Fifteen minutes from the Strip, this after-work or weekend-morning dayhike offers more than accessible relief from the busy Vegas streets. Views run the gamut from expansive desertscapes and sandy, washed-out basins to elfin cacti with lustrous flowers and long-forsaken, rusted vehicles.
This mostly flat route cuts through open valley between two 3,000-foot-high ridges. After a 2.5-mile warm-up, push up your sleeves for a quick, steep climb to a summit with little to obstruct your view. Enjoy the scenery, but don’t dawdle next to the summit’s fenced Southern Highlands Radio Tower (radio waves may exceed the FCC general public exposure limit beyond the fence). From this vantage point, the Strip looks like a 1960s architecture model. Sheep, Arrow Canyon and Muddy Mountain Ranges rise up out of the city’s haze, appearing to abut Vegas even though they are another 45 minutes north. Retrace your route back to the trailhead.
-Mapped by Chelisse Simmons
- Distance: 12.0
Location: 35.987793, -115.2079849
The trailhead is at the end of Chartan Avenue, off Southern Highlands Parkway. Walk along the right side of the fence and head south up the unnamed trail. After reaching the end of the fence, bear right up the hill. Don’t walk to the top; stay just below the crest. Then, drop back down and merge onto the dirt road.
Location: 35.9846497, -115.2085953
Merge back onto the use-trail.
Location: 35.980545, -115.2080078
Head down the hill toward the road below. The radio tower is in view.
Location: 35.9732829, -115.213151
Turn left and follow the dirt road south; mountain views can be seen on both sides. Go and explore the abandoned hot tub and deserted cars.
Location: 35.9575958, -115.2025833
Bear left and begin a short, but steep climb.
Location: 35.9542618, -115.1947403
Although you’re very close to the radio tower and summit, take a moment to stop and admire the views. Turn around to face the valley–the Strip is directly north. Mountains are on either side of this point.
Location: 35.9513512, -115.1920242
This 3,300-foot summit offers 360-degree views of Vegas. Desert flowers bloom in the spring. Don’t get too close to the summit’s fenced Southern Highlands Radio Tower. A sign warns that radio waves may exceed the FCC general public exposure limit beyond the fence. Retrace your route to Waypoint 4, then bear left @ Y-junction.
Location: 35.9788895, -115.2147675
Turn right onto the dirt road. Feel like exploring further? Bear left and follow the road to more desert vistas, then retrace your steps.
Location: 35.9833145, -115.2133408
Take a hard right off the main road. Merge onto the eastbound road that parallels the paved residential streets to the left. Continue east, then north to reach the trailhead.
Location: 35.9875603, -115.208168
Location: 35.9860535, -115.2084351
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Location: 35.9704285, -115.2117157
Location: 35.968029, -115.2099457
Location: 35.9643565, -115.2077007
Location: 35.9577332, -115.2024841
Vegas Strip Views
Location: 35.9565773, -115.1976013
Location: 35.9532051, -115.193428
Location: 35.9514275, -115.192009
Views South on I-15
Location: 35.9514885, -115.192131