With fresh snow on the ground, visitation to the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area (SMNRA) has been steady this week, and heavy visitation is expected to continue in the area through the New Year's holiday. 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.
Due to the federal government shutdown, the Spring Mountains Visitor Gateway in Kyle Canyon is closed. Go Mount Charleston, operated by the Southern Nevada Conservancy, is offering winter break programs at the Old Mill Picnic Area of Lee Canyon on Dec. 29, Jan. 3 and Jan. 4. The organization's Junior Ranger program starts at 11 a.m. on those dates, and guided hikes are at noon. For more information visit: https://www.gomtcharleston.com/winter-programs/.
The Lee Canyon Ski Area is open for the season. Information about the ski area is available on its website: 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 expected to be open daily through Jan. 6 and 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 Rd.).Visitors are encouraged to plan ahead by visiting the Mount Charleston Winter Alliance (MCWA) the www.GoMtCharleston.com website prior to driving up the mountain. The website provides
information about snow and road conditions, weather updates, and winter driving and snow play
safety tips. Road condition information is taken directly from Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT)'s website and visitors can also call 511 for information on road conditions and closures. Visitors also are encouraged to keep these tips in mind:
- 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).
- 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. Media contacts include: