Cross the road from the parking lot and head north to the trailhead kiosk. From the trailhead the trail follows the Fletcher Canyon wash at a fairly easy grade in a northwesterly direction. At about 0.4 miles there is a junction with the Eagle Nest Trail. Continue straight towards Fletcher Canyon (northwest). Enter Mt Charleston Wilderness half a mile up the trail. At 1.3 miles the limestone cliffs narrow and will continue to get narrower the further up the canyon you hike.
At about 1.5 miles make sure to take the trail that ascends along the south wall of the canyon instead of the trail that stays low or you’ll end up doing some bushwhacking before rejoining the main trail. We saw a sharp-shinned hawk flying off with breakfast in this location. The trail drops back down to the wash and the canyon walls get closer. Just beyond this the trail opens up to a green section filled with wildflowers in the spring that attract hummingbirds and insects. After hopping over a couple of downed trees and up and over some smaller boulders you will enter the final and tightest section of the canyon walls. The narrows wind for a couple of hundred feet before reaching a giant boulder which blocks the canyon.
If you’re a good scrambler you can continue past the smooth choke boulder and further up the canyon. Not your style? Take a while to admire the water chute carved in the bottom of the boulder before retracing your steps back down the canyon, through the forest to your vehicle.
This is a great trail for birdwatching.
Check the weather before you go up into the narrow part of the canyon. Don’t get caught in a flash flood.
Elevation gain is 1,000ft in 1.9 miles.
- State: NV
- City: Las Vegas
- Distance: 3.8
- Contact: Forest Service: (702) 515-5400 or Visitor Center: (702) 872-5486
- Land Type: National Forest