Fall Foliage Near Las Vegas: When Will The Mount Charleston Area Peak?

The neon of the Las Vegas Strip isn’t the only color you’ll find in Southern Nevada. Spring Mountains National Recreation Area, which includes Mount Charleston, puts on a glorious fall color show.

We visited the Mount Charleston area on September 23, 2021 to find color that was mostly a Patchy 10% along Kyle Canyon and Lee Canyon Roads.

One place where there was a lot of Peak to Near Peak color? An area up on the mountains above the Kyle Canyon Picnic Area where a lot of golds and oranges decorated the upper canyon walls. That color will likely be All Gone soon.

Aspens on the Cathedral Rock and the NRT trail were starting to dress up in yellow. I had called the Spring Mountains office of the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest and the person I spoke with there recommended this walk. It was the perfect choice! While I watched over my 90-year-old mother-in-law in the car, my hubby, Patrick Wilkes, hiked along that trail to find some aspen action.

The baby aspens near the burned area and closer to the trail were starting to turn yellow. Patrick estimates they were at the Getting Better stage: about 30%. Farther up the hill, the aspens were a gold-orange. He estimates those trees were at Peak at around 75%. The taller trees closer to the trail hadn’t progressed as far—they were a Patchy 10%.    

Patchy fall color at Cathedral Rock/NRT Trail, Spring Mountains, Nevada
9-23-2021: Cathedral Rock/NRT Trail, Spring Mountains, Patrick Wilkes

We estimate Peak in the Mount Charleston area will occur between October 1 – October 10. The next two weekends should have some stellar color.

Overall Area: Patchy (20%)

Kyle and Lee Canyon Roads: Patchy (10%)

Aspens above Kyle Canyon Picnic Area: Peak (100%)

Cathedral Rock/NRT Trail Baby Aspens: Getting Better (30%)

Aspens High Above the Cathedral Rock/NRT Trail: Peak (75%)

Cathedral Rock/NRT Trail Other Aspens: Patchy (10%)

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