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Type: Outdoor Activities, Parks, Skiing
The Spring Mountains National Recreation Area is part of the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest. Better known to locals as Mount Charleston, it's just 30 minutes from downtown Las Vegas and encompasses... Read More
The Spring Mountains National Recreation Area is part of the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest. Better known to locals as Mount Charleston, it's just 30 minutes from downtown Las Vegas and encompasses more than 316,000 acres of remarkable beauty and surprising diversity. During the winter months, skiing is a top draw; when the weather warms, hiking trails become incredibly popular. Camping and picnicking are also prominent, and folks have been known to encounter wild horses and elk when they're taking advantage of the terrain's natural beauty. The area is actually home to more than 50 sensitive plants and animals, some of which are found nowhere else in the world. Other activities include horseback riding, mountain biking and rock climbing.
- Visitor Center: Daily 9am-4pm
- Parks: "Be sure to stop in at the new Spring Mountains Visitor Center in Kyle Canyon. The 128-acre complex was built on a failed golf course and now offers trails, exhibits and a center that details the history of the area."
- Things to Do in December: "If you're heading to Mt. Charleston after a recent snow storm, check ahead to see if chains/snow tires are required. With heavy snows, some roads might be closed."
- Best for Parks Because: The mountain oasis of Mount Charleston is a cool alternative to Las Vegas, offering snow play in winter and a cool mountain retreat in summer.
- Best for Things to Do in December Because: Las Vegas might not get much wintry weather, but the Mt. Charleston area offers snow play, two lodges and even a ski resort.