I just returned from backpacking the 14 mile Bonanza/Spring Mountains Divide trail just north west of Las Vegas. What a GREAT trail of spectacular vistas, and hardly anyone on it (4 people seen in 2 days). This trail reaches elevations of 9,700 ft. and most of the time you'll be above 8,000 ft. so be sure your pack is light and you're in good aerobic condition.
"So", you say, "why should I go to 'Vegas for a mere 14 mile hike?" Well, there are so many places to do peak bagging, side hikes or connecting to other trails that you can easily turn it into a 7 day trip.
The Spring Mountain range, in the Mojave Desert, is a "desert island" of big mountains covered with Ponderosa pines and topping out on Mt. Charleston at 11,900+ feet. It is, IMHO, Las Vegas' best natural attraction. Of course we have many "unnatutal" attractions on the strip. ;<)
The Spring Mountains have scenery that is like the Sierra Nevada range and, if you backpack in mid April to mid May you'll find many snow banks along the trail for water, giving you more flexibility in camp sites.
Later in the summer and fall there will be few reliable water sources. The Bonanza Trail has one year-round water source at Wood Spring, about 6 miles in from the Cold Creek trailhead.
The trail is not blazed or signed but is easy to see. As a Spring Mountains Volunteer Assoc. member I can say that we may get Forest Service permission to paint blazes this summer.
For more info send me a PM.
"There are no comfortable backpacks. Some are just less uncomfortable than others."