Welcome to September to all my readers! I am writing about Mt. Charleston this month, because it is the most perfect time of the year to enjoy a hike in the gorgeous mountains that are close by. The temperatures are on average 25 degrees cooler up there than down here in the valley. And because it is starting to get cooler now (finally), the air up there is brisk in the mornings and evenings. During the afternoon, it is perfect for hiking or just casual nature walks or a picnic with the family.

There are a few different kinds of hikes to choose from. You decide what is best for you and your group.

My favorite is the “The Raintree Trail” which is a 6-mile roundtrip walking trail where the goal is to meet the main attraction; The Raintree which is a majestic 3,000-year-old Bristlecone Pine Tree. The trail gains 1,100 feet, so you’ll get a decent workout along with some beautiful views of the surrounding mountains that look nothing like you would expect in Vegas.

Mt. Charleston (Charleston Peak) is the highest peak in southern Nevada and one of the most popular hikes in the state. Less than an hour’s drive from Las Vegas, it provides a dramatic change of scenery and fresh air. From the top, expect panoramic views, with the Sierra Nevada on the horizon to the west and parts of Las Vegas visible to the southeast. Recreational opportunities include over 50 miles of maintained trails, four picnic areas, eight campgrounds, and several dirt roads. Hunting is permitted in season, and bicycles are permitted on some trails. Really there is something for everyone.

off the beaten path - mount Charleston

If you are into the nature scene mixed with the night life, you will enjoy the “Night Hikes” where you travel with a well-trained naturalist deep into the forest or along a trail after the sun has set. Night hikes are timed with dusk to ensure that your eyes can adjust properly. On this hike, you get an education too, where you will learn about nocturnal animals and how they have adapted to the twilight to survive or about astronomy and how one can use the stars to navigate and even tell what time of year it is. Night hikes include a small amount of hiking through easy terrain as well as various activities out in the dark. Bring a flashlight, but don’t plan to use it.

For the aspiring scientist, then you might enjoy the Science Safaris.
Learn about a widespread of species found only on the mountain. Each safari has a specific creature or plant that you go searching for. Learn to set traps and help scientists collect data. An educational program and crafts are included. Safaris typically run from 9:00AM-12PM.

Registration is required. Safaris have limited capacity. You must register ahead of time for a specific safari. You will receive a confirmation letter via email with the location of the safari, how to get there, and what to expect.

You love the mountains but don’t want to hike? If that is you then you would enjoy the Interpretive programs where there is no hiking involved, but include activities that may require some movement. These programs focus on specific topics such as how to recognize signs of wildlife, archaeology, and wildflowers.

Are you an artist? Or enjoy Art Workshops?
Mt. Charleston Art Workshops are for all ages and all skill levels and are held at various locations on the mountain. There will always be beautiful scenery for you to indulge your talents in.

As always, I enjoy hearing from my readers. Feel free to write me and tell me about your adventures:
francesca@highriselifevegas.com

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