This is the traditional most popular (for most people the only) route to the summit of Harris Mountain. You really need a 4WD vehicle to get to the trailhead. I have traveled nearly to the trailhead by mountain bike, which also works great.
Start out at the intersection of Kyle Canyon Road and upper Harris Springs Road in the Mt. Charleston Wilderness, Nevada. Get to this intersection by heading up Hwy 95 from Las Vegas, taking the Mt. Charleston/Kyle Canyon turnoff (left) onto Kyle Canyon Road just past the Skye Canyon exit. Travel about 12 miles up Kyle Canyon Road. There are 2 intersections with Harris Springs Road. Pass the first, lower intersection and continue about 5 miles further to the second, upper intersection with Harris Springs Road. Turn left into a large parking area.
If you have a 4WD vehicle continue on Harris Springs Road (the left branch from the parking area). In about a mile or so there is an initial left turn heading down Harris Springs Road to its lower intersection with Kyle Canyon Road. Do not take this left turn, but rather, continue straight on Harris Springs Road toward the town of Harris Springs. In another mile or so take a right turn onto Harris Mountain Road. Now the going gets truly 4WD. Continue up Harris Mountain Road until you see a small parking area which can be used as the trailhead for Harris Mountain. Alternately, if you continue further up Harris Mountain Road until it ends, you could use the Griffith Peak Trailhead there to ascend Harris Mountain Summit — a round-trip hike of about 6 miles.
Harris Mountain Road is interesting in that it was once part of a highway project during the 30’s depression that was discontinued in 1935 when the chief engineer could not tell President Roosevelt with certainty where the road was headed. Actually, the road was meant to head down into Lovell Canyon where it would connect with Lovell Canyon Road.
As of the writing of this article, I have explored Harris Mountain Road by mountain bike, but have not yet traveled all the way to the Griffith Peak Trailhead at the very end of Harris Mountain Road, partly because I started out at the lower intersection of Kyle Canyon and Harris Springs Roads — a much longer haul!
I understand that it’s about 2.5 miles from the Griffith Peak Trailhead at the end of Harris Mountain Road to the Griffith/Harris saddle. I did reach this saddle on an earlier approach from the South Climb Trailhead at Cathedral Rock during the Harris / Griffith Circuit Adventure . This adventure included summiting both Harris Mountain and Griffith Peak by a much longer circuit route that took more time than the entire Charleston Loop, due to the long wilderness stretches!
This leaves about 2.5 miles of the Harris Mountain Trail that I have yet to traverse: From the end of Harris Mountain Road to the Griffith / Harris saddle.
Once you reach the Griffith / Harris Saddle, take a right and it’s just a half-mile ascent to Harris Mountain Summit. I have not found a trail from the Griffith / Harris Saddle to Harris Mountain summit. Just head straight up until you can ascend upward no longer!
Same with heading to Griffith Peak from the Griffith Harris saddle. Only in this case, turn left at the Griffith / Harris saddle. There actually is a trail at first that gets you past the cliff area, then disappears. Once again, just keep heading upward until you reach the summit. Note: This is a much longer, somewhat brutal stretch!
Admittedly, the entire area is wild and beautiful. And working out the wilderness navigation makes it very interesting!