Mt. CharlestonKyle/Lee Canyons Las Vegas, NV 89130
Twenty miles north of Las Vegas on US 95 is a turnoff west into Kyle Canyon, one of the many short, narrow, and sheer cuts into the northern Spring Mountains that hem in Las Vegas Valley on the west. The range's highest peak is Mt. Charleston (11,918 feet). Being high and wet, and surrounded by low and dry, the flora of Spring Mountains have become biologically isolated; 30 species of plants are endemic.
Additionally, this range supports a system of five distinct life zones; ascending from Las Vegas to Charleston Peak in terms of altitude is the equivalent of traveling from Mexico to Alask in terms of latitude.
Most of the range is adminstered by Bureau of Land Management, though the elevations above 7,000 feet are managed by Forest Service.
Mt. Charleston offers year-round outdoor activities, from cool alpine hikes in the blistering summers to fine snow sports in the mild winters.
Mt. Charleston was named after Charleston, SC, by Dixie crew members of the Army survey team that mapped this mountain's forest reserves in 1906.
Mt. Charleston's propensity for capturing precipitation from the westery winds gave rise to the name Spring Mountains; the rain, snowmelt, and runoff percolate through the porous limestone and spurtle to the surface in the numerous springs throughout the range.
Rating:View all user comments