Cathedral Rock Trail, Mt. Charleston, NV - August 2015

It had been quite a while (3 years?) since I'd been to Las Vegas to visit my brother. I'd been seeing him at other events or when he comes to L.A. But this August a close friend of mine from High School would be there for 2 weeks along with her pre-teen daughter (my "niece") so I made a point to go visit.

It was SUPER hot while I was there so I didn't have any plans to get outdoors to Red Rock Canyon or Lake Mead, but I thought it would be nice to drive up to Mt. Charleston (which is part of the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area), if we had the time, to escape from the 100 degree temps.

So, that's just what we did!

Here's where we were:

You can see a full description of the Cathedral Rock trail at

Back in October of 2010 I had visited Mt. Charleston with my sister, and this same friend and niece and we'd seen some amazing fall colors because we'd happened upon the color peak of the quaking aspen.

I was curious how the area would look in the summer and, while it was a bit more crowded than it had been in the fall and the colors weren't as striking, it was still beautiful and about 20 degrees cooler than Las Vegas! This time we hiked higher so we got to take in some amazing views of the mountains and the desert off in the distance.

I was also surprised how many wildflowers we saw (in SoCal those are generally seen in the spring) and they were a welcome sight.

Here are some of the photos I took.

Trembling/Quaking Aspen (Populus tremuloides)

Charleston Mountain Angelica (Angelica scabrida) and a Mexican Cactus Fly (Copestylum mexicanum)
Tarantula Hawk (Subfamily Pepsinae)

And my brother made it all the way to the took and took these beautiful photos.

Photo by Anthony Soleau
Photo by Anthony Soleau
Glad to share these views with friends and family.

For more of my photos from Mt. Charleston see my Flickr album.