Mount Charleston HotelsLas Vegas
provides every type of accommodation, and while there are a few closer places along US 95, most are around downtown, or to the south and east. Mount Charleston Village contains one lodge, offering 23 log cabins, set in pine forest right at the western end of Kyle Canyon Road.
Roads NV 156 and NV 157 climb into the Mount Charleston foothills, and are linked by NV 158 across the eastern slopes, together forming a 54 mile loop (including part of US 95). Two short spur roads lead a little way higher up, ending at Mount Charleston Village and Lee Canyon, site of the ski resort. NV 157 (Kyle Canyon Road
) is the most used approach since it is closer to Las Vegas; this first passes scattered residences and quite a lot of new development then enters emptier land, winding up a shallow canyon studded with Joshua trees
typical of the Mojave Desert at this elevation (5,000 feet). These fade away as the road continues to climb, replaced by small bushes and eventually pine trees, as the road crosses the boundary of the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest
. Once past the last of the houses there are plenty of sandy side roads leading into the desert or the woods, good for hiking or (free) camping. The northern approach (NV 157; Lee Canyon Road
) traverses even less developed land but has similar scenery on its 16 mile, 5,600 foot climb up a long slope into the mountains.
The top parts of Mount Charleston and adjacent peaks are formed from bare, jagged limestone, rather dull gray in color, while the slopes beneath are quite steep, and densely forested with several types of oak, pine and fir, including large strands of ancient bristlecone pines. Rocks are also exposed in many places lower down, forming steep ravines and tall cliffs, occasionally with small caves eroded at their base. A number of larger canyons drain the mountain slopes and carry streams most of the year, some producing impressive waterfalls. The scenery is pleasant and unspoilt, though the hills are not really different to dozens of other, less accessible, peaks in Nevada; it is the proximity to and easy access from Las Vegas that makes Mount Charleston so popular.