Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Hiking at Mt. Charleston

On Sunday, I went hiking with the Las Vegas Hiking and Outdoors Meetup group. I've been a member of this group since September, but this is only my second hike with them. I need to make a better effort to attend more of their hikes because they go to neat locations and the members are wonderful. I met so many nice, friendly, interesting people with all different backgrounds, from a guy from Newcastle, Australia, to a girl who teaches forensic nursing, to a guy who lived on a solar-powered commune in Kentucky.

We met in the northwest part of the valley and carpooled up to Mt. Charleston. Our first hike was up Cathedral Rock. The 1.5 mile hike to the top of the rock passed through huge trees, into a meadow, and up through more huge trees. At the top, we had a panoramic view of Kyle Canyon, Mt. Charleston, and other peaks in the Spring Mountains.

Cathedral Rock: Me at the top overlooking the town of Mt. Charleston:
View of Kyle Canyon:
Beautiful Ponderosa Pine:
Beautiful White Fir:
Trail through Quaking Aspen:
After we finished Cathedral Peak, we moved on to Fletcher Canyon. This hike is also in the Mt. Charleston area, and is about 4 miles round trip. The hike isn't as scenic because it doesn't have any overlooks, but it does eventually get into a canyon with some scrambling. I am happy anytime I have to climb over a boulder, so I enjoyed the end of the hike. A couple of us even squeezed through a tiny hole below a boulder to continue past the "end" of the trail, but we didn't go much further because we were worn out from our adventures.

Me in front of the limestone cliffs and some very fragrant trees (it almost seemed tropical through here):
Limestone cliffs and Ponderosa Pines:
Our group getting into the canyon:
A dead but artsy-looking Ponderosa Pine:

Here are more pictures from this hike

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