There’s more to Las Vegas than just bright lights and $8.99 surf-and-turf specials. Just 45 miles north of town, immerse yourself in the spectacular natural beauty of the area by hiking to Mary Jane Falls. This moderately strenuous, out-and-back trail culminates at a 50-foot waterfall (and several caves) and offers views of the regal Mount Charleston.
The well-marked trail starts by winding through a deep canyon lined with ponderosa pines, mountain mahogany, white fir, and aspens. Around mile 0.75, the trail delves into a series of sharp switchbacks that offer magnificent views of Kyle Canyon.
Following the switchbacks, gray limestone cliffs form the backdrop for Mary Jane Falls, which are fed by springs and snow. Though the falls are most vibrant in early spring, it’s best to explore the caves once the snow has melted in the summer.
Even miles away from Las Vegas, it’s likely you’ll run into other groups on this well-traveled trail. And though hikers of all fitness levels can complete the hike, be prepared for the challenge of climbing nearly 1,000 feet in under two miles. Expect cooler weather beginning in October, and look out for snow and ice on the trail during the winter and early spring.
-Mapped by Chelise Simmons