Frequently Asked Questions:
No, it isn't. Mt. Charleston, located in the Spring Mountains, is less than one hour from the strip and offers alpine-like hiking. Starting at around 7,000 feet and topping out at 11,918 feet (Charleston Peak), the terrain is hardly desert. Red Rock Canyon is less than 30 minutes away and has thousands of acres of sandstone mountains jutting up from the desert floor.
You can hike year-round due to the diversity of terrain and elevation. Lake Mead Area has an elevation of 2,000 feet; Mt. Charleston stands 11,918 feet. These two areas have almost a 60-degree difference in temperatures.
Summer: Mt. Charleston
Spring and Fall: Red Rock
Winter: Lake Mead
There's some overlap depending how well you tolerate heat or cold.
Rock scrambling is climbing low-angled rock (usually sandstone) without the use of ropes. Red Rock Canyon has many different rock scrambling routes.
Class 1 - like walking on a sidewalk.
Class 2 - hiking over rough terrain. Hands are used for balance only.
Class 3 - using arms and legs to climb low-angled rock. Some exposure; most don't use ropes.
Class 4 - climbing using arms and legs. Exposure is significant; some use ropes.
Class 5 - technical rock climbing. Ropes and harnesses are required. The class ratings have nothing to do with Difficulty rating (how strenuous the hike is).
.A trail is marked (sometimes) and is easier to follow than a route. A route is hiked by landmarks. Routes are harder to follow, but offer much more of a wilderness experience. The Member's Only Club contains 401 hikes, many are routes. It has over 1,100 color photos showing you key landmarks along the route. Do not expect a well-groomed trail when hiking a route.
The hikes range in difficulty from very easy (1) to very difficult (5). To give you an idea of my rating system, Telescope Peak in California (a widely hiked trail) rates a 3. Most guide books rate it as one of the most difficult hikes. A level 5 hike on this Web site is very tough, normally no trail, lots of scrambling and elevation gain. As a rough guide, a mile of rock scrambling equals two miles of trail hiking. Even the Mountaineer's Route up Mt. Whitney rates only a 5. There are hikes on this site that would be tougher if they were at the same elevation. However, there are plenty of easy hikes on this site. The difficulty rating is different from the class rating (Class 1 through 5).
Most of the hikes are routes (no trails, no signs). The few trails that do exist are poorly marked. Remember, this is Las Vegas. The focus is on gambling, not hiking.
Short answer: No.
The Visitor Center (VC) at Red Rock Canyon lists 19 hikes. This site has 120!
Mt. Charleston VC lists 11 hikes. This site has 53
Lake Mead VC lists 14 hikes. This site has 38.
The Member's Only Club is the ultimate hiking reference for southern Nevada. It features401 hike descriptions, enhanced topo maps, and a updates about the trails and routes. Click here for more.
Unfortunately, no. You have to rent a car.
No, not at this time for any hiking areas in southern Nevada. Since this site covers many other areas, refer to those pages to see if a permit is need for day hiking.
Branch Whitney. Click here for more information about him.
No. I am an information provider.
Yes! Check out this page.
Cairn: A pile of rocks marking a route.
Chimney: Narrow chute with parallel walls.
Chute: A steep, well-worn passage where debris often funnels down from a mountain. A chute is larger than a crack but smaller than a gully.
Crag: A sandstone wall scaled by technical climbers.
Face: The steep side of a mountain.
Gully: A broad, low-angled depression runs vertically down the side of a mountain.
Narrows: A tight passageway in a wash; formed by wind and water erosion over thousands of years.
Pullout: A place to park along a paved road. A pullout is either paved or made of gravel or dirt.
Rock Scrambling: Class 2 and 3 climbing over rock.
Route: Hiked by using landmarks. No official trails.
Saddle: A low point between two peaks, ridgelines, or high points.
Scree: Small rocks found on a slope.
Summit: High point on a mountain (peak).
Switchbacks: The zigzag pattern in a trail or path that makes it easier to go up the side of a mountain.
Tank: A place larger than a catch basin where water gathers after it rains. Calico Tank is the best example.
Talus: Loose rock and gravel on a slope. Bigger than scree.
Topo Map: Map showing the details of the land by means of lines & symbols.
Trailhead: The starting point of a trail, path, or route.