When in Las Vegas….Hike Mt. Charleston

by DanicasDaily on June 25, 2012

For our last day in Las Vegas, we decided to get out of the desert heat and head up to Mount Charleston for a hike.  The lady who gave me my pedicure at the Spa Costa Del Sur recommended a day trip to the mountain because it is 20-30 degrees cooler than in the city and the mountain range is beautiful.

Mt. Charleston is 11,916 feet high, but, most of the day hiking trails are around 7,000-8,000 feet above sea level.  I think it would be fun to camp or stay at the Mt. Charleston Lodge for a day just to get away from it all. 

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Before heading out for our hike we fueled up with a big breakfast.

Scrambled egg, 2 slices center cut bacon, Western potatoes “fried” in nonstick spray and watermelon (5 points+).

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Mt. Charleston is actually only about a 35 minute drive from downtown Las Vegas.  The drive up the Scenic By-Way is absolutely beautiful.

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It starts off with small hills looking very desert like…..

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Then, gets greener and greener as you drive up the mountain.

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We stopped by the visitors center to get a map of the hiking trails and to decide our action plan.  The lady at the front recommended a few “short” day hikes, stopping by the Desert Outlook and heading down the opposite side of the mountain we came up.

We packed a couple of frozen waters and fruit…..

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Then, hit Fletcher Canyon trail for a 3.6 mile “moderate” hike.

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I am just going to say it now ~ the guides definition of “easy to moderate” is way different than ours.  The trail starts off nice enough but the further you go, the more intense it gets.

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The air is so clean and refreshing ~ the pine trees and smell totally make me think of camping.

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The trail has a combination of different types of desert like trees as well as pine trees.

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I am not sure what this tree is called by I was calling it the curly cue tree Open-mouthed smile

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Several of the trees that have fallen along the trail from when it snows, have this cool pattern on them.  I am not sure if it is from the bark, the snow or a bug, but, it looks neat.

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After about 3/4 of a mile, the trail turns into more of a rocky hike.  This is where I am guessing you get to the “moderate” part.

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The views as you hike along Fletcher Canyon are incredible.  You see the Spring Mountains the entire time.

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The trail leads you into the middle of the mountains.

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I took this picture of The Husband just to show the context of how big the mountains really are….it really is breathtaking to see and experience.

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The trail does get a bit narrow and rocky.  This is the point that I was like what part of this is “easy to moderate”. LOL.  It totally requires hiking books and poles, not just tennis shoes for sure.

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It also gets cooler as you get closer to the waterfall.  There are a bunch of different flowers growing off the mountains too.

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Mountain Butterflies Open-mouthed smile

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The mountain valley view from the highest point we hiked to around 8,500 feet.

We spent about 3.5 hours +/- on the trail.  When we got back to our car we snacked on some JoJo’s Teriyaki Beef Jerky. (2 points+ a slice)

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Plus I had 2 handfuls, about 1 oz of our Golden Corn Nuggets to tide me over as we drove down the other side of the mountain (3 points+).

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We drove in on I-95 and drove home on Hwy 157/158.  I highly recommend driving on both since it is only a difference of 10 miles and the view is spectacular.

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The road takes you to the Desert View Overlook where you walk out about 800 feet.

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The view is amazing ~ I wish my camera could capture it all ~ the colors are similar to the Grand Canyon reds with white, green and dessert sand/trees.

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Our entire trip took maybe 5-6 hours and it was definitely worth it to get away.  We both agreed we would go back to hike some of the other trails and maybe one day might brave the 10+ mile hike to the top to see the 1955 Plane Crash Site.

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We stopped for lunch at the Whole Foods off Charleston and built these huge salads.  I pretty practically every vegetable in my bowl plus a Lemon Kale Salad (on the right). 

I never knew that Whole Foods had an oil free “diet” Italian ~ It was tangy, sweet and a little red vinegar like. (5 points+ estimate for my salad).

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We jumped in the pool to cool off and as soon as we got back into town.  After packing up our bags for our early morning flight, we headed out to dinner at Kaizen Fusion Roll & Sushi.

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We both started off with Miso Soup (2 points+).

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Then, their garden salads with a Sesame Carrot Ginger dressing (2 points+)

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I have never been to a place that has 10 places of custom made sushi rolls to choose from.  There were so many things I wanted to try.

We started with Spicy Crispy Rice Tuna bites that were seriously freakin’ amazing.

Spicy tuna on top of sticky rice that was crispy on the bottom, then, they finished the bites with fresh jalapeno slices, sriracha, sesame seeds and ponzu sauce. (2 points+/each).

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The Husband ordered a teriyaki beef bowl that was pretty tasty too.  I LOVE that they serve it with crispy, fresh veggies.

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I ordered the Kiss of Fire Roll ~ totally fresh, clean, spicy and with all the right textures and tastes.

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Crab, avocado, cucumber topped with spicy tuna, white fish, fresh jalapeno slices, sriracha and spicy garlic ponzu sauce.

Dipped in Wasabi and soy sauce ~ spicy good! (9 points+ for the entire roll).

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STATS:

  • 2,970 calories burned (I swear it was more!)
  • 13,633 steps taken
  • 34 daily points+

The End! We are actually heading home this morning for a day of relaxation before the work week starts.

Q’s:

Do you all want me to do a recap post of all the things to do while in Las Vegas from exhibits to shows to drives? 

We have tried to do something different every year we go to Las Vegas and I’d be glad to share in case any of you wanted some ideas for when you go to Vegas.

Happy Monday all!

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Danicasdaily.com is not meant to be a substitute for any professional advice, guidance, or counseling. Any information contained on this site reflect Danica's experience and is not intended to take the place of medical advice from a physician. Weight Watchers® and PointsPlus® are registered trademarks of Weight Watchers International, Inc. The number of Points+ provided for food on this site was calculated by Danica based on published Weight Watchers information. This site does not imply sponsorship or endorsement by Weight Watchers International, Inc. Danica does not guarantee the Points+ information is correct. I am not associated with Weight Watchers and they have not endorsed this site. I highly recommend joining WW and attending regular meetings as a way to successfully lose weight.



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