Thursday, July 9, 2009

Charleston Peak Hike

While in Las Vegas, I planned to take a day and climb nearby Charleston Peak, the 34th most prominent peak in North America with over 8200' of topological prominence. On Saturday (Independence Day), I got up at 5am and began the trek to the small town of Mt. Charleston, roughly 45 minutes outside of town.

The hike starts out brisk and steep as you climb out of Kyle Canyon and on to the top of the Mount Charleston massif. On the way up you get some cool views of the cliffs the trail is bypassing. Once up on the ridge, I made the quick side trip up to Griffith Peak and enjoyed the views. After a brief break, I continued the long ridgewalk over the Charleston Peak - which was actually a gorgeous hike through subalpine and eventually alpine terrain. The hike was longer than I expected, but fortunately I was wearing my new trail running shoes which were super comfortable. No barking dogs today!

On top, the weather was perfect - a light breeze and temperatures in the 70s. The views were great, unfortunately though they were hazy in the direction of Las Vegas. I chatted with a couple of Las Vegas locals on top and we appeared to be some of the first people to summit for the day. On the way down, there were lots of others making the ascent - probably 25 people at least. You don't see that in Idaho! Well, I guess you do on Borah Peak...

I made it back to the hotel around mid-afternoon; not bad, but I was hoping to be a little faster. At least Katie had plenty of entertainment options available! Another fine summer hike completed!

Trip statistics: 15 miles, 4700' elevation gain, 8 hours

Charleston Peak Pictures!

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