The journey up Mount Charleston is fun all the time, but it’s at its most dramatic in the summer. That time of year, you can drive just 35 miles northwest of Las Vegas to an elevation of nearly 12,000 feet, passing through a number of distinct climate zones and past the cacti into juniper, aspen and Ponderosa pines. If you love a little soft adventure, check out Mary Jane Falls: this hike featuring a waterfall and cave only takes an hour. Big Falls, meanwhile, has a dramatic,100-foot waterfall. After your adventure, hang out on the deck at Mount Charleston Lodge (at 7,700 feet) for a hot chocolate or a cocktail.