By Debbie Hall
Summertime in Las Vegas means triple digits with hot nights and even hotter, bright sunny days from sunrise to sunset. For relief, escape to Lee Canyon and Mt. Charleston including Mt. Charleston Hotel, Mt. Charleston Lodge and Las Vegas Ski & Snowboard Resort. It is fun at a pleasant 75 degrees about a 45-minute drive north of Las Vegas for a day trip or staycation.
For activities and the golfer, there is disc golf with the first hole located at 9,300 feet in elevation. This course works its way through some of the resort’s most spectacular terrain that is part of the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest, the largest national forest in the United States outside of Alaska. Guests can hike or ride the chairlift to the 1st tee at the top of Chair 1.
There are 51 miles of trails throughout the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area (Mt. Charleston). Starting next to LVSSR, the 6.2-mile Bristlecone Trail lets hikers meander through White Fir and Quaking Aspen, then climb exposed slopes to an ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest. After passing the junction with the Bonanza Trail, hikers descend into a canyon next to the trailhead near McWilliams Campground. The Bristlecone Trail is the perfect trail for hikers of all ages and ability levels. This pet-friendly trail is also a locals’ favorite.
For the hard-core athlete, high altitude training helps build endurance and builds muscle. At LVSSR, many of Las Vegas’ top pro and amateur athletes running or power hiking up the mountain for great summer workout.
For the more relaxed, scenic chair lift rides to the top of Chair 1 at 8,000 feet include breathtaking views of Lee Canyon’s cathedral-like limestone cliffs, acres of ponderosa pine and aspen trees and plant and animal life unique to Mt. Charleston.
The Bighorn Grill is located on the upper level of the lodge of Lee Canyon, and selections include grilled items, custom burgers and hand-tossed salads. The neighboring Bristlecone Bar serves premium draft beers, bottle beers, wines and cocktails. Visitors enjoy the views surrounding the 5,000-square-foot patio and can also play a variety of lawn games like Giant Jenga and cornhole.
The Mt. Charleston Lodge is located at a 7,717 feet elevation at the top of the mountain in Kyle Canyon. The menu is comfort food, and its décor includes a large open fireplace in the center of the dining room. Windows surround three sides of the room, with the lounge along one wall, and there is also dining on its deck.
Cabins at Mt. Charleston Lodge for overnight stays are surrounded by juniper, mountain mahogany, aspen and ponderosa pine trees and walking distance to the restaurant and bar as well as Cathedral Rock Picnic Area and hiking trail. The cabins include indoor plumbing, full bedrooms and all the comforts while enjoying the great outdoors.
A Cut Above, the restaurant in The Resort at Mt. Charleston, offers traditional fare such as steaks and chicken for breakfast, lunch and dinner as the chef’s special. Its bar and lounge feature ceiling-to-floor windows with billiard tables, a juke box and flat screen televisions surrounded by mountain views.
Accommodations are available at The Resort at Mt. Charleston with pillow top mattresses, flat screen TVs and iPod docking stations in each hotel room.
With Mt. Charleston and Lee Canyon in the backyard of Las Vegas, it is perfect getaway for those hot summer months.