Mary Jane Falls lies within the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area and is among the tallest waterfalls in the Mount Charleston area. That being said, this trail is very popular year round, so aside from knowing what to expect, your timing may be the most important thing to ensure a great experience here.
The hike begins at a parking area adjacent to what was once a campground before being washed away by a 1971 flash flood. The trail traces the edge of Kyle Canyon up a gradual climb for about a mile before it veers into some switchbacks that head up the northeastern side of the canyon. Dig in, slow your pace, and get ready for nearly a mile of these switchbacks that make up the rest of the trail to the falls.
The temperature difference between Kyle Canyon and the Las Vegas area my be reason for the hike's popularity. Temperatures in the canyon can be around 10 to 15 degrees cooler, and the trees along the bottom of the canyon offer plenty of shade for the first portion of this hike.
Upon reaching the falls the water runs off of a high rock wall and is ideal for cooling off after a sweaty uphill hike. Those wanting to explore a little more can cross the creek at the base of the falls and continue climbing slightly farther to a large cave whose opening overlooks the switchbacks that climb to the falls.
Given the large crowds that this hike sees, an early-morning start may be worth it to make the most of the fresh morning air and to reach the falls before the daytime crowds begin showing up. The falls flow seasonally as well, so winter, spring, and after a storm are the best times to see the falls at high flow. There may be only a slight trickle late in the summer.
Keep in mind that this hike starts at over 7,800 feet and hits the falls at over 8,700 feet. Those not used to the thin mountain air should definitely plan on taking their time and staying hydrated; people sometimes opt to turn back before reaching the falls. However, if you plan right and know what to expect, the hike is doable for those capable of a moderate climb.
Vault toilets and trash are available at the parking area.
Conditions and further information can be found at the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area Visitor Center located about 4 miles down Kyle Canyon Road or by calling the visitor center at 702.872.5486.