Since there aren’t a lot of places open in Las Vegas right now, we decided to take a nature walk. We were looking for a kid-friendly attraction. Something that was easy enough for a toddler to walk or at least get a stroller up and that wasn’t super far away. So, we headed to Mt. Charleston.
Although many areas are temporarily closed in Mt. Charleston – visitor’s center, campsites, the lodge, the ski resort – other small hiking trails are still open. Deer Creak Picnic Area is the one we chose.
We hoped in the car and took a 20 minute ride up the mountain. There, we easily found parking and the entrance to the trail. Now, I’ve lived in Las Vegas my entire life but I had never been to Deer Creek. Silly huh? So this trip was a first time for the whole family.
The Deer Creek Picnic Area is exactly what is sounds like. Along the somewhat paved path, tables and designated hang out areas have been built into the forest. During our trip, a handful of other people brought their whole families and set up blankets, food and even hammocks in these areas. A small stream also ran through the entire path. This area was flat enough to take a stroller on, but we opted to leave ours in the car.
The climb up the mountain isn’t very far, maybe a mile at the most, but it is steep. If you are taking small children with you, I’d advise investing in some hiking equipment that allows you to carry your little ones on your back. I did not bring any of my equipment this time around and seriously felt the burn as I carried my 28 pound toddler up the steepest areas.
Once we came to the end of the picnic areas, we were able to cross the stream and keep moving up. The whole trail was shaded and a lot cooler than the current heat in Las Vegas. It was a perfect dose of fresh air and a mental break. The best part of the hike was we even found snow! It wasn’t a ton, but it was enough to make mini snowballs and throw them at each other.
Overall, the hike was very relaxing and completely doable for families of all ages. On our walk, we stopped to pose for a few pictures and even play with the water. (PS it was freezing!) It took us about and hour to get up and down the mountain and we were so ready for some food after that.
Mt. Charleston has a multitude of hiking trails and play areas everyone can enjoy. Whether you’re into serious hiking or just want a break from the city, you can find it here. Be sure to check the Mt. Charleston website to see what trails are open. Outside of closures of the pandemic, some trails are only open during certain months due to rainy or snowy weather.
Do you have some other cool hiking spots you’ve discovered?