Mary Jane Falls at Mt. Charleston

Mary Jane Falls at Mt. Charleston

Spring Mountains National Recreation Area is an easy 1 hour drive Northwest from Last Vegas. 

Once you enter Spring Mountain National Recreation Area, continue up Kyle Canyon Road until you reach the fire station. At the fire station, you will stay right in the roundabout (or traffic circle) onto Echo Road. Follow this road until you reach the Mary Jane Falls Trailhead. This is a popular trail so parking fills up quickly. We arrived at 8 am on our late July hike and the parking lot was already more than 1/2 full. 

This area of Nevada is known to be 20 degrees cooler than the weather on the Las Vegas strip, which makes this a great getaway from the oppressive 100 degree heat. This hike is most popular in the spring and summer. 

The hike begins from the north side of the parking lot. The beginning of the hike is an easy walk slowly increasing in elevation while surrounded by ponderosa pines and aspens. 

As the hike continues, the trail becomes a switch back. Be careful of the lose rock and stay on the trail. We saw kids trying to create their own way and they were slipping and causing rocks to slip on to the people below. The trail is well marked and shouldn't be hard to follow. 

Remember to take breaks along the way. This trail increases in elevation with a final elevation of 8,400 feet. Even as a runner and hiker, I needed to catch my breath and take sips of water as we hiked. 

Besides, stopping for a quick drink makes every hiker take a moment and look around. Sometimes we are so busy getting to the top, we forget to take a moment and enjoy why we are out there to begin with. 

As we traveled up and along the north canyon wall until we finally reached the falls. Considering we were hiking at a peak heat season, we honestly didn't think we'd find much water so we were pleasantly surprised when we were wrong. 

 My husband climbed up and around the falls. It is not difficult to get up into this space and many kids and adults were enjoying the ability to walk in and under a waterfall.

 Yup, it's wet! Even during Nevada's hottest season, hikers can enjoy cool clean water to splash around in.
 The landscape is beautiful here. One minute there are lush green trees and the next the earth seems so dry. At the top, near the freshwater, we found these flowers. We later visited the visitor center here at the national recreation center and learned a lot about the plants and animals of this region.

 Just beyond the falls, we ventured into a cave. We were lucky enough to have a few minutes alone for our traditional climbing selfies and to just take in the beauty. As you can imagine, it is cool inside the cave and a pleasant place to just sit on a rock and relax. We ate a snack and had some water there before we started our climb back down.

Our selfie

A view of the falls coming out of the cave and heading back towards the falls. 

At the top, hikers are sporadically sitting and climbing all throughout the area. As the morning turned into afternoon, more and more people were dressed in bathing suits rather than just hiking gear.  I thought this was funny considering there wasn't that much water, but I guess enough to cool off from the hot Nevada heat. 

 Another picture of the water fall

A view looking out from the top

The climb down was fairly easy and relaxing and we enjoyed talking with other hikers and many locals. This is definitely a popular hike and you won't be alone. I honestly can't believe how many times someone told us, "You have to do Mary Jane Falls" and it took us this long to go. We cannot wait to go again. 

Have fun!
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Disclaimer: These opinions are entirely my own. 


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