Mummy Springs Trail, Mt Charleston, NV

The Mummy Springs Trail is located in the heart of the Mt. Charleston Wilderness area, near a famous 3,000-year-old bristlecone named the “Raintree.”

Notice: Mt. Charleston recently experienced substantial storm damage from Hurricane Hillary. Be sure to check for updated information about closures here.

Mummy Springs itself is located only 0.3 miles from the Raintree and about 3.0 miles from the North Loop Trailhead. The spring flows year-round, although it’s typically a trickle in the summer months.

Hikers will enjoy a variety of foliage and seasonal wildflowers surrounding the spring, along with grand views of the Vegas Valley.

Mummy Springs Trail Hiking Stats

Trail DescriptionOut and back
LocationMummy Springs, Mt. Charleston, NV 89124
Parking LotNorth Loop Trailhead
Round Trip Mileage~6.0 miles
Average Time4.0 hours

The trail is considered moderate/hard.  The trail is well marked and easy to follow with some tree roots and rocks to navigate along the way.  There was no scrambling.  What makes the trail moderate in our opinion is the elevation gain, distance and maximum elevation above sea level (nearly 10,000 feet).
Elevation Gain~1,800 feet  
Elevation Start~8,396 feet (Source)
Elevation Max~9,996 feet
Best time to visitSpring through Fall (the trail is accessible year-round, however heavy snow conditions may exist in the cold season).
Amenities at the TrailheadParking, boot brush station, trail map / information board.  No restrooms available.
Entrance FeeNone
Rating4.0 Mooses (See description for details)

What to expect along the Mummy Springs Trail

We arrived early on a weekend and found the parking area was mostly full. Our intent was to reach the Raintree (found along the same trail), and tack on Mummy Springs at the end.

Related: Read about our experience on the Raintree trail.

We recommend reading our article about the North Loop Trailhead before you go (found below). It contains more information about parking, directions, etc.

Related: Top things to know about the North Loop Trailhead.

The Mummy Springs trail starts at the North Loop Trailhead off of NV-158 (also known as Deer Creek Road).  The out and back trail is approximately 6.0 miles round trip and you can add Fletcher Peak if you’re looking for an additional challenge. 

Views of Spring Mountains as seen from the North Loop Trailhead
View from North Loop Trailhead

If you’re feeling really ambitious, the North Loop trail also leads to the summit of Mount Charleston (20.6 miles round-trip).

The Trail

The trail starts out gentle, and after a short incline, actually dips back down in elevation.

The start of the North Loop Trailhead looking north
The start of the North Loop Trail

Don’t get too attached to the downward sloping trail.  It’s short lived and soon you’ll be gaining elevation until you near the summit of Bristlecone Peak (approximately 9,996’ in elevation).

Note: Bristlecone Peak’s max elevation is ~10,045′. The highest point I could find on the way to Mummy Springs was 9,996′.

A sign marking the Mt Charleston Wilderness area beginning
Mt. Charleston Wilderness Boundary Area begins

In fact, the first half of the trail (~1.3 miles) is a steady dose of upward climbing through switchbacks and mostly shaded paths. 

During this portion of the trail, you’ll get to see several nice views of the valley facing East, and various mountain backdrops facing to the West. 

North loop trail parking shown from high up on the raintree trail
Parking areas seen from the North Loop Trail

Along the trail, you’ll begin to see Bristlecone trees making an appearance. They tend to thrive at higher elevations in harsh climates and can only be found in Nevada, California and Utah.

Dead Bristlecone Tree
Bristlecone along first ridge line

There’s a great stopping point by the tree shown in the picture above.  You’ll know you’ve arrived there as it’s the first major clearing on top of a ridge with beautiful views of the Vegas valley to the east.

Man looks out over Vegas Valley from North Loop Trail
View from the trail

Not long after this vantage, you’ll come to a flat area. It would be perfect place to camp if it were allowed.  It’s not.  It did seem like a good lunch spot on the way back down if you’re hungry.

large open area with many trees
Flat area before the “back 9”

After the brief reprieve from the elevation gain, the next half of the trail is another steady incline up until you reach the Bristlecone Peak area.

Path lined by trees winding upwards
Trail heading towards Bristlecone Peak

The last march up to Bristlecone Peak felt harder than the first half, but it could have been that the temperature was starting to heat up.  There was still some shade on the trail, but we wouldn’t want to be out there on a very hot day.   

If you happen to visit in the summer months (July / August), you might be lucky enough to run into the endangered Mt. Charleston Blue Butterfly.

These beautiful butterflies were put on the endangered species list in 2013, and are considered endemic to the Spring Mountains.  This means they don’t exist anywhere else in the world.  

Mt Charleston rare blue butterfly on a rock with its winged extended
The endangered Mt. Charleston Blue Butterfly

As luck would have it, we happened to come across a few of the butterflies on our trek.

We finally reached the Bristlecone Peak area, where you’ll be met with a large number of bristlecones dotting the mountainside along with beautiful views of various mountains in the distance. 

Mountainside filled with many bristlecone trees
Bristlecone Forest
Vantange of the spring mountains from Bristlecone Peak
Views near Bristlecone Peak

Leaving the Bristlecone Peak area, you’ll start to descend in elevation.

Not long down the trail, you’ll run into the famous “Raintree”, a 3,000-year-old bristlecone tree, and receive a grand view of the Mummy’s Toe.

Related: Learn more about what makes the Raintree special.

Mummy's Toe Mountain
Mummy’s Toe

It is possible to climb up Mummy’s Toe (without directly scaling that rockface). We haven’t done it, but you can learn more here.

The Raintree is amazing and the photos really don’t do it justice. 

Estimated 3,000 year old bristlecone tree known as the Raintree
The “Raintree”
Large Bristlecone tree in Mt Charleston Wilderness named the Raintree

While there are no signs at the tree preventing you from touching or even sitting on the tree, please keep your distance and refrain from interacting with it. Even standing on the dirt around the tree can compact the soil and potentially damage the tree in the long run.  This beautiful tree deserves a chance to live another 3,000 years. 

The Raintree marks the trail junction to Mummy Springs.

Signing showing the way to the North Loop Trail, Trail Canyon Jct and Mummy Springs
Trail Marker

Mummy Springs Junction

From the junction, it’s only 0.3 miles until you reach Mummy Springs.

The trail is easy to follow, though we found a couple of areas where the dirt was loose and slippery along the trail.

Mummy Spring Trail
Rough part of the Mummy Springs Trail

We did have to keep an eye on our Alltrails map, as it wasn’t entirely clear to us where the spring actually was.

As you approach the spring area, this is what it looks like:

Approaching Mummy Springs (on the left)

If you aren’t on the lookout for different types of vegetation, you might walk right past the spring, especially if you’re there during the summer months and the water is barely running. Keep your eyes out for the brightly colored green trees that surround the spring.

As we got closer, we realized we needed to take a faint trail on the left to reach the small trickle of water that was left.

Mummy Spring
Mummy Springs

We finally found it after scrambling up some rocks. If you can’t see the video below, you can watch it here.

The water in the video below was we could find. If you can’t see the video, you can watch it here.

While the spring itself was a little elusive, what was apparent in the area was the abundane of foliage and wildflowers. The bees were certainly enjoying themselves!

Purple wildflower with a bee gathering nectar near Mummy Spring, Mt. Charleston, NV
Wildflowers near Mummy Springs
Lush trees and foilage growing along Mummy Spring in the Mt. Charleston Wilderness area
Different types of trees / plants along Mummy Springs and the Vegas Valley
Above Mummy Springs – a variety of plantlife

We didn’t spend much time at the spring area. While there are places to sit and have a snack if you wanted, it didn’t seem like an overly friendly area to hang out. We decided to head back towards the Raintree and ultimately the NorthLoop Trailhead.

Should you hike to Mummy Springs?

Rating:  4.0 Mooses

We’re really torn on this rating as Mummy Springs itself was underwhelming. The wildflowers and variety of foliage was great, but the spring itself was barely a trickle and not worth visiting on it’s own. The trail up until the Raintree is a 5 Moose hike and one we’d repeat.

What we liked:

  • The North Loop Trail leading up to the massive Raintree was epic. Amazing views, wildflowers and even the Mt. Charleston Blue Butterfly.
  • The 3,000-year-old Raintree was worth the hike.
  • The views of the Vegas Valley as seen from the Mummy Springs area were beautiful.
  • The temperatures at Mt. Charleston were about 20 degrees less than in the Las Vegas Valley, making for a fun summer outing.

What we didn’t like:

  • Mummy Springs was barely a trickle when we visited.
  • The trail after the junction from the Raintree to Mummy Springs was underwhelming. If we didn’t have Alltrails to tell where the spring was, I think we would have gone right past it.

Practical Information for your Hike

Entrance Fees

There are no fees to enter the Spring Mountain Wilderness area, nor to park at the North Loop Trailhead. 

If you’re interested in staying overnight at the nearby Hilltop Campground or Mahogany Grove Group Campground, there is a nightly fee.

Getting to the North Loop Trailhead

The start of the Mummy Springs trail can be found at the North Loop Trailhead off of Highway NV-158 (aka Deer Creek Road).

Map showing where the North Loop Trailhead is on NV-158
Map showing North Loop Trailhead

From Las Vegas:

Take Highway 95 Northbound until you reach Exit 96 (Kyle Canyon / NV 157 / Sunstone Pkwy).  Turn left off the exit onto NV-157 / Kyle Canyon Road.  Drive approximately 16 miles and turn right on NV-158.  Drive approximately 4.8 miles up NV-158 and you’ll see the parking area for the North Loop Trailhead on the left-hand side of the road. 

Parking at the North Loop Trailhead

The parking areas are popular and fill up quickly.  The main area probably holds about 15 vehicles depending on how closely cars park to each other (there are no striped lines).

Parking area of North Loop Trailhead filled with cars on a weekend
Parking area at main trailhead

There is another lot not too far down NV-158 that can be used as overflow, however it is the start of the popular Shoots and Ladder mountain biking trail.

Parking Map for the North Loop Trailhead in Mt Charleston
Overhead view of parking areas for North Loop Trailhead

Trail Maps

Map of the Raintree Trail with trail forks to fletcher peak, mummy springs and charleston peak
Raintree Trail Hiking Map
North Loop Trail Map at Trailhead
North Loop Trailhead Hiking Map

Trailhead Amenities

  • Two parking areas
  • Hiking boot brush
  • Trail Information and trail map
  • Access to several different trails, Raintree (5.4 miles round trip), Fletcher Peak (7.3 miles round trip), North Loop Charleston Peak (20.6 miles round trip), Mummy Springs (6.0 miles round trip). The North Loop trail also has a junction to Trail Canyon and Wildhorse Canyon trails.
  • Nearby to the Hilltop Campground and Mahogany Grove Group Campground.

Trail Rules

A few rules exist along the trail as posted on the information sign boards at the trailhead:

  • No overnight camping is allowed.
  • No campfires or charcoal grills are allowed due to fire restrictions.  Stoves are ok to use.
  • If you pack it in, pack it out.  Do not leave trash in the wilderness area.
  • Stay on the trails.  Cutting switchbacks impacts the integrity of the trail and creates erosion. 
  • Non-denotated explosives are used for avalanche control in the area.  If you find one, do not touch it, and call the U.S. Forest Service or Lee Canyon Ski Area for removal.

While we didn’t see any other safety tips at the trailhead, other trails in the Spring Mountains area have the following recommendations:

  • Bring extra water
  • Wear sturdy hiking shoes or boots
  • Wear sunscreen and a hat.  At higher elevations, the atmosphere provides less protection from the sun’s harmful rays.
  • Flashlight – Allow for ample hiking time.
  • Bring clothing for cool or wet weather.  Weather changes rapidly in the mountains.
  • Leave wildflowers, plants and artifacts.  Please leave these behind to be enjoyed by others.
  • Take photographs and memories and pack out any trash.
  • Stay on trails.
  • Let family or friends know where you plan on hiking and when you expect to return.  Know your limits and remember, you will need to walk back as far as you have walked in.

More Hiking Trails in Mt. Charleston