This out and back adventure involves starting at the Charleston Peak South Climb Trailhead, summiting Griffith Peak, taking the South Rim of Kyle Canyon from Griffith to Charleston Peak, then returning down the South Climb Trail back to that Trailhead. Adding Griffith Peak to the adventure is a relatively short detour (about 1/2 mile each way off the main route) and well worth the effort. Griffith Peak is lightly forested with bristlecone pine trees making it more attractive than the barren Charleston Peak and the views are unique including the Las Vegas Valley, Las Vegas Strip, Gass Peak, portions of the Rainbow Mountains above Red Rock Park, Frenchman Mountain and in the distance Lake Mead, the La Madre Mountains Wilderness, Lovell Canyon, Potasi Mountain and other points of interest. In addition, from Griffith Peak you can see your entire route along the South Rim of Kyle Canyon all the way to Charleston Peak. You will soon be standing on Charleston Peak (5 miles away) and looking back on Griffith Peak. There are unique views of the Spring Mountains from Griffith and Charleston Peak including Fletcher Peak, Mummy Mountain, Charleston Peak and Griffith Peak. In all this adventure is pretty amazing.
On this day I also scope out – from above – a potential route from Cathedral Rock to the summit of the South Rim of Kyle Canyon. View this adventure from Cathedral Rock. I still have a few dots to connect. I also add a cool route deviation that takes you along the very cliff edge of the upper South Rim of Kyle Canyon offering spectacular views along the way before descending to the site of the 1955 plane crash wreckage. Ascending from the wreckage I continue along the very edge of the cliff all the way up to Charleston Peak. The route deviations are not dangerous as long as you keep a few feet from the edge of the cliff at all times, and actually involve less descent and re-ascent than if you had stayed on the main trail all the way.
The out and back trip in total is about 19 miles with an elevation gain of about 4,500ft and if you count the ascent and descent along the way between Griffith and Charleston Peak you can add another 1oooft to total 5,500ft or more.
See the trailhead directions to the South Climb trail on the Griffith Peak page of this site.