Mount Charleston Wilderness
Wilderness Area Status
Designated Wilderness Area
Year Designated: 1989
Act or Law: Nevada Wilderness Protection Act of 1989
State Region: Southern Nevada
County Regions: Clark
Local District: Spring Mountain NRA
Contact Info: (702) 515-5400
4701 North Torrey Pines Dr Las Vegas,
Visit the website
(will open a new window)
The Mount Charleston Wilderness Area not only provides relief from the desert environment, but relief from the hot summer heat. The wilderness contains the highest elevations in the Spring Mountains, with the summit of Charleston Peak at 11,918 feet.
The area extends completely across the crest of the Spring Mountains and contains 18,000 acres of bristlecone pine, the most extensive stand of these ancient trees to be found in the intermountain region. These trees are valued for their esthetic and scientific purposes and are among the oldest living, non-clonal organisms in the world.
About 40 miles of trails cross this area, traversing significant elevation from trailheads to ridge lines. Springs are limited, and there are few running creeks. Trailheads: Griffith Peak, Mt. Charleston South and North loop trails, Mary Jane, Trail Canyon, Cathedral Park, Bristlecone Loop, and Bonanza.
This wilderness area is within a 45-minute drive of much of Las Vegas. The nearest other scenic forested environment of this caliber requires a minimum three-hour drive from Las Vegas.
Wildlife: Verdin, Rocky Mountain Elk, Palmer
Enjoying the Mount Charleston Wilderness in the Spring Mountains (c) Mark Vollmer
Bristlecone snags stand sentinel along Charleston (c) Mark Vollmer