Mt. Charleston is the place to be in the middle of the summer. The roads across the mountain reach above 8000ft, so it’s typically around 20 degrees cooler up there than down in the Las Vegas valley. It’s a great break from the heat, and it’s a fun ride. The Mt. Charleston Lodge has some good food, and it’s pretty popular. In the summer months it seems like no matter how early you get there, it’s already busy. Once 0900-1000 rolls around, it isn’t uncommon to see the front lot totally full, and half of the lot being bikes. There are cabins up there that you can rent, and also some incredible houses on the side of the mountains, the stuff of dreams. Along Deer Creek there are a few campsites where you can throw up a tent or rent a cabin. The route I listed does go across the mountains over to Lee Canyon, and there is an overlook right before the end of Deer Creek. There is another cool spot up towards where the hiking trail and ski resort is up Lee Canyon Rd. Watch out for wild burros, they are up there and do sometimes wander into the roads. Also, on Kyle Canyon Rd past Deer Creek, follow the speed limits. It gets real slow, but there is almost always a Sheriff up there, and there are people walking across the road and pulling out all over.
Recommendations: If you plan on eating at the lodge, I’d recommend going somewhat early just because it does fill up quick. There is outdoor seating as well as indoor, but they typically don’t have a ton of staff so you may be waiting for a bit if they can even seat you. Unless you love the cold, don’t plan on riding up there between November and March. It does snow, so you might be able to catch some photos of your bike in the snow, but the roads also might be covered in snow too.
The Ride: The route I like starts up near Centennial Hills. You head up Kyle Canyon Rd, which is a nice mildly-winding road. then take a right onto Deer Creek and head across the mountain. At the end of Deer Creek, hang a left on Lee Canyon Rd and head up to Bristlecone Trailhead. Then double-back to Kyle Canyon, hang a right and head up to the Mt. Charleston Lodge. If you’re only going up to eat, then swap those two destinations; eat first, then go across the mountain. The upside of going across the mountain first is that you can do it again after eating if you want. After eating, you can then head back over the mountainside on Deer Creek, and stop and turn around at the Desert View Overlook. Head back to Kyle Canyon and back down into the city. You could take Lee Canyon Rd down to 95 and then to the city, but I think Kyle Canyon Rd is a little more interesting than Lee Canyon Rd, plus then you don’t have to hit 95 at all. Here’s the link to the route: https://goo.gl/maps/wnaEKQUeEXeMTDxH7
Here are a couple photos:
If you have any questions or comments, please let me know. Be safe out there, and ride your own ride!