Bonanza Trail

Las Vegas, Nevada 89143

Bonanza Trail

Bonanza Trail Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"The Bonanza Trail offers excellent scenery and views of Charleston and McFarland peaks, as well as expansive vistas of the surrounding desert topography. The first 3 miles of trail climb steeply from the toe of the range almost to the summit of Bonanza Peak, traveling through a wide variety of flora that begins in pinyon-pine-juniper woodland, ascends through a mixed forest of white firs, ponderosa pines and limber pines, and culminates near the crest of the range amid bristlecone pines.

Much of the middle section closely follows the crest of the Spring Mountains, offering nearly continuous views before a 4-mile descent takes you down to the south trailhead. One of the most secluded trails in Mt. Charleston Wilderness, this route sees relatively little use, perhaps due to the length and a remote trailhead at the northeast end of the range. If you appreciate solitude, this trail is definitely your best bet in the area."

Bonanza Trail Reviews

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This trail was gorgeous. It wound through different forest types at all of the altitudes with ponderosa pines that towered over you. Definately a workout but well worth the views at the top. In all directions there were great was awesome. Great place to stop for lunch. Bring warmer clothes for the upper altitudes. Plan on 2 1/2 hours up and back minimum.
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Aside from my personal physical problems for which I was not prepared (altitude sickness), it was very, very beautiful. I'm from the East Coast, and it was refreshing to be totally alone (the isolation bit in the guide is true) in a landscape dominated by western pines and views of the desert and snow-capped peaks, all new to me. If you're not sensitive to altitude, I highly recommend this hike.
The spring was strong when I was there (late May), and was also my camp for the night. Each day's hike was around 5 hours (I hiked in at about 1pm and out at 11:30am the next day), so I needed no more than the 2 liters I was carrying each day...don't be scared off by that factor. The trail is not blazed, but the only time that was an issue for me was literally at the very beginning: at the trailhead there's a very clearly defined path that seems right but isn't, going into a bit of woods, and then there's the actual trail going in the other direction through a bit of dry rocky desert-ish terrain, sort of scratched out and barely visible from the parking area until you're on it for a few hundred yards. Luckily for me there was a local out there with some friends who pointed me in the right direction (after wandering around confusedly on small loop trails and through camp sites in the woods for about 45 minutes, until I went back to the parking area...duh.). Just follow the arrow to the trail like I didn't, and you should be fine once you're on it. Other than that, be aware to which of the two parking areas you are headed when you come to the gravel junction of Bristlecone Loop and Bonanza trails. I took the 2 mile or so way out which led me to the upper lot by the ski resort, which was not the lot where my pick-up ride was supposed to meet me...but never fear! I followed the road down a ways until I came to the appropriate place at the other end of the loop. THE END

Bonanza Trail Photos

Trail Information

Las Vegas
Nearby City
5,400 feet
Elevation Gain
Trail Type
Moderate to Difficult
Skill Level
2 days
Usually open late May to mid-October; best June
Las Vegas Ranger District, Mount Charleston Wilderness
Local Contacts
USGS Cold Creek, Willow Peak, Wheeler Well, Charleston Peak
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Dec 2018