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Hiking Las Vegas Blog
History (skip if not interested)
Mack's North Peak (9,820 feet) or Mack's Peak North is on the north end of the ridge that runs north to south. On the southern end of the ridge stands the much more popular Mack's Peak (10,033 feet). Both of these peaks are in the Mt. Charleston area, which is 35 west of Las Vegas, NV.
Mack's North Peak was probably first done in 2003. When I did it I found no evidence of anyone being there before: no cairns, no paths, and no sign in book.
The original route started from the north via Cold Creek Road. It was a long and bumpy ride on Forest Service road 571, a gravel road which needs a 4WD vehicle to reach the trailhead which is unmarked.
The route started off easy following the road and quickly turned into a trail. Once the trail reaches a highpoint you head south along a ridge. There's nothing to exciting until you get to the wall. This is serious Class 4 climb. There are ways to avoid the Class 4 parts of the wall.
On July 4th, 1999, we successfully completed our 4th annual Multi-Peak hike in Mt. Charleston. In the past we had done three peak hikes, but this year we wanted something very challenging. And we got it.
This was our first and only Five Peak endurance hike, at least doing this route. We started at the South Loop trailhead, hiked to Griffith Peak, Charleston Peak, and Mummy Mountain. We then descended the scree slope and followed the North Loop trail back up to Charleston Peak and over to Griffith Peak. Finally, we took the South Loop trail back to the trailhead.
I figured we hiked a little more than 28 miles and the elevation gain was almost 7,500 feet.
Below are our times for future reference. I don't recommend doing this hike. It was very hard and abusive to the body. We took about 90 minutes for breaks, food, and signing the registers.
Start: 5:46 am
Griffith Peak: 7:38 am
Charleston Peak: 9:33 am
Mummy Mtn: 12:16 pm
Charleston Peak: 3:31 pm
Griffith Peak: 5:51 pm
Finish: 7:56 pm
Although on this hike we did not camp, long hikes like these require plenty of food. Learn more about the best no cook meals you can take on your next adventure.
June is one of the best months to hike in Mt. Charleston. The days are long and the Monsoon season is still a month away. Dress in layers to keep comfortable. Bring a Camelbak or similar type of a daypack to stay hydrated. I suggest starting with the lower elevation trails in May and June, since Charleston received a lot of snow this winter.
Hiking poles are a big help in Mt. Charleston
Branch Whitney is the author of Hiking Las Vegas and creator of the 52 Peak Club where members hike to the best 52 Peaks around Las Vegas, NV