A beautiful mountain peak, named Charleston Peak, is the highest peak of the Spring Mountains of southern Nevada, approximately 35 miles (56 km) northwest of Las Vegas, a state located in the western region of the United States of America. It is Nevada's eighth highest mountain peak and is within the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest.
In fact, before visiting USA, I heard a lot about this mountain peak, which is well separated from higher peaks by large, low basins. It is the most topographically prominent peak in Nevada, and the eighth most prominent peak in the contiguous United States. Since I am a nature lover and fond of photography, I was sure my trip to Charleston peak would be perfect and exciting. Early morning we — myself and my hubby Santanu — started our journey by road.
As we drove up the mountain, we enjoyed nature’s beauty and bounty. And I started capturing the beautiful scene in my camera. While moving forward we also saw acres of bristlecone pine vegetation. The bristlecone pine, looking unlike any pine tree you might expect to see, is the oldest known life form on earth. It is also one of two trees designated as the state tree of Nevada. Be on the lookout for wildlife, too, we found wild burros and horses roaming throughout the region, as well as many different types of birds such as humming birds, eagles, and woodpeckers.
Digging the history little we found that the name ‘Charleston’ was given to the peak by John C Fremont while he was exploring this portion of southern Nevada. The name refers to Charleston, South Carolina, which was Fremont's wife's hometown.
Talking to some of the tourists and locals I found that the Spring Mountains and Charleston Peak are a great place to escape from the sweltering summer heat of main city Las Vegas. The temperature is usually about twenty degrees cooler in the mountains than it is on the desert floor.
Many visitors to Las Vegas have the impression that there's not much to see or do beyond the bright lights and huge resorts on the main city. They mean, it’s all just desert out there. That’s the difference in opinion, but visiting Mount Charleston, one can enjoy nature’s beauty besides involving themselves in winter snow sports facilities.
Once you've reached this cool haven, you have many options as to how you can spend your day. Mt Charleston has many campgrounds with more than 180 campsites and about 160 picnic sites. The campsites vary in size, from single family to triple family, with recreational spaces. And if you're the type that doesn't like to just sit around and breathe fresh mountain air, then you can lace up your hiking boots, strap on your backpack and head off for a trek down one of dozens of trails that wind throughout the woods.
You certainly have your choice, and that’s true because we both found our choice to enjoy nature’s beauty and great views of the forest, canyons and wildlife, with a cup of coffee in The Mount Charleston Restaurant.
You can also take a three-and-a-half-hour horseback ride that goes through Fletcher Canyon. Choice is yours! Wear a hat and sunscreen, and be sure to bring your binoculars so you can do some bird watching. They also have hayrides in the summer and sleigh rides in the winter. Mt Charleston and the Spring Mountains are also a great destination for winter recreation.
If you are too tired to drive back down the mountain after a day of summer hiking or winter skiing, and you'd rather sleep in a cozy bed instead of camping under the stars, there are several overnight options available. The Mount Charleston Hotel and Restaurant has great accommodations, as does the Mount Charleston Lodge. This charming location offers individual cabins with kingsize beds, fireplaces, and whirlpools.
Almost Heaven Mountain Retreat is another option for overnight guests. Two things to remember when visiting Mount Charleston: if you plan on staying for more than a day or two — fill up the fuel (gas) tank of your vehicle before leaving town, as there are no gas stations on the mountain, and stop by the grocery store before you leave, since there aren't any stores ‘up top' where you can buy supplies.
But for us, it was time to move back home with these refreshing beautiful memories... captured in pictures... which I just shared. The sunset was beautiful on our way back to city and I enjoyed every single moment of my one-day trip to beautiful, breathtaking beauty of Mount Charleston.