With fresh snowfall occurring in the Spring Mountains this week, the Mount Charleston Winter Alliance reminds the public to be patient and safe when visiting the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area (SMNRA) over Martin Luther King holiday weekend. High traffic volume is expected in Kyle and Lee Canyons. Visitors are encouraged to go early, expect intermittent traffic delays, and to never sled in any areas with less than 12 inches of snow or near traffic or dangerous items such as trees and rocks.
The Spring Mountains Visitor Gateway in Kyle Canyon will be open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday for visitor services and education programs offered by the Southern Nevada Conservancy. The Conservancy, which also operates Go Mount Charleston, is offering free programs at the Old Mill Picnic Area of Lee Canyon on Sunday, Jan. 20. The organization's Junior Ranger program starts at 11 a.m., and a guided hike begins at noon. Visit the Go Mount Charleston website at: https://www.gomtcharleston.com/winter-programs/.
Lee Canyon Ski Area, the largest winter recreation area on the mountain, offers skiing and tubing for daily and annual fees. The snow play areas in Lee Canyon will be open Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Information about this ski area is available at: http://www.leecanyonlv.com/site. Ski Area visitors are reminded to have their pass or online reservation receipts available to show law enforcement officers who are monitoring traffic. The Foxtail Picnic Area in Lee Canyon is open for snow play, concessions and restrooms. The fee is $25 per car. The Old Mill Picnic Area is available for parking and restrooms. The fee is $15 per car. Both areas are managed by the Lee Canyon Ski Area. Free bathrooms are available at Saw Mill Trailhead only. There are no bathrooms in the Meadows area of Lee Canyon.
The popularity of Lee and Kyle Canyons during a holiday weekend can bring over 25,000 cars to the area. To ensure timely emergency response and public safety, Nevada Highway Patrol (NHP) and Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (Metro) monitor traffic congestion and road conditions in both Lee and Kyle canyons and regulate access. Depending on traffic volume and available parking, periodic road closures may occur on Nevada State Routes 156 (Lee Canyon Road), 157 (Kyle Canyon Road) and 158 (Deer Creek Road).Visitors can plan ahead by visiting the Mount Charleston Winter Alliance (MCWA) the www.GoMtCharleston.com website. Real-time road condition information is taken directly from Nevada Department of Transportation's (NDOT) website www.nvroads.com and visitors can also call 511 for information on road conditions and closures. The GoMtCharleston site also offers weather updates and winter driving and snow play tips, including the following:
- Anticipate higher traffic volumes during weekends and holidays. Weekdays, early morning, and non-holiday times may provide fewer crowds and better access. Go early, be patient, and abide by traffic laws. Remember that you may have to wait to go up the mountain if traffic is too congested or conditions are unsafe.
- Follow all posted parking signs. Illegally parked vehicles may be fined and towed. Roadside parking is prohibited in Kyle Canyon past the intersection of Nevada State Routes 157 (Kyle Canyon Rd.) and 158 (Deer Creek Rd).
- Please observe and comply with highway reader boards and flashing signs on State Routes 156 and 157 when they indicate that you must have four-wheel drive and snow tires or tire chains in order to proceed up the mountain. Failure to comply will result in unsafe driving conditions and may result in accidents, stuck vehicles, and citations issued by law enforcement.
- Wear appropriate outdoor clothing including layering light and warm clothing, gloves, hats, scarves and waterproof boots.
- Do not sled in areas with less than 12 inches of snow, and avoid traffic and dangerous objects like trees and rocks. Use sturdy sleds for snow play, not makeshift items like cardboard boxes.
- Do not trespass on private property or closed areas.
- Please help keep the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area beautiful for everyone to enjoy. Take trash home or put it in provided trashcans or dumpsters.
The Mount Charleston Winter Alliance promotes public safety during the winter months when Kyle Canyon and Lee Canyon see large spikes in visitation. Agency partners include Clark County, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (Metro), Lee Canyon (ski area), Mount Charleston Fire Protection District, National Weather Service, Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT), Nevada Highway Patrol (NHP), U.S. Forest Service, and Southern Nevada Conservancy.