Since temperatures were well above normal in Las Vegas (33C/91F) Dinah and I turned our attention west to the high peaks of the Spring Mountains and Fletcher Peak in particular. At over 3100 m, it's not among the highest in the range, but it would be cool enough. We were perfectly comfortable hiking in T-shirts for the entire trip.
We followed Jim Boone's route, hiking up the North Loop Trail before leaving it to ascend Fletcher Peak. Near the start the trail swings by a viewpoint before climbing to a wooded high point where we caught our first close look at unimposing Fletcher Peak. The broad North Loop Trail heads to the south end of Mummy Mountain – Mummy's Toes – but we soon left it for the narrow side trail that leads to a rocky point. From there it's a short offtrail jaunt to the top of Fletcher Peak. Cloaked in trees, the summit is an unattractive place to linger; we preferred lounging on the rocky point where I took a panorama.
We started back along the trail but made a short trip to see the Raintree, a bristlecone said to be 3,000 years old. A favoured rest stop, we weren't surprised to see several hikers there. Then it was back down to the trailhead where we found a full parking lot. Although the North Loop Trail is popular, we were fortunate to have enjoyed the summit of Fletcher Peak in solitude.
Fletcher Peak, seen from Lee Canyon Road, is dwarfed by Mummy Mountain
Passing a ponderosa pine
The trail climbs to a viewpoint
Dinah relaxes in the shade of a dead tree on the viewpoint
Continuing up the trail
Fletcher Peak comes into view. Griffith Peak in the background.
Mummy's Toes (right) uses the same approach as Fletcher Peak
Heading down to a saddle on the side trail
Looking southwest at Cockscomb Peak (mouse over for a close-up)
Fletcher Peak from the saddle
The trail is lined with gnarled, old bristlecone pines
Heading to the rocky point
On the rocky point
We shared it with this red crossbill
Heading to the summit of Fletcher
The summit cairn sits left of Dinah on a log
We found the old bristlecone trees fascinating
Mount Charleston 1:24,000 Topo (7.1 mi, 10269 ft, 1831 ft)