Not far from Las Vegas, Pahrump, Nevada, is a desert hideaway. When you tire of the night-life and debauchery of Sin City and feel the need to head into the hills for some back-to-nature activity, Pahrump has many hiking and biking trails for enjoying the desert backcountry.
Just outside of Pahrump, Spring Mountains and the Wheeler Wash have cool forests of pines and relics from the old charcoal production days (about 1875). You can hike to huge kilns once used for producing charcoal produced in the region. This region is part of a government research land called the Mt. Stirling Wilderness Study Area and is approximately 70,000 acres. The trail is about 13 miles long.
Mt. Charleston Loop
Found in the Spring Mountains is the Charleston Loop trail. Limestone cliffs, pine forests, and peace and quiet are abundant on the trail. If hiking, take time to look for 500-million-year-old fossils along the trail that are left over from the ocean that used to cover the land. The full loop is approximately 14.5 miles in length.
A great "trail," Mt. Stirling is a true get-away. While the trail can become broken and hard to follow, the Mt. Stirling area is a trail the experienced backcountry traveler will certainly enjoy. Make sure to wear or bring long-sleeved shirts and long pants, as part of this trail requires trudging through thick brush.
Rising thousands of feet out of the Chicago Valley is the Nopah Range. An 18-mile crest trail, the Nopah Range trail is found along the California/Nevada border. Sedimentary rock and limestone dominate these mountains. Bighorn sheep are frequently spotted and the area is home to eagles.
Article Written By Eric Cedric
A former Alaskan of 20 years, Eric Cedric now resides in California. He's published in "Outside" and "Backpacker" and has written a book on life in small-town Alaska, "North by Southeast." Cedric was a professional mountain guide and backcountry expedition leader for 18 years. He worked in Russia, Iceland, Greece, Turkey and Belize. Cedric attended Syracuse University and is a private pilot.