More difficult, 3.2 miles.
Mary Jane Falls is a 1.6 mile (3.2 miles round trip) heavily trafficked out and back trail located in the Kyle Canyon area of the SMNRA. There is parking and primitive restrooms at the trailhead. This trail is not stroller or wheelchair friendly. This trail can be very busy, so start early to avoid crowds. The parking lot is closed during the winter season due to snow, the trail can still be accessed from Echo parking lot.
The first 0.7 miles of the trail follows a well-defined wide and rocky path gradually northwest through towering quaking aspen, white fir, and ponderosa pine. After 0.7 miles, you will reach a sign pointing to the right indicating the correct trail to continue on. Past this sign the trail climbs 9 switchbacks for the remaining 0.9 miles. This portion of the trail is much narrower and suffers extreme trail erosion from hikers cutting switchbacks, please refrain from cutting switchbacks as it leads to trail erosion and unsafe hiking conditions. The final switchback will lead you parallel across limestone rock faces to the base of the falls. The falls are solely fed by snowmelt and are at their peak in early Spring. To return to the trailhead, retrace your steps back 1.6 miles.
Hiking at higher elevations can be difficult if not acclimated. Know the symptoms of altitude sickness and how to properly prepare. Always check the weather before heading out on the trails. Be prepared to be out of cell-phone range and have a backup plan. Ensure proper clothing and supplies for the trek, be it a day-hike or backpacking trip.
Leave No Trace:
GO Mt Charleston encourages folks to enjoy their public lands, while remaining mindful and following the seven principles of LNT:
- Plan Ahead and Prepare – Check the weather, pack proper equipment and guides, wear adequate clothing, have a back-up plan, research current conditions, closures, and regulations.
- Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces – Follow the designated trail and avoid cutting switchbacks. Backcountry camp on low-impact terrain. When in doubt stick to designated campgrounds and dispersed campsites.
- Dispose of Waste Properly – Pack it in pack it out! Pack out all garbage, including organic food waste such as citrus peels and pistachio shells. When backpacking, practice digging cat holes to dispose of human waste and carry wastewater 200 feet away from waterways.
- Leave What You Find – Take only pictures, leave only footprints! Leave cultural artifacts and natural objects for others to enjoy.
- Minimize Campfire Impacts – Make sure your campfire is dead out before leaving or sleeping, research local regulations about collecting firewood, and know current fire restrictions. When in doubt use designated fire rings.
- Respect Wildlife – Observe from a safe distance, never feed or approach wildlife, report impaired wildlife to Rangers and never attempt to move or help yourself.
- Respect other Visitors – Be courteous on the trails, control and pick up after your pets, consider whether your experience is affecting the way someone else enjoys the peaceful outdoors.
Learn more by visiting: https://lnt.org/why/7-principles/