Fletcher Canyon Trail Hike

Fletcher Canyon Trail Hike

In This Guide
  • Fletcher Canyon Trail Hike Directions & Video
  • How to Get to Fletcher Canyon Trail
  • Fletcher Canyon Trail Maps
Distance3.4 miles (5.5 km)
Hike Time1:30 - 2 Hours (Total)
DifficultyEasy
Total Ascent (?)980 feet (299m)
Highest Elevation7,841 feet (2390m)
Fees & PermitsParking Fee
Dog FriendlyLeashed
Park ContactSpring Mountains National Recreation Area
Park Phone702-872-5486

The Fletcher Canyon Trail is a beautiful hike nestled in the Mt. Charleston Wilderness Area, within an hour of the Las Vegas Strip. The hike is a gradual uphill through a pine forest along a (mainly dormant) stream and ends in Fletcher Canyon, a beautiful slot canyon with 200 feet walls, water-polished rocks, and great views of Mummy Mountain. The hike is uphill but relatively easy, and is good for all levels of hikers and families too.

How to Get to Fletcher Canyon Trail

The Fletcher Canyon Trailhead is in the Mount Charleston area, about 45 minutes from downtown Las Vegas. The drive to the trailhead is spectacular as you transition from the desert to the alpine scenery of Spring Mountains National Recreation Area.

Use this trailhead address: Fletcher Canyon Trailhead, Mt Charleston, NV, 89124.

The trailhead parking is on the left shortly after you pass the intersection with Rt 158.

There is plenty of parking but it does fill up quickly on weekends.

Fletcher Canyon Trail Directions 2
The parking lot is on the left side as you go up Route 157 toward Mt Charleston
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There are primitive bathrooms at the trailhead.

Gear For the Hike

Palmers Chipmunk
Bring a camera and keep your eyes out for the abundant wildlife here, including the endangered Palmer’s Chipmunk, which is only found in this area and is pretty easy to spot. Photo Chris Lowrey/USGS

This is a mellow hike and you don’t need any special hiking gear here, but hiking boots will definitely help. Fitness or casual outdoor clothing will suffice in pinch. Bring at least 1L of water. In the winter there can be snow, in the summer it can get very hot (but not as hot as Vegas which is a few thousand feet below).

Here’s the gear that I personally use, have tested, and recommend for this hike*.

La Sportiva Spire

La Sportiva Spire GTX

Good for light and more hardcore hikes. Feels like a sneaker but protects like a hiking boot.

Women’s Reviews

Men’s Reviews

Rei Flash 22

REI Flash 22 Pack

This is a super-light and comfortable backpack that can hold everything you need on a hike, including a hydration bladder. It also works great as a general backpack or carry-on.

See Colors & Prices

Joby On Triee

Joby Smartphone Tripod

Make your photos stand out by using this lightweight, do-anything tripod. The Joby attaches your smartphone to trees, rocks, whatever you can find on the trail. Folds down compactly too.

See the Joby Options

Make sure you have all the right gear before hitting the trail!.HikingGuy Best Gear List

* No company pays me to promote or push a product, all the gear you see here is gear I use and recommend. If you click an REI link and buy gear, I get a small commission that helps offset website expenses. There is no cost to you.

Fletcher Canyon Trail Maps

Click To View Map

Fletcher Canyon Trail Hike Map Downloads

Download the Hike GPX File

View a Printable PDF Hike Map

Here’s what I use to navigate my hikes. I recommend a combination of paper and electronic options with backups.

Gaiagps

Gaia GPS

Gaia GPS is a planning and navigation tool that you can use on your phone, tablet, and the web. I use it on my phone when I need to interact with the map and know where my position is on it. I use it at home on the computer to plan routes. You can overlay maps such as public lands to find out free places to camp. It’s a powerful tool.

HikingGuy Discount on Gaia GPS

Fenix Nav

Garmin Fenix Watch

This thing does everything: maps, GPX tracks, compass, barometer, altitude, heart rate, blood oxygen, fitness tracking, sleep tracking, and the list goes on. I keep a GPX route on the watch so I can quickly glance down and make sure I’m in the right place.

Fenix Prices & Reviews

My In-Depth Review

Topo Map

Topo Maps & Guide Books

Don’t be caught out if your batteries die. Take a topo map with you on the trail. Some people also print my guides out for use on the hike.

I also highly recommend taking a map and compass navigation course. It’s a few hours, it’s fun, and it could save your life.

Map and Compass Navigation Basics Classes

Don’t just rely on a cell phone, especially if you are hiking in the backcountry.

Fletcher Canyon 3d Map
The Fletcher Canyon Trail winds up the canyon in the shadow of the bigger mountains around it.
Fletcher Canyon Elevation
It’s a steady uphill grade with some very short steep sections, but overall very gradual.

Fletcher Canyon Trail Hike Directions

Do not attempt this hike if there are thunderstorms in the forecast. Flash floods can wash down Fletcher Canyon quickly.

There can be water running in the stream depending on when you’re here. Generally it’s only in the upper reaches of the canyon/hike if at all.

Video Directions

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Turn by Turn Hike Directions

Fletcher Canyon Trail Directions 3
Head past the bathrooms and across Rt 157 to get to the trailhead from the parking area.
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There’s a big sign marking the trailhead, along with some basic trail information on the trail board.
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There’s a basic map on the trail board.
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After the trail board the trail is well defined, easy to follow, and gradually climbs.
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The trail bends around to the left, with the stream on the right. The trail will go back and forth over the stream a few times.
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Right away you’re greeted with nice views of the surrounding mountains. There’s lots of fauna including pinyon pine, ponderosa pine, manzanita and mountain mahogany trees.
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Shortly after the start you’ll see a turnoff for the Eagle’s Nest Loop Trail. Keep going straight on Fletcher Canyon Trail.
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Here’s a closeup of that trail sign. If you want to add some distance onto the hike, you can do the 2.75 mile Eagle’s Nest Loop trail. It’s steep in the beginning but then gentle, and offers nice views into Kyle Canyon (the canyon you drove up).
Fletcher Canyon Trail Directions 1
The trail crosses over a wide wash back to left side of the stream.
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Shortly after the wash there’s a (marked-up) Mt Charleston Wilderness sign that’s good for a photo.
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The limestone cliffs tower above you as you make your way through the pine forest. This lush section attracts lots of birds.
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This next section can get a little tricky; it’s not the wide trail like before. The trail often splits and comes back together along the stream. If you hit a dead end, heavy brush, or boulder scramble, just turn back and take the other option. In general the side trails to the left climb up and over many boulder scrambles.
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Keep left and avoid the streambed.
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You’ll go up a steep little section bypassing a scramble, then back down.
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Continue on the left bypass, avoiding the stream bed.
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Keep left again on the well-worn path.
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You’ll start to see the canyon walls closing in around you as you reach the end. The cliffs on either side are above 200 feet above you.
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There’s one more little uphill section.
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After the climb there’s a flat area, do a hard left here.
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Almost there! The trail winds it’s way along the canyon.
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And here you are, the end of the trail, which dead ends at  Obstacle Rock. You can scramble up the boulders and rocks if you want to keep exploring. If you do, just be careful, the smooth rocks get very slippery, especially if there’s moisture around.
Fletcher Canyon Slot Trail
If you keep climbing up the canyon gets very narrow. You can explore but be prepared to scramble.
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Once you’re done enjoying the beauty of the canyon, simply head back down the way you came to end the hike.

Did something change on this hike? If so, please contact me and let me know. I'll update the guide.