An hour’s drive north on U.S. 95 from energetic Las Vegas, this byway’s elevation takes you from low to high.
Thirty-six miles on three state routes – Lee Canyon Road (SR 156), a portion of Kyle Canyon Road (SR 157), and Deer Creek Road (SR 158) – link U.S. 95 with the majestic, 11,918-foot Mt. Charleston in the Spring Mountain Range. On this state byway, sage turns into a mix of Joshua, piñon, ponderosa pine, juniper and white fir trees. You may even spot an ancient bristlecone pine, the oldest living tree on the planet.
Lee Canyon Road is the northern access to the tallest point in southern Nevada. Believe it or not, there’s skiing near Las Vegas. Lee Canyon ski resort is reachable from SR 156. Kyle Canyon Road is the southern access to the larger-than-life mountain, with Deer Creek Road connecting them to the north and south. Golden eagles, owls, hawks, foxes, deer and wild horses occasionally can be spotted in the spectacular scenery. Mt. Charleston also hosts at least 25 species of animals and plants that cannot be found be found anywhere else in the world. Perhaps you’ll be lucky enough to see a Mt. Charleston Blue Butterfly.
The roads making up this scenic byway provide easy access to many recreational areas of the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest. While nearby Las Vegas sizzles in the summer, temperatures in this area run 20 degrees cooler, making it pleasant for hiking, camping, picnicking and driving. Mt. Charleston Lodge, a great place to stay and eat, can be reached from the SR 157/SR 158 junction.