Mount Charleston - Bristlecone Trail

Highlights: Rugged stands of Bristlecone Pines, bikes allowed but no horses on this section
Near: Las Vegas, NV
Scenery:
Distance: 4 miles
Elevation Gain: 860 feet
Hike Time: 2.5 hours
Difficulty: Moderate
Trail Condition: Well maintained trail
Hike Type: Out and Back

Summary: This trail begins in a nicely forested area with white fir and large aspen, and climbs until you reach the rugged, exposed upper slopes with bristlecone pines. The trail is easy to follow for both hikers and bikes, with many spots along the trail to stop and admire the view. Be sure and look up at the ski slopes in Lee Canyon, you will often see wild horses grazing on the grass in late spring, summer, and fall. In my opinion, this is one of the easiest and most enjoyable hikes in the Spring Mtns. for beginners; not many steep climbs, nice views, plenty of trees, and the trail is very visible and can be easily followed, even with snow patches. The flexibility of this trail can be appreciated by all levels of hikers; tailor the hike to the type of terrain you enjoy. Instead of taking the upper and lower loop, I prefer to retrace this upper trail a few times until reaching the desired amount of exercise. Plenty of lunch spots along the trail, but no water to hike to.
Trailhead: I-15 N from Las Vegas to 95 N towards Reno, W on SR 156 (Lee Canyon) 17 1/4 miles into Lee Canyon until the road dead ends in the upper parking lot of Lee Canyon Ski Area. Do NOT park on the helipad for emergency helicopters. The trailhead for the upper or West Bristlecone trail is located in this parking lot. This trail is described as an out and back for the upper Bristlecone only (4 miles RT); however, combining the lower (east) Bristlecone and making a loop trail makes this a 6 mile RT. This also becomes a connector trail to the Bonanza trail. Bikes can do the upper/lower loop, but are not allowed on Bonanza trail. Horses must use the lower Bristlecone, and can continue on the Bonanza trail which eventually goes all the way to Cold Creek. Hikers and dogs are allowed on all of these trails. The upper trail is mostly under trees, while the lower Bristlecone is a wide, gravel road (abandoned WPA road). Both trails offer nice views of surrounding peaks. (Lat:[masked] Lon: [masked])

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  • Ben

    Looks like thunderstorms big time. No fun on the ridgeline. Be careful!

    August 31, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      I'm going to show up to say hi and meet ppl, but will play it by ear. Halfway there...:)

      August 31, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Wish I would have known about the storms ahead of time. Could have done w/o the drama that came with it. The hiking part was fun tho.

      September 2, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Even with the torrential rain storm!:)

    August 31, 2013

  • Mary B.

    Great time. A little intense because halfway into the hike we ha a thunderstorm. But good memories made.

    1 · August 31, 2013

    • Valerie

      Mary>> Yes indeed & catch you guys again!-:) Have a safe & enjoyable Labor Day Weekend!-;) Great bunch of people, too!-:D

      August 31, 2013

  • Jon B.

    Got a little wet in the middle, but overall quite beautiful

    1 · August 31, 2013

    • Valerie

      Jon>> Yeah, but the variance in weather made for more mysterious views trail was interesting!-:)

      August 31, 2013

  • Valerie

    To all my fellow Christian hikers>>> What an enjoyable day exploring Mt. Charleston!-:) Even though we encountered T-storm midway through the hike, still enjoyed the beautiful forest/trail & mtns.!-:) Thx. for all your support & everyone was very helpful!-:D It was a pleasure to meet with everyone & enjoyed the conversations!-:D Jon: Thx. for being a fabulous leader & for driving me there & back!-;D Mary & Jon: It was great to see you guys again!-:D Excellent trial choice, too!-:D This made my Labor Day Awsome!-:) 'Til we meet again....Happy Trails to all!-:D

    August 31, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I need help plz. I'm at the park n ride, but don't know anyone. Are we meeting here? Or trailhead? If someone would call or text me at[masked] I would appreciate it!

    August 31, 2013

    • Jon B.

      Meeting here we are in lot 1 red tribute

      August 31, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Got it! Thanks

      August 31, 2013

  • Ellane

    Sorry, not going to make this hike. Apologize for last min cancellation

    August 31, 2013

  • Jay B.

    Sorry guys, just assumed the time was 630. We are going up on the trail, and see everyone on our way down.

    August 31, 2013

    • Jon B.

      I had a few folks that requested a later start

      August 31, 2013

  • Dr. Patti B.

    The chance of rain is too great for me. I'll catch you all on another hike. Be safe and have fun!

    August 31, 2013

  • Valerie

    Hi all my fellow Christian hikers!-;) Want to try this one out & looks like fun!-;) Just a few quick questions: Do we bring a lunch, what's the temp. like, can I ride with someone & may I have the cell # of the organizer for this hike?....Just in case I need it....Thx. & have a fabulous day!-:)

    August 29, 2013

    • Mary B.

      Valerie the high that day is 73 so it will probably be in the 60's i would imagine.

      1 · August 30, 2013

    • Valerie

      Hi Jon & Mary>>>Thx. for all your help & can't wait!-;) See you & everyone tomorrow!-:D

      1 · August 30, 2013

  • Jon B.

    We may get some light rain in the morning so bring a poncho if you need it

    1 · August 30, 2013

  • Mark B.

    Have to work this Saturday, don't always have Saturdays off.

    August 30, 2013

  • Kelly Canney ".

    Sorry guys, I guess I just live too far from everyone :-( Maybe ill get to go on a hike when it's closer to my area

    August 30, 2013

  • Kelly Canney ".

    I'm willing to pay for gas, my daughter and her boyfriend want to go to, hopefully someone who can hold 3 ppl

    August 25, 2013

    • Kelly Canney ".

      Thanks joy!!!!!! Just trying to work on gas $ for you, theres a mess up with my direct depost and my $ didnt come in yet.

      August 27, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Sorry it didn't work out.

      August 30, 2013

  • Kelly Canney ".

    id like to go if I could get a ride from the Seven hills/anthem area

    August 22, 2013

    • Jon B.

      Not sure where that is we're in North Las Vegas

      August 22, 2013

    • Kelly Canney ".

      its way over by the M resort

      August 23, 2013

  • Jon B.

    Does anyone in the group live near the Seven Hills/Anthem area who could give Kelly a ride to the meetup? Thanks!

    1 · August 23, 2013

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