North Loop Trail - Summary Page

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DirectionsThe North Loop Trailhead is located up in the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area and Mt. Charleston Wilderness simply known as Mt. Charleston. It is off Deer Creek Road between Kyle Canyon and Lee Canyon roads, about an hour northwest of Las Vegas. From the Stratosphere, drive about 20 miles north out of town on US-95 to Kyle Canyon Road (NV-157). Turn left onto Kyle Canyon Road and drive west for 17.1 miles to Deer Creek Road (NV-158), which is just past the Mt. Charleston resort. Turn right onto Deer Creek Road and drive north for about 4.8 miles to the second paved turnout past Hilltop Campground. Watch for a paved parking area on the west (left) side of the road with a large trailhead kiosk. Park here, this is the North Loop Trailhead

Area Description: This North Loop Trail is located inside the Mt. Charleston Wilderness (Fig. 03), an area that is worlds away from Las Vegas. With its invigorating mountain air, ice cold springs and evergreen forests, this 56,018 acres is inside the Spring Mountain National Recreation Area and is jointly managed by the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management. The Mt. Charleston Wilderness extends along the crest of the mostly north-south Spring Mountains with towering cliffs, deep narrow canyons, steep hillsides and barren wind-swept summits. The landscape, ranging from 4,440 to 11,916 feet in elevation, showcases a variety of lifezones, plants and animals and is home to several endemic plants and animals. Its more than 18,000 acres of bristlecone pine trees is the most extensive stand of these trees in the Inter-mountain West. These ancient trees bring an added touch of beauty and awe, with at least one tree known to be nearly 3,000 years old. You can experience creosote bush, Joshua trees, pinyon pines, Utah juniper, sagebrush, ponderosa pine, manzanita, shrub live oak, white fir, limber pine, quaking aspen, and bristlecone pine. While hiking this area you may be able to spot white-tailed antelope squirrels, black-tailed jackrabbits, kit foxes, burros, elk, Palmer’s chipmunks, mule deer, mountain lions, golden mantle ground squirrels, rock wrens, red-tailed hawks, Stellar’s jays, mountain chickadees, juncos, broad-tailed hummingbirds, and white-throated nuthatches.

North Loop Trail-3
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Trail Description: The kiosk (Fig. 01) notes that this is a strenuous, 10.8-mile trail that starts out at an elevation of 8,440 feet along Deer Creek Road and runs out across hillsides and exposed ridges to the summit of Charleston Peak, elevation 11,918 feet (Fig. 04). Much of the trail is forested, so there is plenty of shade until the last half-mile above timberline. There are several high points and view points along this trail that provide stupendous views. It also runs 2.7 miles through forests and along ridgelines to the Raintree, the fabled old bristlecone pine that is thought to be the largest and oldest (some 3,000 years) tree in the Spring Mountains. From there the trail splits and heads to either Mummy Spring and Mummy Mountain or to Cave Spring and the top of Mt. Charleston.

05/26/2016 Trip Notes:
 On this day, Blake Smith and I attempted to reach "Raintree", a Bristlecone Pine tree, estimated to be more than 3,000 years old. Unfortunately, we never did make it to this location. The good news was that we still had a great hike. Click here for pictures and a description of this hike ... North Loop Trail - Trip Notes for 05/27/2016.

10/08/2013 Trip Notes: - Harvey Smith and I decided to head up to the North Loop Trailhead and hike to Mummy Spring and "Raintree", the oldest Bristlecone Pine in the Spring Mountains. This was a strenuous 6.1 mile round-trip hike that offered some really great views and prolific sightings of old Bristlecone Pines. Click here for pictures and a description of this hike ... Raintree & Mummy Spring. 

10/03/2013 Trip Notes:  On today’s visit to the Mt. Charleston area we made this location our “lunch stop” for the day. While some enjoyed lunch and the views around the parking area, several of us hiked what were just the very early stages of this 13-mile trail. From the parking area and trailhead, the trail runs west along Deer Creek Road (Fig. 02) before turning and heading southwest along a ridge-line. Early on there were views of Mummy Mountain (and my hiking partner Bob) (Fig. 05). Not too far out we found some rocky ledges that beckoned to be explored. After climbing around this area (Figs 06 & 07) and taking pictures, we decided that we didn’t have the time to follow the trail any further out and started back to the parking lot. The picture in (Fig. 08) was one last shot of the view we had looking south back towards Kyle Canyon in the distance and the portion of Deer Creek Road that we had to travel in order to reach this stop. As this was only a "lunch stop", we didn't have time for any more. However, learning that this trail leads to Raintree, I can’t wait to go back here and try and reach this spot.
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