Fletcher Canyon, and the rest of Mt. Charleston, towers over a mile above the Las Vegas Valley. The altitude change can catch unwary visitors by surprise; come prepared for the thinner air and potential for quickly changing weather.
It is essential to check the weather before visiting Mt. Charleston. Snow may still be present when the heat reaches the triple digits in Las Vegas and can obscure the trail. During warmer months, avoid visiting during the hotter parts of the day, particularly if visiting Eagle's Nest Trail
, which offers little tree cover.
While Fletcher Canyon is not as susceptible to flash flooding as other mountainous or desert areas, the slot canyon section should still be avoided if thunderstorms are forecast.
Parking can fill fast, especially when the weather is nice, so plan on arriving early if possible.
Fletcher Canyon begins across the street from a parking area, with a kiosk at the base displaying a local map. It runs as a comfortably wide packed dirt path, scattered with a few small, smooth rocks throughout. The terrain isn't particularly technical, making it accessible for most visitors.
The trail climbs for its entire length, but the grade stays fairly manageable for the first mile. The initial segment takes a turn toward the northwest just before the quarter mile point, where it will cross and then follow either a burbling creek or a dry wash, depending on the time of year. Shortly thereafter, a sign marks the starting point for Eagle's Nest Trail
, a nice way to add mileage for hikers wanting to extend their time in the area.
From here, the trail changes little as the canyon walls slowly close in, eventually entering the Mt. Charleston Wilderness Area. Rxhers will cross the creek/wash a few more times, and the climb becomes quite steep as it nears Fletcher Spring and the canyon wall at the mile and a half point.
Some depictions of the trail end here, but hikers willing to explore will find that the path continues a little further, passing through two narrow slot canyons. Some light scrambling may be needed, and use caution in wet conditions. Snow can last into May in this shaded area.
The last segment of the trail turns north as the canyon walls close to just a few feet across. A small seasonal waterfall can be found here, depending on snowmelt. A number of boulders, colloquially known as Obstruction Rock, marks the end of the trail.