Mt. Charleston overall is a nice play to visit for the day to get away from the Las Vegas heat. As far as dispersed camping, come supplied and be ready to be self-sufficient. There are no natural water sources for extra water, no cell service in most areas, and no services outside of the small town on the main road. I prefer Mt. Charleston more as a day trip than an overnight trip. The hiking is great, but there is not much else to do beyond hiking. It does get snow in the winter time, which is a plus. There is skiing and places to go sledding in the winter.
Started in Parump on Wheeler Pass Road and headed up Northeast until the Wallace Canyon Road turnoff. Beautiful desert drive that ends in pines. Saw close to ten mule deer off the road. Could probably make it was 2wd but better off having 4x4 with decent clearance.
My friend and I decided to hike Mt Charleston Peak in order to train for hiking Machu Picchu. Here’s a breakdown of the hike: 17 miles | 11,916 ft elevation | 8,241 ft prominence | Highest peak in Southern Nevada | 8th most prominent mountain in the U.S. | Most prominent mountain in Nevada. I will let the pictures speak for themselves.
In terms of camping, we decided to avoid the crowds, and camp on our way back, along the trail. Primitive/ dispersed camping available. Fire is allowed depending on the season, so check their website before hand. Pack-in-pack-out type camp.