Quick and cool escapes David Bert, host of “Along the Way” on Nevada Public Radio, has two bits of advice for summer hikers: Get up early and be willing to drive.
The “early” applies, in this case, to Mount Charleston, because hikers love it up there in the summer when it’s about 20 degrees cooler than Las Vegas. So not only is it less crowded in the a.m., the weather’s even better. “It can be crisp and cool up there,” Bert says. “Sweater weather.”
And you can’t beat the variety, either. “You can’t go wrong with a trip to Mount Charleston,” he says. “It offers a number of hikes, from extremely easy at Robber’s Roost to an 18-mile loop including the peak itself.”
The two-mile Trail Canyon route is one of Bert’s favorite hikes. “The trail takes you up a beautiful saddle that meets North Loop,” he says. Go up and back, or continue on North Loop and hit the summit.
The “driving” part applies to southern Utah, less than three hours away, day-tripable by Bert’s standards. For an easy route in Zion National Park, try the middle fork of Taylor Creek trail in the Kolob Canyons, a five-mile roundtrip that takes you past two cabins built in the 1930s and ends at a scenic alcove.
For a shorter route, Bert recommends Brian Head’s Twisted Forest trail, a one-mile hike near Cedar Breaks National Monument that gets you up close and personal with Bristlecone Pine trees, thought to be the oldest living things on Earth.