The Whitney Mesa Upper Trails’ trailhead can be found on Sunset Road, just up the street from Valle Verde. It’s actually easy to miss if you aren’t looking for it. The trail is part of the Whitney Mesa Nature Preserve and offers hikers a unique look at the area.
The trail begins quite differently than it ends. From the parking lot, you first go down a hill and over a small stream trickling through some palm trees. This area is much smaller than it looks from above, but the scenery is nice thanks to the foliage and water. Be careful though, snakes have been spotted in the area and will strike if you get too close.
Then the fun starts. Once you cross the stream, you immediately are faced with a fairly steep path going up the side of the mesa. This is the most challenging part of the trail, but it is worth the effort. Once you make it up the incline the rest of the trail is fairly flat and, besides some loose gravel, easy to walk on.
There are a few benches at different spots that offer great views of the eastside. The Sunset Station Casino and Sam Boyd Stadium are both easy to spot from the top. The trail is on the flight path to McCarran Airport, and you can get a good view of the planes coming in for landing.
It is very important to stay on the trails because the cliffs are very unstable. If you get too close to the edge it can easily crumble under your feet. Use caution and common sense and you will not have anything to worry about. You should also keep your dogs on a leash; not only is it courteous to other hikers, your dogs will also fall if the cliff gives out under them.
The trail is safe for children, but only if they stay on the trail. Keep a particularly close eye on them on this one. Strollers with sturdy tires should be fine to make the hike.
The trailhead can be found here: Whitney Mesa Upper Trails
If you enjoyed this article, please click the subscribe button to receive email updates when a new article is published. Join Osie on Facebook, follow him on Twitter, or connect with him on Google+. For more information on the author, visit his blog: The Forlorn Path.
If you enjoyed this article, you may be interested in these stories:
The Acacia Demonstration Gardens and the Union Pacific Railroad Trail
Sloan Canyon: The ‘Sistine Chapel’ of rock art
The newly renovated Duck Creek Trail
Hotel Nipton: an oasis in the desert
The Mizpah Hotel, the Grand Old Lady
“Death Valley National Park: A History” by Hal Rothman and Char Miller
The Searchlight Museum
Please feel free to post your comments below.