The Las Vegas office of the National Weather Service is expecting a weather system to bring snow on Friday night and Saturday to Mount Charleston located in the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area (SMNRA). The Mount Charleston Winter Alliance (MCWA) is encouraging the public to plan ahead and visit the www.GoMtCharleston.com website for information about road conditions, weather updates, and winter driving and snow play safety tips.
"The Springs Mountains are a tremendous natural resource but when there is snow on the ground the influx of visitors can create significant hazards," said Clark County Commissioner Larry Brown, whose Commission District C includes Mount Charleston. "We all need to do our part to protect and preserve the area. The goal of the Mount Charleston Winter Alliance is to ensure public safety and provide visitors with information they can turn to for the latest on road conditions, closures and visitation tips."
The Spring Mountains Visitor Gateway facilities will be closed on Christmas Day. The visitor gateway's normal hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. seven days a week. The public can still obtain visitor information at www.GoMtCharleston.com and use the restroom facilities at the Cliff Rose Trailhead across the traffic circle from the visitor gateway.
Lee Canyon Ski Area is the largest winter recreation area and offers skiing and tubing for daily and annual fees. The ski area has been making its own snow and currently has an intermediate ski run and the bunny hill open. It plans to open more intermediate ski slopes by Christmas weekend. For more information about the ski area, please visit their website: http://www.leecanyonlv.com/site.
Snow play areas and parking on Mount Charleston can reach capacity quickly on high-volume visitation days. Visitors should keep these tips in mind: Do not sled in areas with less than 12 inches of snow, avoid dangerous objects like rocks and trees, don't litter, and don't trespass on private property.
The Mount Charleston Winter Alliance promotes public safety during the winter months when Kyle Canyon and Lee Canyon see large spikes in visitation. Partners include
Clark County, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (Metro), Lee Canyon Ski Area, the Mount Charleston Fire & Rescue District, Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT), Nevada Highway Patrol (NHP), U.S. Forest Service and Southern Nevada Conservancy.
The popularity of Lee and Kyle Canyons during a holiday weekend in the winter can bring 25,000 cars to the area. To ensure timely emergency response and public safety, Metro and NHP monitor traffic congestion and road conditions in both canyons and regulate access. Road closures including Nevada State Routes 156 (Lee Canyon Road), 157 (Kyle Canyon Road) and 158 (Deer Creek Rd.) that provide access to ski and snow play areas in the canyons will be posted on www.GoMtCharleston.com. Road condition information is taken directly from NDOT's website and visitors can also call 511 for information on road conditions and closures.
"Traffic congestion during snowy days on the mountain can impede access of emergency vehicles including ambulances and snow plows, which jeopardizes public safety," explains Trooper Chelsea Stuenkel of NHP. "We monitor visitor volume, road conditions, available parking, and manage access to ensure safety."
The Mount Charleston Winter Alliance effort includes public service annoucements in English and Spanish created by Clark County Television (CCTV). The www.GoMtCharleston.com website is a partnership between the U.S. Forest Service and Southern Nevada Conservancy. The public also can follow Go Mt. Charleston's Twitter site for updates at @GoMtCharleston. Look for these hashtags and handles: #MtCharleston; #snowplay; #SMNRA; @HumboldtToiyabe;@LeeCanyonLV; @ClarkCountyNV; @LVMPD; @Nevadadot; and @NHPSouthernComm.