This is one of the premier/most controversial climbing destinations in the US, if hard limestone routes are what you're seeking. The beautiful surroundings, overhanging caves, and cooler temperatures make Mt. Charleston a welcomed escape from the desert heat of Las Vegas during the summer months. Mt. Charleston is most well-known for having chipped routes and its hard pocketed testpieces such as Jason Campbell's Soul Train: 5.14a, Chris Sharma's Hasta La Vista: 5.14b/c, and Dan McQuade's Infectious Groove: 5.13b. Other climbers of note who contributed to the excellent climbing up on the mountaintop include Tony Yaniro, Randy Marsh, Leo Henson, Terry Parish, Rob Mulligan, Joe Brooks, Francois LeGrand, Doug Englekirk, etc. etc. etc. Mt. Charleston also sports numerous other quality lines ranging from 5.10 and up, so if you are in Vegas and looking to avoid the scorching sun and overcrowding of Red Rocks, head 45 minutes north to this pine tree oasis. Note:
The majority of the information I've posted on Mt. Charleston came directly from the guidebook Islands In The Sky, and proper credit should be given to its authors; Dan McQuade, Randy Leavitt, and Mick Ryan.
Much of this area is in the Mount Charleston Wilderness Area. See the BLM Fact Sheet
for a good overview of what it protects and what that limits, and the Forest Service page
for other information. One important distinction for route developers is that it's illegal to use power drills in a wilderness area, and bad ethics to operate one within earshot of one. As always, check with and respect the local climbing community on what goes where before doing such things.
Mt. Charleston is located forty minutes north of Las Vegas in the Toiyabe National Forest. Take Hwy 95 north out of Vegas. Shortly after the houses stop, you will see a sign directing you to turn left for Kyle Canyon Rd. (157). Head up this road for several miles until you reach the area you're looking for. Most of the climbing is past the turnoff for Lee Canyon via the Deer Creek Hwy (158).
Weather station 2.7 miles from here
133 Total Routes
['4 Stars',10],['3 Stars',50],['2 Stars',50],['1 Star',22],['Bomb',0]
Browse More Classics in Mount Charleston
Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Mount Charleston:
Featured Route For Mount Charleston
The Burglar 5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b NV
: Mount Charleston
: Robber's Roost
This is a multi-cruxed action packed route. Start out on the strange downward sloping pinch holds with slick feet. Climb up to the overlap and pull up on to the slab. Here you climb some technical face to get to the overhanging corner above. There are three ways to finish this route.The original finish: Head left to the arete at the top of the corner and clip the anchor(12c).The Card Cheat finish: From the original anchor, go straight up past two more bolts (12d).The Dan McQuade finish: inste...[more] Browse More Classics in NV
Latest Regional Forum Messages
Mt. Charleston via South Fork in mid November.
BETA PHOTO: The Hydra, 5.11+, at the Universal Wall
Start of the crux sequence, pitch 1 of The Hydra. ...
Distant Mt.Charleston framed by a joshua tree in b...
Mt. Charleston Looking down onto Highway 158; acc...
Sweet step across to the rib on The Count Becomes ...
Good times clipping bolts @ Charleston
The Count Becomes Difficult 5.8. Climber: Marc R...
By Dirty Gri Gri, or is it GiGi?
Oct 3, 2006
Campgrounds of Mt. Charleston.
The 'Hilltop' is the most popular campground, and has warm showers (coin operated). Make your reservations way ahead of time, if planning on being there in the summer/warmer months.
By Mike Dudley
Jun 22, 2009
There are not that many routes listed here on MP but there are a lot of routes up there. Grab a guide book and enjoy the super hard and sharp limestone!
Oct 5, 2010
Keep an eye on the fixed link draws in the area, especially at crux's. After taking a couple of good sized falls on the crux of The Great Train Robbery, (the bolt below the ledge), I managed to core shot my rope on a carabiner that had been worn down enough to create an edge. I have replaced this biner, but that is not to say that it won't happen again or that there aren't more biners such as this one.
I would like to stress the importance of keeping your rope on a rope bag during belays as to keep dirt and debris from wearing down the surface of draws. It was kind enough of our fellow craggers to put these permanent fixtures up, but it is our job to keep them safe.