Friday, April 25, 2014

Mary Jane Falls

Short but very strenuous hike, climbing almost 1,100 feet in 1.6 miles, utilizing switchbacks and stone steps on a heavily used trail. It is a very steep trail, loose rock, and netting in place for erosion control. 

The trail starts in the bottom of Kyle Canyon, which at this point is deep, heavily forested, and surrounded by beautiful gray limestone cliffs.

There is a nice size cave along the north cliff, to the left of the falls on the left; with an easy to follow path leading to the mouth of the cave. There is another one about 400 ft farther out the trail past the falls. This cave has some flowstone, broken cave curtains, and tiny stalactites.

From the base of the falls you can see Big Falls and Charleston Peak in the background. 

This is a pretty trail with ponderosa pines, white fir, aspen, and mountain mahogany. Look for deer and fox in the aspens at sunrise and sunset, near the beginning /end of trail.

TrailheadI-15 N from Las Vegas to 95 N towards Reno, W on SR 157 (Mt. Charleston - Kyle Canyon) continue past the hotel, 2 miles W of USFS ranger station, to Echo Road. This is where the road curves sharply to the left to head up into old town and the lodge. Instead, continue to the right (almost straight) as it becomes Echo Road. Turn left at the fork onto the gravel road and park at the trailhead. There are RR at this parking area and it is also the trailhead for Big Falls.  Trailheads map