Mary Jane Falls Hike at Mt. Charleston

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This page last updated on 08/14/2019
Fig. 01
Mary Jane Falls Cover
Mary Jane Falls Map

08/12/2019 Trip Notes: Four of us attempted this hike of Mary Jane Falls; Bob Croke, Jim Herring, Ron Ziance and myself. Bob and I had hiked it before, but it was a new experience for Jim and Ron. As this 3.2 mile round trip hike climbs up nearly 1,000 feet, the result was as strenuous as usual. As usual we enjoyed the outstanding views of Charleston Peak and the surrounding mountains. Click here for pictures and a description of this hike ... Mary Jane Falls - 08/12/2019 Trip Notes.

07/16/2012 Trip Notes: The week of 16 July, Harvey Smith and I spent the week camping, four-wheeling, and hiking within the Mt. Charleston Recreation Area. We camped at the  Kyle Canyon Campground . On the first day we hiked to Mary Jane Falls. The morning was somewhat overcast with threatening rain clouds, making picture taking a little difficult. Fortunately, there was only a light shower on the hike down that only lasted for a minute of so.The first 1/3 – 1/2 mile of this hike is at a slight incline along a trail of crushed rock. At the end of this, you will find a sign that reads “trail” at the base of the switchbacks. As you hike the trail up the ten or so switchbacks you will see towering Ponderosa Pines, White fur and Aspen trees in the canyon below. On the way up we were passed by a couple of trail work crews (Figs. 2 & 3). At the top of the switchbacks you begin walking some very rocky steps carved along the base of the towering gray limestone headwall that can be seen far above. This walk provides some amazing views of Kyle Canyon below. As your breathing becomes even more labored, you suddenly you realize that you are more than 9,000 feet above sea level. When you reach the area of the falls and look up (Fig. 04) and out over Kyle Canyon (Figs. 01, 05, & 06), you are in awe at the height of this natural wonder. The views are amazing! In addition, there are 2 caves, 3 small waterfalls and a view of Big Falls, which is located across the canyon.
Fig. 02
Fig. 03
Fig. 04
Fig. 05
Fig. 06
The thistles growing beneath the falls contained dozens of humming birds flying around sipping its sweet nectar (Fig. 07). Besides the caves directly beneath the falls, bottom left of (Fig. 04), there is another interesting cave about 150 yards out on a easy to follow trail that heads south along the base of the cliffs on the west side of the falls. This trail provides some nice southerly views (Fig. 08) of  Kyle Canyon on the way to the cave. This rather large cave (Figs. 09 & 10) has some flowstone, broken cave curtains, and tiny stalactites.To our amazement, on the way to the cave we stumbled upon a patch of hailstones (Fig. 11) that had accumulated from a storm the day before. Harvey rolled up a handful (Fig. 12) into a ‘hailball’.
Fig. 07
Fig. 08
Fig. 09
Fig. 10
Fig. 11
Fig. 12
Even in the dead of summer, natural springs from far overhead produce water that cascades over the cliffs and down the falls and drips across the entrance of two caves at its base.