Today in the Mojave Wasteland


The temperature in the Mojave has been and will continue to be in the solid triple digits for the foreseeable future, so it is a good time to head up Mount Charleston, where it is anywhere from 10 to 30 degrees cooler and an interesting change of scenery, just like the environment seen in game.

As expected, the way to get to Mt. Charleston is via Highway 95 to Nevada State Route 157. The road will take you up approximately 5,500 feet / 1,675 meters in elevation in a short time, through the winding and sometimes snow covered mountain passes.

TIW Mt Charleston slope

Jacobstown lodge

The first thing you will see before you is the majestic Jacobstown lodge. No matter how many times I visit here, approaching it always makes my heart race with excitement. The exterior has several details familiar to the initiated in addition to the architecture of the building itself, such as the boulder surrounded lake, patio, picnic tables, light fixtures, and pathways.

TIW Mt Charleston lodge exterior

The name of the building in our world (to add to my confusion) was changed last year to the Retreat on Charleston Peak, formerly the Resort on Mount Charleston. I will always prefer the original name because it is what we see on the near-identical sign seen in game. If you look closely, you can see the real world sign reflected under the grime. Absolutely exceptional.

TIW Mt Charleston lodge sign

The interior of the lodge has similar details as the in-game equivalent, such as the bar to the right complete with pool tables, hanging chandeliers, and the double sconce wall lights. The check-in desk is similarly situated directly in front of the entryway, c-shaped, and flanked by a coffee station.

The pinball machine

The first time I came here, nothing on this entire earth could have prepared me for unexpectedly finding the pinball machine tucked back off of the lobby. The pinball machine, the only one in the game, here, in front of me, in the corner, even surrounded by the same furniture. I stood there, jaw dropped, eyes wide, unbelieving, breathless, for innumerable moments. I walked up to it with a sort of hesitant wonderment, a combination of awe and astonishment. Truly sui generis.

TIW Mt Charleston pinball machine

When I heard the lodge was switching hands, I contacted the new management who told me the pinball machine would be left undisturbed in their renovation plans, and sure enough, it was still situated where I expected it to be.

Jacobstown bungalows

Reassured, I headed farther down NV-157 to where the Jacobstown bungalows exist in our world. To addle my brain further, the bungalows are named Mt. Charleston lodge and cabins. They look very similar, especially with the vent pipes on the roof and door/window placement.

TIW Mt Charleston cabins

Mt. Charleston and Griffith Peak

Several unmarked and cut mountainous locations are situated in the northwest portion of the map and are represented by real world equivalents, including Griffith Peak, Mount Charleston Peak, Mummy Mountain, and Devil Peak. I have reached the summit of Mt. Charleston twice and failed six times before today. Even if you don't get to the top, you can see unique sites, like the remnants of the Carpenter 1 fire, reminding me of the Jacobstown external fence.

TIW Mt Charleston fencing

It is the eighth-highest mountain in the state of Nevada with an elevation of 11,918 feet/3,632 meters. It is a very challenging 17 miles/27.4 km climb that is safest in June and September. It is a serious hike, especially in the push to the summit with thin air at high altitudes, 20% gradients, and wind. Please be cautious!

I succeeded in my quest with a time of 8 hours 45 minutes. In the game to get to the summit, I had to use noclip, so I felt proud of my real life self. Except I wore a vault suit for the occasion and forgot to take off my backpack for the picture. Oh well!

TIW Mt Charleston summit

Happy trails!

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