Las Vegas, NV: Griffith Peak via South Loop Trail

Leave the glitz of the Las Vegas Strip for dazzling views on top of Griffith Peak, an 11,060-foot peak an hour northwest of the city.
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Leave the glitz of the Las Vegas Strip for dazzling views on top of Griffith Peak, an 11,060-foot peak an hour northwest of the city.

This strenuous nine-miler starts just south of the town of Mt. Charleston. Hike southeast on rocky trail that crosses an aspen-filled avalanche chute twice, then switchbacks up 450 feet in half a mile. After a brief respite at mile two, the trail ramps up for the next two miles to the summit ridge and the half-mile homestretch. From the 11,060-foot summit, you’ll score views of the often-snowy Telescope Peak (the highest point in Death Valley) and the tops of the sandstone bluffs in Red Rock Canyon.

-Mapped by Chelise Simmons

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 14.5

Waypoints

GPT001

Location: 36.254388, -115.643613

From day-use parking area, head northwest on the South Loop Trail and climb the stairs. Next, the trail swings south.

GPT002

Location: 36.248418, -115.639263

The rocky trail, bordered by aspens, crosses an avalanche chute. Past this point, the trail is less rocky.

GPT003

Location: 36.244213, -115.639987

Re-cross the avalanche chute; use caution in snow. Continue west on steep, exposed switchbacks.

GPT004

Location: 36.245852, -115.641478

The trail levels slightly; this is a good place to catch your breath (and take in some views).

GPT005

Location: 36.245242, -115.646253

Climb another set of steep switchbacks.

GPT006

Location: 36.236418, -115.65099

Crest the ridgeline here and turn left at the junction with Charleston Peak Trail. Head southeast for roughly half a mile on a steep path to the summit.

GPT007

Location: 36.232424, -115.646104

Griffith Peak (11,060 ft.): Look to the west to spot the often-snowy Telescope Peak, the highest point in Death Valley National Park. To the southeast, you'll see the tops of the sandstone and limestone mountains in Red Rock Canyon. The sparkling pink jewel to the east is the Circus Circus Adventuredome on the Strip. Charleston Peak rises directly to the northeast. Return via the same route.

Western Tiger Swallowtail

Location: 36.249984, -115.64209

Avalanche Chute

Location: 36.24423, -115.639837

Limestone Cliffs

Location: 36.24391, -115.640609

Trail Junction

Location: 36.236347, -115.650716

Griffith Peak

Location: 36.23311, -115.647905

View of Charleston Peak from Griffith Peak

Location: 36.232418, -115.645845