Off the Beaten Path

Mt. Charleston - Cathedral Rock trail

By Judy Berman

There is an antidote for Las Vegas’ scorching summers.

The best way to escape the heat is to drive about 35 miles northwest of Vegas. That will take you to a spot that’s at least 20 degrees cooler.

Mount Charleston’s mountain, which is snow-capped for more than half the year, can be seen from parts of the Las Vegas Strip. (Wikipedia)

My brother, Hank, introduced us to Mount Charleston several years ago, and it’s been part of our annual visit to see him ever since.

From the deck of Mount Charleston Lodge, we have an excellent breakfast with a jaw-dropping view. At 11,916 feet, it is the highest mountain in both Spring Mountains and Clark County, in Nevada.

Green pine trees, the bluest of skies and white, puffy clouds are our backdrop.

Gorgeous homes and lodges are tucked into the mountainside.

This year, after our meal, we walked across the street to the state park and walked a bit on the Cathedral Rock trail. Maybe next year, we’ll venture farther into the park.

Walk in the woods - Pete Seeger - Mutts Comics - 9-2-15

view from Mt. Charleston Lodge - 2013
view from Mt. Charleston Lodge – 2013
view from Mt. Charleston - 2014
view from Mt. Charleston – 2014
My brother, Hank, and my hubby, Dave, in Cathedral Rock and Mt. Charleston Trailhead
My brother, Hank, and my hubby, Dave, in Cathedral Rock and Mt. Charleston Trailhead – 2015

What is your favorite ‘off the beaten path’ site?


Main Photo: Mt. Charleston – Cathedral Rock trail – View of Mummy Mountain from Cathedral Rock trail. Taken by Sarah Nichols of Las Vegas, Nevada on March 8, 2008.

Cartoon – Walk in the woods – quote by Pete Seeger – Mutt Comics. 9-2-15

Photos of Mt. Charleston – from 2013 to 2015 – by Judy Berman

Video – view from Mount Charleston Lodge

Mount Charleston Lodge – information –



  1. Wow! What a wonderful escape place and so amazing that it is only 35 miles from Vegas! And having your brother there too makes it even more special.

  2. A draw dropping view at breakfast…fabulous! 🙂 Eating breakfast while looking on at mountains, must wonderful. I know my Dad was always dreaming of living somewhere just like that, all a bit of fantasy in his mind, but he did love the great outdoors, and this is it!

    Something about those kind of mountains (with trees) reminds me of a well loved tv programme The Waltons. A bit stereotypical of me to mention that in respect to mountains in America I know, but it really does remind me of that lovely programme. You did a lot of travelling this summer Judy, bet your glad of the rest?! 🙂

    1. Suzy … My one aunt lived in the mountains in Pennsylvania and I loved visiting there. I am at peace when I’m walking in the woods and love the sound of water in a creek or riverbed.

      A couple of years ago, I tried to convince my brother to buy a home here. But his accounting business is in Vegas … and that would be quite a commute. Especially in the winter.

      If I could, I’d be on the road again. But there’s that little thing called being able to pay for it and our cats might miss us if we’re gone too much. 😉

  3. this is so pretty and i had no idea that this even existed. thanks for opening our eyes to it, judy. and what a contrast to vegas!

  4. Judy, I never would have imagined such a haven so near to Vegas. Your pictures are great.
    Almost everywhere we go, for whatever events or meetings, we have a collective habit of finding the most wonderful little hiking areas off the beaten path. Surprisingly, we often find them by asking local residents in small cafes! 😉

    1. Marylin … Next to visiting with my brother, Mt. Charleston is my favorite place to be when we’re in Vegas.

      I’ll have to keep your suggestion in mind. The next time we’re off the beaten path we’ll check with the locals for a place to hike. 😉

  5. Judy, I love the idea of family being together and hiking, sharing and making memories. Conversations are so much more interesting outdoors, enhanced in your case, with gorgeous heights, delicious food and fabulous scenery. Eating in a lodge with such a view is especially wonderful. I have a librarian cousin and husband who live in Las Vegas. I wonder if they have traveled to see Mount Charleston? She and I both went to BGSU and are close, note writers and cards exchanged.

    1. Robin … If your cousin hasn’t checked out this spot, please spread the word about how fabulous it is. Many hiking trails, skiing in winter – or, so I’m told. The food is scrumptious and the scenery divine. 😉

      1. I wrote her a note and told her about Mom’s fall but included this “breath of sunshine” discovery. I will let you know if she previously knew about it. I was coming back to say thanks for sharing.

  6. What a lovely way to spend time with brother Judy . I have to be honest I find this difficult because I like my own space , peace and quiet so I seek it out …think it’s mine , then see people out enjoying my spot and realise it was never mine in the first place 😃
    In truth I’m only too glad that people can appreciate the natural beauty of world . It’s for all to enjoy .

    1. Cherry … I have a couple of spots that I love to spend time in by myself. Then, when I feel recharged, I want to share what I’ve seen. I want to be able to say, “Hey! Did you see that? Isn’t that wonderful?” When you know they shared that view, you’ve bonded. 😉

  7. Hi Judy,

    The place sure looks lovely. The quality of life in such places is awesome… but I suppose can get somewhat boring at times.

    Would it mean that folks living on those slopes would need to go to Vegas for services?


    1. I believe there are some services nearby. While the place seems idyllic, like you, I might get restless living there year-round. When I was a teenager, we lived in the country and I really missed the huge village we had lived in as it had a roller skaking rink, was near a movie theater, and many other sites of interest. 😉

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