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Mount Charleston

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Blue Sky Bluff 
Cathedral Rock 
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Imagination Wall, The 
Mary Jane Cliff 
Mount Charleston Ice 
Mount Charleston Ski Randonnee 
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Robber's Roost 
Starter Crag 
Universal Wall 
Walla Walla Wash 
Yellow Pine 
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From MP's sister site: MTB Project

Mount Charleston Rock Climbing 

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Elevation: 8,000'
Location: 36.2657, -115.5997 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 99,561
Administrators: Justin Johnsen, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Matt McMurray on Aug 15, 2006

84° | 66°

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80° | 63°

78° | 63°

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Independence Day

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You & This Area
Best climbs for YOU in this area
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John Heinman on Animal Attack: 5.13b, the Compton ...

Mount Charleston Wilderness Area MORE INFO >>>


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.

Getting There 

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).

Climbing Season

Weather station 2.7 miles from here

155 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',11],['3 Stars',61],['2 Stars',60],['1 Star',21],['Bomb',1]

Classic Climbing Routes in Mount Charleston

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Mount Charleston:
Vegas Hose Monster   WI5     Ice, 3 pitches, 400'   Mount Charleston Ice
The Hundredth Monkey   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 40'   Walla Walla Wash
Pine In The Ass   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, 60'   Mary Jane Cliff
Unknown   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   Yellow Pine
1057   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 55'   Yellow Pine
Yellow Pine   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 55'   Yellow Pine
The Rooster   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch   Robber's Roost
unnamed   5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 40'   Yellow Pine
unknown 2   5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 40'   Yellow Pine
The Great Train Robbery   5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch   Robber's Roost
Mary Jane   5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   Mary Jane Cliff
Heating Up the Hood   5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   The Hood : Pine Tree Ledge
The Imaginator   5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a     Sport, 3 pitches, 375'   The Imagination Wall : Central Slab Area
The Great Train Robbery Extension   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Sport, 110'   Robber's Roost
Conny Loves Dadddy   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Sport, 70'   Robber's Roost
Highway Man   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch   Robber's Roost
Gun Tower   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   The Hood : Pine Tree Ledge
Glory Daze   5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b     Sport, 125'   Robber's Roost
The Burglar   5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 90'   Robber's Roost
Straight Outta Compton   5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 100'   The Hood : The Compton Cave
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Mount Charleston

Featured Route For Mount Charleston
Rock Climbing Photo: Awesome piece of ice for being in a desert. Ballsy...

Mary Jane Falls WI5+  NV : Mount Charleston : Mount Charleston Ice
Steep and sustained ice climbing the whole way. Ice might be a little chandalery in spots. Mushroom forms at base when touching. Sometimes free hanging dagger. Route gets lots of sun so usually best to get an early start on this one....[more]   Browse More Classics in NV

Photos of Mount Charleston Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Mt. Charleston via South Fork in mid November.
Mt. Charleston via South Fork in mid November.
Rock Climbing Photo: Whip
Rock Climbing Photo: The Hydra, 5.11+, at the Universal Wall
BETA PHOTO: The Hydra, 5.11+, at the Universal Wall
Rock Climbing Photo: the summit
the summit
Rock Climbing Photo: Start of the crux sequence, pitch 1 of The Hydra. ...
Start of the crux sequence, pitch 1 of The Hydra. ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Distant Mt.Charleston framed by a joshua tree in b...
Distant Mt.Charleston framed by a joshua tree in b...
Rock Climbing Photo: Mt. Charleston  Looking down onto Highway 158; acc...
Mt. Charleston Looking down onto Highway 158; acc...
Rock Climbing Photo: Steepness at Charleston
Steepness at Charleston
Rock Climbing Photo: Sweet step across to the rib on The Count Becomes ...
Sweet step across to the rib on The Count Becomes ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Good times clipping bolts @ Charleston
Good times clipping bolts @ Charleston
Rock Climbing Photo: The Count Becomes Difficult 5.8.  Climber:  Marc R...
The Count Becomes Difficult 5.8. Climber: Marc R...

Comments on Mount Charleston Add Comment
Show which comments
By Dirty Gri Gri, or is it GiGi?
From: Vegas
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
From: Vegas
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!
By bosworth
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.
By Rod J.
From: Bend, OR
Mar 30, 2016
I kept hearing that Mt. Charleston was North of Las Vegas, so I thought it was up highway 93. Turns out that it is due (magnetic (+11 deg.)) West of Las Vegas.

Another way to look at it is that if the North portion of highway 215 were to continue West, it would pass North of Mt. Charleston!

Hope this saves somebody a trip up highway 93.
By Adventure Chumps
Apr 6, 2016
I'm guessing this was you as well then?
By Sam Thompson
From: Missoula, Montana
Jun 10, 2016
soul train is 5.13d fyi

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