't able to make it to the summit as the weather took a turn to the thunder and lightning side. I made it about a.5 miles past the saddle/junction then i decided to turn back around as i was hiking on my own. Overall it was a very challenging climbs that combined some very steep areas along with countless switchbacks. I would love to finish the south loop as a two day backpacking trek. To do 16 miles in one day would be a great physical undertaking but definitely doable under the right weather conditions and a very early morning start. I came across a few deer and lots of chipmunks.
Fauna
Fauna
Mule Deer
Named place
Named place
Charleston Peak Mummy Mountain
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The world is my playground!
Jun 16 2012
autumnstars
avatar

 Guides 25
 Routes 19
 Photos 558
 Triplogs 1,385

female
 Joined Jan 04 2011
 Las Vegas, NV
South Loop Charleston Peak TrailVegas, NV
Vegas, NV
Hiking avatar Jun 16 2012
autumnstars
Hiking16.60 Miles 5,748 AEG
Hiking16.60 Miles
5,748 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Hike up to Mt Charleston and back via South Loop Trail. The higher elevation promised cooler temperatures, and did not disappoint - 70 degrees was our high for the day.

In the avalanche shoots, blooming phlox, lupine and paintbrush provided a lovely mess of color. The smell from the phlox blooms was so strong, it was intoxicating. :D Above tree line, the shooting stars and columbine were just beginning to open - should be incredible in a week or two!

We made sure to take a route this time, so this should be a more accurate estimate of the distance and AEG. You still have to begin this hike at the Cathedral Rock trail head, but the Forest Service has put in a little cut-through trail which avoids some of the unnecessary up and down. No signs as of our visit, but on the way up, just stay left at all junctions before the switchbacks start.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
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"Let it ride / Let it roll / Let it go"
Sep 04 2011
autumnstars
avatar

 Guides 25
 Routes 19
 Photos 558
 Triplogs 1,385

female
 Joined Jan 04 2011
 Las Vegas, NV
South Loop Charleston Peak TrailVegas, NV
Vegas, NV
Hiking avatar Sep 04 2011
autumnstars
Hiking16.50 Miles 4,278 AEG
Hiking16.50 Miles
4,278 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
After last Sunday's hike to Griffith Peak, I decided to hike up to Mt Charleston this weekend. Apparently, a lot of other people had the same idea. Lots of father-son backpacking teams had made a full weekend of it :D

Regardless of all the people, it proved an enjoyable way to spend my Sunday above the valley floor. Weather could not have been more perfect, with swiftly-moving cloud cover and a high of maybe 70. The bristlecone pines were as stoic as always. Once above tree line, the columbines, vetches, and other small plants were flowering away - it seems to have been a rather late summer in many of the higher elevation areas. The air was calm, so this time I did see some Mt Charleston Blue Butterflies in the meadows and open ridges. Pretty late in the year to see them, too. At the peak, I ate some snacks, but didn't stay long due to the wind and terrible visibility (fires, pollution, just a bad air quality day). I did find it disturbing that being on top of the highest peak in southern Nevada, you can still hear the motorcycles in Kyle Canyon. :(

Poked around the old plane wreck on the way down off the top. Once walking along the ridge, a juvenile red tail hawk flew just along side me on the other side of the ridge - almost like a challenge to race. Cool!

The rest of the hike down was uneventful, other than chatting with some of the other hikers. Since I was doing this as a training hike, I also had plenty of extra water (for weight) and dropped that with the crew working on the trail re-routing for Griffith Peak.

Good hike.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
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"Let it ride / Let it roll / Let it go"
Sep 03 2011
sbkelley
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 Guides 6
 Routes 13
 Photos 1,377
 Triplogs 184

36 male
 Joined Mar 29 2007
 Reno, NV
South Loop Charleston Peak TrailVegas, NV
Vegas, NV
Hiking avatar Sep 03 2011
sbkelley
Hiking17.00 Miles 4,578 AEG
Hiking17.00 Miles   9 Hrs   15 Mns   1.84 mph
4,578 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
After staring longingly at Charleston every time I've gone to Las Vegas, it was time to make this trip a reality. Tanya and I headed up on the Friday of Labor Day weekend, finding the campgrounds in Kyle Canyon unsurprisingly full. No matter - forest roads down lower provided a nice place to bed down for the night.

An early start to a beautiful day brought us up the mountain. Runners made their way up and down the road, hikers were out and about...an active crowd always get the motivation going! The picnic area's seasonal closure curtailed our plans to take the locals' advice and proceed that way, so up the stairs we went at Cathedral Rock trail. Problem is, we kept going up the Cathedral Rock Trail at the junction to descend to the Griffith picnic area, which dumps you at the South Loop's real trailhead. So we got a 900'/1mile warmup before we realized our mistake :D

Embarassed and back on route, we started making our way up the steep switchbacks on South Loop Trail. Soon the grade eased in an impressive limestone amphitheater as we enjoyed breakfast in an aspen grove...ahhh...the cool mountain air proved the therapeutic antidote to the stifling desert heat. We enjoyed the gentle switchbacks which push you out of Kyle Canyon and onto high, airy slopes. Soon, we found ourselves 4 miles in and only 1200' below Charleston's summit (!). I'm no math major, but I assumed our second-half travel would be gentler. True enough, but the views distracted all thoughts about numbers. The views? Absolutely unbelievable. Charleston soars 9-10,000' above its surrounding desert and you are acutely aware of that fact from your perch. Telescope Peak in Death Valley? Easy to spot. Lake Mead? Yep. Of course, the individual resorts of the Strip, too. Sierras on the horizon? On a clear day.

The stroll through the meadow, then into the bristlecone forest, cast a silence between us as we gawked at the surroundings. At last, you reach a saddle over 7 miles from the car and Charleston herself comes into view. A (very annoying on the return) descent lets you catch your breath before beginning the final steep push to the top. Small plants bloomed among the bleached rocks and soon we stood next to the American flag atop Charleston's summit, where we talked to some local hikers about their Spring Mountain trekking tips. After enjoying a Ranger IPA on Charleston's summit, we reluctantly bid farewell to our perch and strolled down the mountain. On the way home, I felt an urge to hit Griffith Peak too to see the view, and the effort was well worth it. The canyon was in deep shadow when we returned to the magnificent IPA-laden cooler at the end, after cursing through the climb out of the picnic area at hikes end :) . Well worth it, Arizonans, if you're ever in the Vegas area.
Culture
Culture
Cag Shot Old Glory
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Sep 03 2011
squatpuke
avatar

 Guides 5
 Routes 5
 Photos 1,471
 Triplogs 169

53 male
 Joined Apr 04 2002
 Flagstaff, AZ
South Loop Charleston Peak TrailVegas, NV
Vegas, NV
Hiking avatar Sep 03 2011
squatpuke
Hiking17.90 Miles 4,278 AEG
Hiking17.90 Miles   6 Hrs   30 Mns   2.75 mph
4,278 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Every so often craziness enters my thick noggin. I've wanted to climb Charleston for several years now and was returning back home to Flagstaff from my Whitney trip. Charleston was on my agenda and I was hoping NOT to do it solo...

I contacted my cousins that live in Vegas and convinced one, 17 y/o Andrew, how great this would be. (He and I had hiked Turtlehead several months prior.) Two words best describe Andrew: stud athlete. Dude is a hardcore swimmer and has great cardio.

Unfortunately, the time-window for my visit coincided with Andrew having to work (lifeguard) at noon the following day...so if we were going to do Charleston, it would be a night hike.

What the heck I said to myself...let's do it.

We hit the trail-head at 1am!! with a goal of easily returning by noon. We made the saddle around 3:15am extremely sweaty because of the fast pace we were climbing. There, we hit some very hard winds which made us VERY cold..we weren't prepared for those temps. We built a small fire (probably illegally) and ate some Mountain House and granola bars. Since we thought we were way ahead of schedule, we took a nap next to the cozy fire...we ended up sleeping for 2 hours...LOL.

We wanted to make summit by sunrise so we busted off again...The Meadows turned out to be quite a bit longer than we thought and we were just over 1/2 way across them when the sun came up. We thought we saw the summit very near, but it was "false"...we came over the ridge and our hearts sank when we saw another mile expanse before the last switchbacks to the "true" Charleston summit. Andrew wanted to turn back (cause of the time of his work) but I coaxed him onward saying we could jog back to make up time...we quickly banged out the rest of the hike and summited around 7am. We obviously couldn't stay long so off we went after a few photos...we made a very quick stop at the plane crash.

I had the backpack and was NOT able to jog with it (Andrew offered to take, but to be truthful, was a good excuse for me to slow him down ;) )...the miles were creeping up on my 44 y/o bod and feet were aching...I could tell Andrew was being patient and had the energy to easily make it back and we was polite in slowing down a bit for me. Best I could muster was double time...we made back to vehicle just after 10am and I hustled the 60 min drive back to West Vegas...Andrew crashed hard in the car..his only rest.

Once home, Andrew was able to get ready and barely made work in time.

Was a memorable day.

(only entered "moving time" but we really cranked this thing out)
Flora
Flora
Bristlecone Pine
Named place
Named place
Charleston Peak Mummy Mountain
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Aug 28 2011
autumnstars
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 Guides 25
 Routes 19
 Photos 558
 Triplogs 1,385

female
 Joined Jan 04 2011
 Las Vegas, NV
South Loop Charleston Peak TrailVegas, NV
Vegas, NV
Hiking avatar Aug 28 2011
autumnstars
Hiking9.00 Miles 3,400 AEG
Hiking9.00 Miles
3,400 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
Linked none no linked trail guides
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Hiked up to Griffith Peak and back. Weather was somewhat questionable with thunderstorms over the mountains, but it turned out fine. The clouds even provided some welcome shade on the more exposed parts of the trail. Never had done this hike before - great views and wonderful dense bristlecone forests.
If you are planning this hike anytime soon, note that the normal trail head is closed due to a tree thinning at the picnic area. You have to start at the Cathedral Rock trail head, which adds some extra up (and down) to the hike, but nothing too serious.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
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"Let it ride / Let it roll / Let it go"
average hiking speed 2.08 mph

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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