Adventurer | 296 pts
My son (8 yr. old) and I drove up from Las Vegas to this trail, about 50 minutes from the Strip. The elevation gain to the parking lot is about 5000 ft. above Vegas and the Tempature surprised us when we got out of the car (64 deg in town, 38 deg. at the trailhead). We started out on the trail at the lower trailhead only passing 4 hikers coming down and 2 going up on a Tuesday morning. The walk is nice and wide with the first 1/4 mile dirt, followed by a gravel incline up through most of the 1996 avalanche area. This is a nice grown up section with Aspen trees turning yellow. Lots of overlooks and good pictures of the surrounding hills and mountains. At about 1/4 mile from the top the climb gets a steeper and you get some great looks at some huge pines. The top can be very windy, although not this morning. The Palmer Chipmunks were out, begging for food, and were a treat to watch. After a snack at the top we came down the same way, only to take another route back to the upper trailhead inadvertantly. We followed the dirt trail just above Kyle Canyon road that took us back to the Parking Lot. The entire trip took us about 2-1/2 hours and was very enjoyable, coming away with some great pictures.