Something like eight years ago or so, my father and I drove up the road to Mount Charleston near Las Vegas. It was a very beautiful drive, though being December, there was snow surrounding us. I knew there were waterfalls in the area, but there would be absolutely no way to see the falls.
So after heading to Las Vegas to visit a close friend of mine, he mentioned that it had just rained in the mountains the day before. It seemed like an ideal time to check out Mary Jane Falls now that one could actually walk to the falls without snow blocking the way.
The drive is still beautiful, and the hike was equally as beautiful. It’s not as easy of a hike as some might lead you to believe. The first half or so of the 1.5-mile (one-way) hike is on relatively level ground…it’s the second half that’s uphill switchbacks that you begin to feel the effects of the altitude change. (You’re going from 2000 to 7500′ along the drive.)
Luckily, it’s not a long hike, so just when you’re about ready to give up, you realize you’re at the falls. Now early October probably isn’t the best time to hope the falls will be wildly flowing… Even with rain in the mountains, we’re talking about a moderate trickle. It might not look like there’s any water in the photo here, but there’s actually more than appears. The wind was blowing just enough at times that where the water would fall would vary.
I would absolutely consider visiting again in late spring. I could also see visiting in the summer just to escape the heat, and in the fall, the changing colors of the trees are equally as stunning.
- Take US-95 north out of Las Vegas.
- Turn left on NV-157, which is clearly marked as heading toward Mt. Charleston.
- Drive along Mt. Charleston until you’re nearing the peak. (If you go to far, you have to turn around at some point.)
- Turn right onto Echo Road. Drive to the end of Echo Road to a parking area.
- Take a left and turn onto the dirt road that leads to the parking area for Mary Jane Falls. (You can also walk from the previous parking area mentioned.)
- Follow the trail to the falls. About halfway, you do have to veer to the right and start going up the switchbacks.
Accessibility: 4/10 (moderate/strenuous)
Height: ~100′ (?)
Hike: ~3 miles round-trip
Where in the World is Mary Jane Falls?