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Spring Mountains

Located in southern Nevada, the Spring Mountains are a north-south trending, high-elevation range that spans from the Las Vegas Valley through the Ivanpah Valley near the California/Nevada border. Rising abruptly from the surrounding desert, the Spring Mountains, which rise abruptly from the low-elevation desert floor have an incredibly diverse climate and habitat.

Home to over 35 species of tree, the Spring Mountains are said to be the most biologically diverse of all Nevada's mountain ranges. In fact, the range contains nearly a third of Nevada’s flora with an upwards of 1,000 species total.

There are 27 named mountains in the Spring Mountains. The range is anchored by Charleston Peak, the most prominent peak in the range, and Mount Potosi. Charleston Peak is the highest peak in southern Nevada, and one of the most popular hikes in the state.

Most of the high peaks in the Spring Mountains are found in the northern portion of the range. These summits, several of which exceed 10,000 feet in elevation, generally receive large amounts of snow in the winter and maintain modest temperatures in the summer, making them a favorite getaway for Las Vegas locals looking to elude warmer weather in the Vegas Valley.

Notable high peaks in the Spring Mountains include Bonanza Peak, McFarland Peak, The Sisters, Mummy Mountain, Fletcher Peak, Harris Mountain, and Griffith Peak. In winter months, these high peaks offer ideal alpine wilderness for skiers, snowboarders, mountaineers, and even ice climbers.

The sandstone bluffs of Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area dominate the middle portion of the Spring Mountains. Although not particularly high in elevation, these bluffs are the perfect retreat for rock climbers and remain a popular getaway for Las Vegas locals, year-round.

A vast majority of the land in the Spring Mountains is owned by the United States Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management and managed as the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area. The Mount Charleston Wilderness protects 57,442 acres of land that stretches across the Spring Mountains, including Charleston Peak’s 11,916-foot summit.

Major Trails and Hiking Areas

Mount Charleston Wilderness Area

Less than an hour away from the bustling Las Vegas strip lies Spring Mountain National Recreation area which encompassing more than 316,000 acres of wilderness to explore. Within the Spring Mountain National Recreation Area lies the 57,000-acre Mt. Charleston Wilderness area which offers rugged mountain scenery, scenic drives, 40 miles of hiking trails, ski slopes, and plenty of wildlife viewing opportunities. The limestone cliffs in this part of the Spring Mountains make for excellent rock-climbing terrain and several rock-climbing routes are available. Popular hiking trails include Mary Jane Falls, one of the tallest seasonal waterfalls in the region, Bonanza Peak, a 10-mile trek with 2,300-feet of elevation gain, and Cathedral Rock, which offers some of the best views of Kyle Canyon.

Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area

Over 2 million people a year visit Red Rock Canyon, which contains over 200,000 acres of climbing routes, hiking trails, cycling, and equestrian trails. Peaks within Red Rock Canyon include Mount Wilson, Bridge Mountain, Rainbow Mountain, and La Madre Mountain. Also, a 13-mile scenic drive through Red Rock Canyon also allows visitors to explore the area. There are 26 different hiking trails available, as well as scenic vistas to enjoy.

Major Cities and Resorts

Las Vegas

Las Vegas, the most populated city in Nevada, is often an obvious choice for those looking to explore the Spring Mountains. Not only is this major metropolitan city just a short distance from outdoor recreation opportunities, but it also offers an almost inconceivable amount of hotel, entertainment, and food options. The Las Vegas strip is one of the most famous streets in the world, so visitors can get the best of both worlds by visiting both the “City of Lights” and southern Nevada’s most cherished wilderness.

Mount Charleston Lodge

Sitting at approximately 7,717 feet in elevation in Kyle Canyon’s Humboldt Toiyabe National Forest, lies Mount Charleston Lodge, the perfect high-altitude getaway. Offering spectacular mountain views, Mount Charleston Lodge offers an eloquent ambiance and a variety of accommodations. The lodge is near Mount Charleston’s marked hiking trails and other outdoor activities. Boasting floor to ceiling A-frame windows, this lodge also happens to be a popular destination for special events and wedding parties.

Lee Canyon Ski and Snowboard Resort

Just a short drive from Las Vegas, Nevada, Lee Canyon Ski and Snowboard Resort is located at 8,600 feet in the Spring Mountain National Recreation Area. Lee Canyon offers day-lodge facilities and 445 acres of skiing and hiking terrain. Lee Canyon offers 860 vertical feet of lifts served terrain, 24 serviced snow trails, a tubing area, and 1,919 vertical feet of hiking. Annual snowfall is 161 inches, but the resort sees over 300 days of sunshine, making it the perfect balance of weather and recreation potential.

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