Mary Jane Falls Trail
- Physical DifficultyThis is the average user-submitted rating on the physical difficulty of this route. In general, green is beginner, blue is intermediate, black is advanced/most difficult and double-black is expert-only. It is recommended that users build up to black and double-black routes.
- Technical DifficultyThis is the average user-submitted rating on the technical difficulty of this route. In general, green is beginner, blue is intermediate, black is advanced/most difficult and double-black is expert-only. It is recommended that users build up to black and double-black routes.
The popular Mary Jane Falls trail leads slowly up to a small waterfall in the heart of the Mount Charleston Valley. From this vantage point you will have fantastic views up the face of Charleston Peak, all from the secluded amphitheater that has formed around the falls.
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Route Description for Mary Jane Falls Trail
From the Mary Jane Falls trailhead, find the wide path that starts ascending gradually. As the trail continues, the grade will slowly increase. You will hike deeper into the valley before tackling a series of switchbacks up its right side. Your final destination is the visible cliff band up above.
The Mary Jane Falls trail is mostly loose gravel, so take care on the steeper switchbacks! Don’t attempt to cut the switchbacks, as this causes huge trail erosion and makes the trail very difficult to maintain. After reaching the cliff band, the route will start to traverse to the left, and shortly you will arrive at the Mary Jane Falls.
Mary Jane Falls is a stunning, small waterfall situated in a wonderful rocky amphitheater. There is usually plenty of shade, which makes it a nice place to stop and relax after the hike up! You will also have fantastic views up to Charleston Peak, and its steep, craggy east aspect.
After taking a nice long break return the way you came, take extreme care on the way down!
Hiking Trail Highlights
Mary Jane Falls
The short hike to Mary Jane Falls is one of the most popular excursions from Las Vegas, and a great way to shake off the lights and clamor of Sin City! This tall cascade is a seasonal waterfall, which only comes to life if there has been sufficient precipitation over the winter months. Like the neighboring Big Falls, Mary Jane Falls comes into existence with the spring snowmelt, and usually continues until early summer.
The views from Mary Jane Falls are spectacular, encompassing a large portion of Kyle Canyon. The cascade is encircled by a natural limestone amphitheater, with two nearby caves hollowed out of the rock. Although spring is a wonderful time to see the gushing water at its fullest flow, the falls are also spectacular in winter, suspended in time with tall ice sculptures.
Mount Charleston is the highest peak in the Spring Mountains, Nevada, rising up to an elevation of 3,632 m. It’s also a particularly prominent peak, dominating the skyline in this beautiful corner of Nevada. In the local Southern Paiute language, the mountain is known as ‘Nuvagantu’, which literally translates to ‘where snow sits’. The mountain carries a mantle of snow for around half the year, and its white, prominent peak can even be seen from parts of the Las Vegas Strip.
The mountain takes its modern name from the city of Charleston, South Caroline, allegedly as a mark of support for southern sympathizers. It is also remembered locally as the site of a deadly plane crash in 1955, when a CIA Military Air Transport Service plane crashed into the mountain during a blizzard. Debris from the crash, and a recently unveiled memorial can still be seen along the trail. Today, however, Mount Charleston is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts, and a wonderful spot for a strenuous hike. The views from the summit are some of the best in Nevada, offering a panorama that includes the Sierra Nevada, Death Valley and Las Vegas.
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Insider Hints for Mary Jane Falls Trail
- This hike can be very snowy in the early season. Phone the visitor centre before committing to the drive from Las Vegas.
- This trail is open to dogs.
Getting to the Mary Jane Falls Trail Trailhead
To get to the Mary Jane Falls trailhead, from Las Vegas follow Route 95 North until just after you pass the city limits. From here watch out for Nevada 157, with signs towards Mount Charleston. Turn left here to continue along this gradually climbing road for just over 32.2 km. Nearing the end of Route 157 you will turn right onto Echo Rd., with signs pointing towards Mary Jane Falls and Trail Canyon. Turn into the Trail Canyon parking lot then follow the dirt road that leads from it towards the Mary Jane parking lot.
Mary Jane Falls Trail Elevation Graph
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Mary Jane Falls Trail Reviews
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