birdandhike.com logo
Home | Wilderness | Hiking | Mt Charleston | Backroads
Kyle Canyon Road
Backroads Around Las Vegas, Spring Mountains (Mt. Charleston)
Kyle Canyon Road
Kyle Canyon Road
Highway 95 approaching Kyle Canyon Road (view N)

Overview

Kyle Canyon Road is a maintained state highway (Hwy 157) that runs west from U.S. Highway 95 to the top of Kyle Canyon in the high mountains of the Spring Mountains National Conservation Area. The road begins low in the desert and climbs through several life zones to a cool, high-elevation forested canyon. From many areas, views extend to peaks above treeline.

The road provides access to numerous outdoor recreation sites (e.g., hiking, picnicking, and camping areas), as well as two lodges, the town of Mount Charleston, and tremendous scenery all around.

Link to map.

Kyle Canyon Road
Kyle Canyon Rd; low-elevation Mojave Desert Scrub

Watch Out

Other than the standard warnings about driving in the desert, ...this is a fairly safe drive. The road is a regular state highway with normal highway grades, signs, and safety features. Nonetheless, always watch for crazy drivers careening around blind corners. There is no gasoline on the mountain.

While out, please respect the land and the other people out there, and try to Leave No Trace of your passage. Also, even though this is a paved road, be sure to bring what you need of the 10 Essentials.

Kyle Canyon Road
Kyle Canyon Rd; high-elevation Mojave Desert Scrub

Getting to the Roadhead

This road is located off Highway 95 (the highway to Reno) about 20 minutes northwest of Las Vegas.

From town, drive north on Highway 95. Just past the outskirts of town, arrive at Kyle Canyon Road (Highway 157; Table 1, Site 0667). Turn left onto Kyle Canyon Road and drive west into Kyle Canyon and the Spring Mountains National Conservation Area.

Kyle Canyon Road
Kyle Canyon Road; Pinyon-Juniper Woodland

The Road

While this road might be just a way to get somewhere, it is better thought of as a scenic tour through the landforms and habitat types of southern Nevada.

The road starts in the seemingly flat and barren desert, but is Mojave Desert Scrub dominated by creosote bush , mojave yucca, and few other shrubs. During summer, this area is so hot and dry that few plants and animals survive here.

Kyle Canyon Road
Spring Mts Visitor Center (view W)

As the road climbs towards the distant peaks, the road gains enough elevation to moderate the temperatures and receive a bit more precipitation. Here, the Mojave Desert Scrub becomes "lush," and a variety of shrubs (e.g., apache plume, stansbury cliffrose, desert almond) join the mix.

The road climbs past the last of the houses and drops into Kyle Wash. Here the road winds back and forth following the canyon. Initially, the road cuts through a narrow canyon where paleozoic limestones are exposed in the road cuts. Limestones are laid down on the bottom of an ocean, and each layer represents different water conditions: colder, warmer, deeper, shallower. These are stone pages from the book of the history of the earth.

Kyle Canyon Road
Kyle Canyon Road; Ponderosa Pine Forest

The canyon widens a bit, and the highway passes the turn off for Grapevine Spring Road (9.9 miles out, Site 1292). This rough dirt road leads northwest into the rugged foothills of the Spring Mountains.

Beyond Grapevine Spring Road, the canyon walls mostly are conglomerate rock that eroded from the mountain peaks, washed down the hillsides, and were deposited in this area. Remaining in place for thousands of years, the eroded materials became cemented together, and then were cut through by Kyle Creek revealing the features seen today. Watch for erosion holes in the cliffs and hoodoos along the road where the wash bottom is full of shrubs.

Shortly, the highway passes Harris Spring Road (12.6 miles out, Site 0764), on the left. Harris Spring Road runs out to the Griffith Peak Trailhead, which unfortunately remains closed after the 2013 Carpenter One Fire.

Kyle Canyon Road
Former Spring Mountains Ranger Station

As the road climbs higher, it enters the Pinyon-Juniper Woodland zone. Here, short trees (single-leaf pinyon pine and Utah juniper) begin to appear growing among dense thickets of mountain mahogany and other shrubs. Watch for Panamint Chipmunks and Chukar along the highway.

The highway climbs rather steeply and winds a bit, but eventually the grade eases and the road straightens. In this area, watch for Telephone Canyon Road (15.5 miles out, Site 1279), on the right. This road leads a short distance to Telephone Canyon Trailhead.

Shortly ahead, the highway is interrupted by a round-about at the entrance to the Spring Mountains Visitor Center (16.3 miles out, Site 1610), then passes The Resort on Mount Charleston (16.9 miles out, Site 1291).

Kyle Canyon Road
Kyle Canyon Road at Echo Road (at right)

About the time Kyle Canyon Road reaches Deer Creek Road (17.5 miles out, Site 0727), which runs north across the face of the mountains to Lee Canyon, tall ponderosa pine appear and the road enters true woods. The road then passes Kyle Canyon Campground (17.9 miles out, Site 1288) on the left.

Shortly, the highway passes Fletcher Canyon Trailhead (18.1 miles out, Site 1003), on the left. This trailhead provides access to some nice hiking and bird watching opportunities.

Continuing, the road passes the Spring Mountains Ranger Station (18.2 miles out, Site 0726), on the left, and Fletcher View Campground (18.3 miles out, Site 0966), also on the left.

Kyle Canyon Road
Mt. Charleston Lodge; Pine-Fir Forest

Continuing up the canyon, the conditions of life become cooler and more moist, and white fir begins to appear. This is a tree species more typical of higher elevations, but it finds refuge in the cool shadows of Kyle Canyon. The road passes Mount Charleston town, with various neighborhoods, an elementary school, a public library, and the fire station (ranging from 19.0 to 20.0 miles out).

Beyond the fire station, the paved Echo Road forks to the right (20.4 miles out, Site 0733). Echo Road leads to the Echo Trailhead, Mary Jane Fall Trailhead, Trail Canyon Trailhead, and another neighborhood. Staying to the left on the main road at the fork, the road crosses Kyle Wash and does a hairpin turn to climb onto the south side of the canyon.

Kyle Canyon Road
End of the road (view E)

The road climbs steeply (watch for rockfall on the roadway) and enters the Mount Charleston Lodge area (20.9 miles out), on the left. A bit farther along, the road passes the turnoff (21.0 miles out, Site 1289) to Lower Cathedral Rock Trailhead.

Shortly, the road passes the left turn into the main Mount Charleston Lodge area (21.1 miles out, Site 1290). This leads to the restaurant and front desk of the lodge.

Continuing, the highway passes the entrance to Cathedral Rock Picnic Area (21.2 miles out) and loops around at the end of the road to head back towards the Mount Charleston Lodge and starts back down Kyle Canyon.

(link to selected downhill photos).

Additional Photos with the Details

Kyle Canyon Road
Highway 95, northbound approaching Kyle Canyon Rd on left
Kyle Canyon Road
Highway 95, Kyle Canyon Rd sign
Kyle Canyon Road
Highway 95, northbound approaching Kyle Canyon Rd on left
Kyle Canyon Road
Highway 95, Mt Charleston (Kyle Canyon Rd) sign
Kyle Canyon Road
Highway 95, northbound at Kyle Canyon Rd on left
Kyle Canyon Road
Highway 95, northbound at Kyle Canyon Rd on left
Kyle Canyon Road
Starting up (west) on Kyle Canyon Road
Kyle Canyon Road
Kyle Canyon Road in the low desert Mojave Desert Scrub
Kyle Canyon Road
Kyle Canyon Road in the low desert Mojave Desert Scrub
Kyle Canyon Road
Kyle Canyon Road, fire danger sign
Kyle Canyon Road
Kyle Canyon Road at Red Rock Canyon NCA boundary sign
Kyle Canyon Road
Red Rock Canyon NCA boundary sign
Kyle Canyon Road
Kyle Canyon Road, dropping into Kyle Wash
Kyle Canyon Road
Kyle Canyon Road in the low desert Mojave Desert Scrub
Kyle Canyon Road
Kyle Canyon Road in Kyle Wash
Kyle Canyon Road
Kyle Canyon Road in Kyle Wash
Kyle Canyon Road
Kyle Canyon Road in Kyle Wash
Kyle Canyon Road
Kyle Canyon Road in Kyle Wash; hoodoos on left
Kyle Canyon Road
Kyle Canyon Road in Kyle Wash
Kyle Canyon Road
Kyle Canyon Road in Kyle Wash
Kyle Canyon Road
Kyle Canyon Road at Spring Mountains NRA boundary
Kyle Canyon Road
Kyle Canyon Road at Spring Mountains NRA boundary
Kyle Canyon Road
Spring Mountains NRA boundary sign
Kyle Canyon Road
Kyle Canyon Rd at uphill chain-up area
Kyle Canyon Road
Kyle Canyon Rd at downhill chain-up area
Kyle Canyon Road
Kyle Canyon Rd approaching Harris Springs Road (at left)
Kyle Canyon Road
Kyle Canyon Rd approaching Harris Springs Road (at left)
Kyle Canyon Road
Kyle Canyon Rd approaching Harris Springs Road (at left)
Kyle Canyon Road Kyle Canyon Road
Kyle Canyon Road
Kyle Canyon Road; getting to the tree zone
Kyle Canyon Road
Kyle Canyon Road at Lower Telephone Canyon Trailhead (arrow)
Kyle Canyon Road
Kyle Canyon Road; Fletcher Peak in background
Kyle Canyon Road
Kyle Canyon Road at The Resort on Mount Charleston, on left
Kyle Canyon Road Kyle Canyon Road
Kyle Canyon Road at Deer Creek Road, on right
Kyle Canyon Road
Kyle Canyon Road at Deer Creek Road, on right
Kyle Canyon Road
Kyle Canyon Road at Kyle Canyon Campground, on left
Kyle Canyon Road
Kyle Canyon Road at Kyle Canyon Campground
Kyle Canyon Road
Kyle Canyon Road at former Spring Mountains Visitor Center
Kyle Canyon Road
Former Spring Mountains Visitor Center sign
Kyle Canyon Road
Former Spring Mountains Visitor Center
Kyle Canyon Road
Information sign showing life zones
Kyle Canyon Road
Kyle Canyon Road at Fletcher View Campground, on left
Kyle Canyon Road
Kyle Canyon Road in Pine-Fir Forest
Kyle Canyon Road
Kyle Canyon Road at Rainbow Canyon Blvd (at left)
Kyle Canyon Road
Kyle Canyon Road at Ponderosa Pine Dr (at left)
Kyle Canyon Road
Kyle Canyon Road at Stanley B Springs Trailhead
Kyle Canyon Road
Kyle Canyon Road at Old Town (elementary school at left)
Kyle Canyon Road
Kyle Canyon Road at Old Town fire station
Kyle Canyon Road
Kyle Canyon Road
Kyle Canyon Road
Kyle Canyon Road approaching Echo Road (at right)
Kyle Canyon Road
Kyle Canyon Road at Echo Road (at right)
Kyle Canyon Road
Kyle Canyon Road at Echo Road highway sign
Kyle Canyon Road
Kyle Canyon Road after the hairpin turn
Kyle Canyon Road
Kyle Canyon Rd approaching Cathedral Rock Trail overflow parking
Kyle Canyon Road Kyle Canyon Road
Kyle Canyon Road
Kyle Canyon Rd approaching the lodge
Kyle Canyon Road
Kyle Canyon Rd approaching Cathedral Rock Trailhead turnoff
Kyle Canyon Road
Kyle Canyon Rd approaching Mt. Charleston Lodge (on left)
Kyle Canyon Road
Kyle Canyon Rd beyond the lodge splits to one-way
Kyle Canyon Road
Cathedral Rock Picnic Area sign
Kyle Canyon Road
Kyle Canyon Rd beyond the lodge loops around
Kyle Canyon Road
Kyle Canyon Rd returning past the lodge (at right)
Kyle Canyon Road
Turning into Mt. Charleston Lodge parking
Kyle Canyon Road
Mt. Charleston Lodge
Link to selected downhill photos

Table 1. Backroad Coordinates (NAD27; UTM Zone 11S). Download Roadway GPS Waypoints (*.gpx) file.

Site Location UTM Easting UTM Northing Latitude (N) Longitude (W) Elevation (ft) Verified
0551 Lower Cathedral Rock Trailhead Parking 621413 4013173 36.25766 115.64854 7,671 Yes
0667 Hwy 95 at Kyle Canyon Rd 651544 4021405 36.32758 115.31167 2,820 Yes
0726 Spring Mts Visitor Center 624625 4013814 36.26303 115.61269 6,932 Yes
0727 Kyle Cyn Rd at Deer Creek Rd 625575 4013970 36.26431 115.60209 6,800 Yes
0733 Kyle Canyon Rd at Echo Rd 621129 4013659 36.26208 115.65163 7,697 Yes
0764 Kyle Canyon Rd at Harris Spr Rd 632942 4015180 36.27423 115.51990 5,400 Yes
0966 Fletcher View Campground 624388 4013767 36.26263 115.61534 6,940 Yes
1003 Fletcher Canyon Trailhead Parking 624784 4013859 36.26341 115.61091 6,945 Yes
1279 Kyle Cyn Rd at Telephone Cyn Rd 628562 4014691 36.27042 115.56873 6,381 Yes
1285 Stanley B Spring Trailhead Parking 622807 4013427 36.25977 115.63298 7,284 Yes
1288 Kyle Cyn Rd at Kyle Canyon Campground 624982 4013848 36.26329 115.60871 6,969 Yes
1289 Kyle Canyon Rd at Cathedral Rock Picnic Area 621582 4013115 36.25711 115.64667 7,687 Yes
1290 Kyle Canyon Rd at Mt Charleston Lodge 621730 4013156 36.25746 115.64501 7,625 Yes
1291 Kyle Canyon Rd at The Resort on Mt Charleston 626314 4014558 36.26952 115.59377 6,782 Yes
1292 Kyle Canyon Rd at Grapevine Spring Rd 637224 4015493 36.27645 115.47219 4,833 Yes
1610 Kyle Canyon Road at Visitor Center Road 627171 4014889 36.27238 115.58419 6,601 Yes

Happy Hiking! All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
copyright; Last updated 170721

Backroads Hiking Around Las Vegas Glossary Copyright, Conditions, Disclaimer Home

 

Google Ads