Go beyond the neon to Mt. Charleston

Find peaceful hikes and cool temperatures west of Las Vegas, Nevada
J.C. Davis
Mary Jane Falls


Find shade while hiking to a seasonal waterfall and caves through a canopy of ponderosa pines and aspens. At only 2.4 miles round-trip, the well-maintained trail is the perfect length to stretch your legs; just watch out for the strenuous 1,000-foot climb. Don't miss a free guided hike to the falls (9-12 Jul 14; 702/515-5400). INFO: Trailhead is ¼ mile off Echo Rd., just past the fire station on State 157.

SHOP

The Holiday Shoppe
Celebrate Christmas in July at the small shop brimming with collectibles in glass, ceramic, and wood. INFO: Inside the Mt. Charleston Lodge, at the end of State 157; 702/872-0701.

EAT

Mt. Charleston Lodge Restaurant & Lounge
Head straight for the dining room and fill up on buffalo, elk, or ostrich burgers in the homey stalwart that's been welcoming hungry hikers for more than 50 years. While you're there, walk out to the deck for photo-worthy views of Mt. Charleston. INFO: $$$; 1200 Old Park Rd.; 800/955-1314.

STAY OVERNIGHT


The Hotel on Mt. Charleston (from $149; 702/872-5500) is the perfect place to begin or end a day. Drive State 157 up the mountain to the hotel, then stay on the third floor for rooms with balconies overlooking the duck-filled pond and nearby canyon. Fuel up with a cappuccino and a muffin at the hotel's Bistro ($$). On early weekend evenings, catch live jazz.

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