Up to Griffith Peak
I was visiting my sister in law in Las Vegas wih my wife and baby and I wanted to get in a llittle mountain adventure on the trip. I looked for the highest mountain in the area and after researching the trails decided that I would go up Charleston Peak, weather permitting.
I parked at the Cathedral Rock trailhead and I had to start my hike here to get to the south loop trail since the Cathedral Rock picnic area was closed for construction. I started up the trailhead at 5:45 am. Only 20 minutes into my climb there was already snow on the trail in the shady spots. Eventually I lost the trail a bit due to snow and had to scramble to get to the top of the ridge. Once on the ridge I turned back towards Griffith Peak. I again missed the trail going straight up to the peak because it was under a 10 foot snow drift so I took the long way and then just picked a spot to go straight up the mountain. I arrived at the peak at 7:40 am.
Sign to Griffith Peak from South Loop Trail.
View of Mummy Mountain from Griffith Peak.
View of Charleston Peak from Griffith Peak.
Griffith Peak to Charleston Peak
I headed down Griffith (along the trail this time) and continued on the south loop trail all the way to Charleston Peak. I ran a good portion of this section since a lot of it was gradual grades. The trail became steep as I approached the peak. The 52 peak club was hiking this day so I saw some of them near the summit and then the rest were on the summit when I got there. They took some pictures for me and even convinced me to join their club so I could get the ace of spades card with a picture of Charleson Peak. I arrived at the peak at 9:00 am.
Sitting on the tower on Charleston Peak.
Panoramic view from Charleston Peak including both Griffith Peak and Mummy Mountain.
My best impression of Mummy Mountain.
Charleston Peak to Mummy Mountain
After enjoying the peak I headed down the north loop trail. The views looking back at Charleston Peak and the ridge going back to Griffith Peak were beautiful. At first there was a lot of hard snow to navigate but a little ways down the snow became less of an obstacle and I was able to pick up the pace again.
When I got to the scree slope at the bottom of Mummy Mountain I almost considered skipping it, but I knew I would regret not going now when I was here. Going up the scree slope was very taxing on my tired legs. Once on that slope's ridge the hike was still difficult, but much more fun. The scrambling up a couple rock chutes finished the climb and I found myself on the top of the Mummy's tummy. The views back on my day's journey were awesome. I arrived at the peak at 11:15 am.
Last scramble on the way up to Mummy Mountain.
Panoramic view of the ridge from Griffith Peak to Charleston Peak from Mummy Mountain.
Mummy Mountain Back to Town
Going down the scree slope was a lot of fun. Dirty, but fun. I had to empty out my running shoes at the bottom since they were packed with rocks. I went pretty quick from the scree slope back to town down the north loop trail to canyon trail. It got much hotter as I descended and I wished I could have just stayed at the top of the mountains. I got back to the Cathedral Rock trailhead at 12:30 pm.
The weather and conditions were perfect for my hike/run with the exception of a few snow mounds blocking the trail. The hike was 20.27 miles and it took about 6 hours and 45 minutes. There was 7366 feet of elevation gain/loss according to Garmin. When you subtract my stops for navigation, photos, and scenery enjoyment I was moving in a forward direction for 4 hours and 50 minutes. That gives an average of 14:20 per mile while moving. Unless you plan on running a good portion of this hike I recommend allowing much more time.
The most difficult part of the hike was by far getting up to the peak of Mummy Mountain. In hindsight I would have started with Mummy instead of finishing with the hardest summit.
If you look at the attached GPX file please note that I did take a detour off of the South Loop Trail on the way up to the ridge and I also overshot Griffith Peak. After Griffith Peak I followed the North Loop Trail and path up to Mummy correctly.
This was my favorite hike/run to date and it only excites me to plan my next mountain trip.
Elevation chart of my hike.