The Spring Mountains are a mountain range of southern Nevada, running generally northwest-southeast along the west side of Las Vegas and down to the border with California. Most land in the mountains is owned by the United States Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management and managed as the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area and Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area within the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest.
Red Rock Canyon is a side-canyon - a set of large red rock sandstone peaks and walls called the Wilson Cliffs or the Keystone Thrust. The walls are up to 3,000 feet (910 m) high, making them a popular hiking and rock climbing destination. The highest point is La Madre Mountain, at 8,154 feet (2,485 m). The Red Rock Area has a complex geological history, which over millions of years, helped to create the dramatic landscape that characterizes the region. The conservation area is one of the easternmost parts of the Mojave Desert. It is protected habitat for the Desert Tortoise.
The Spring Mountains range is named for the number of springs to be found, many of them in the recesses of Red Rock, which is on the eastern side of the mountains. The Spring Mountains divide the Pahrump Valley and Amargosa River basins from the Las Vegas Valley watershed, which drains into the Colorado River watershed, by way of Las Vegas Wash into Lake Mead, thus the mountains define part of the boundary of the Great Basin. The Great Basin Divide, (one of the Great Basin region borders) continues north through the Indian Springs Pass region then turns due east at the perimeter mountain ranges north of Las Vegas.
The highest point is Mount Charleston, at 11,918 ft (3,633 m). The area around Mt. Charleston is protected in the Mount Charleston Wilderness.
The Spring Mountains are a sky island ecosystem. With an area of about 860 square miles (2,200 km2), and a vertical range of nearly 2 miles (3.2 km), the mountains encompass a wide variety of habitats, and the biological diversity is probably greater than anywhere else in Nevada. 37 species of trees are known (more than any other Nevadan range), and 600 species of vascular plants have been reported from the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area alone.