Over the weekend, the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest and partnering Mt. Charleston Winter Alliance organizations are encouraging the public to recreate responsibly when visiting the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area (SMNRA) to play in the snow or other recreation activities.
The National Weather Service (NWS) in Las Vegas has posted a Winter Weather Advisory for the Spring Mountains and Sheep Range on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. The NWS predicts 4 to 8 inches of snow above 6,500 ft. and 8 to 12 inches of snow above 8,000 ft. Rain lower elevations.
Know Before You Go: For current weather conditions, visitors can also check the National Weather Service website at: http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/vef/rec/index.php?loc=SM or view one of the following webcams:
Road Information: Also, it is important to check driving conditions, chain requirements, and road closures before traveling to the SMNRA. Check real-time information by calling 511 within Nevada and 1-877-NV-ROADS (1-877-687-6237) outside of Nevada or visit https://www.nvroads.com/. When chain requirements are in effect, the public must have chains if the vehicle does not have snow tires. For more detailed information on chain requirements, please visit: https://www.nevadadot.com/safety/safe-winter-driving/traction-and-chain-requirement-descriptions.
Prepare Your Vehicle for Winter Driving: When traveling to the SMNRA, start with a full tank of gas, because there are no gas stations on the mountain. Always carry with you: tire chains, tow strap, cell phone, flashlight, ice scraper, jumper cable, snow shovel, blankets/sleeping bags, first aid kit, compass, maps, spare batteries, and at least a bag of sand/kitty litter for traction. It's also recommended to take with you non-perishable foods and drinking water.
In Case of Emergency: Dial *NHP (*647) in case of a roadway emergency or 911 to report a serious accident. Since cell phone service is limited, public phones are located along Lee Canyon Road near Lee Meadows and the Old Mill Picnic Area. Local and 911 calls from these phones are free. To ensure timely emergency response and public safety during the popular winter months, Nevada Highway Patrol and Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department monitor traffic congestion, road conditions, and regulate access in Kyle and Lee canyons and regulate access.
The popularity of Lee and Kyle Canyons during the winter season can bring thousands of cars to the area, especially on weekends and holidays. Visitors are encouraged to go early, be patient, and abide by traffic laws. Depending on conditions, delays and periodic road closures may occur on Nevada State Routes 156 (Lee Canyon Road), 157 (Kyle Canyon Road) and 158 (Deer Creek Road). Abide by all posted parking signs in both Kyle and Lee Canyons. Illegally parked vehicles may be fined and towed. In areas where roadside parking is permitted, ensure all tires are over the white line to keep the lane clear.
Winter Recreation Tips: To plan your trip before heading up to the SMNRA, find out the latest weather and driving information along with an activities calendar and safety tips visit www.GoMtCharleston.com. Tips include:
- No sledding in areas with less than 12 inches of snow, near traffic, or other dangerous objects like trees and rocks or under gates and fences.
- Wear appropriate outdoor clothing including layering light and warm clothing, gloves, hats, scarves and waterproof boots.
- Sledding may be dangerous in icy conditions. Use sturdy sleds for snow play, not makeshift items like cardboard boxes.
- Do not trespass on private property or closed areas.
- Pets must be kept on leash and please clean up after them.
- Help keep the SMNRA beautiful for everyone to enjoy. Take trash home or put it in provided trashcans or dumpsters.
The Lee Canyon Ski Resort is the largest winter activity area on the mountain and offers skiing and tubing for daily and annual fees. Information about this ski area is available at: http://www.leecanyonlv.com/site or by calling (702) 385-2754. Ski Resort visitors are reminded to have their pass or online reservation receipts available to show law enforcement officers who are monitoring traffic.
During the winter months, the Ski Resort manages the McWilliams Campground, Old Mill Picnic Area, and Foxtail Snow Play Area in Lee Canyon. The Old Mill Picnic Area is generally open on weekends and holidays. There is not at least 12 inches of snow, the Foxtail area is closed. It is best to double-check the resort website for details.
The Spring Mountains Visitor Gateway at 2525 Kyle Canyon Road, 89124, is operated by the U.S. Forest Service in partnership with the Southern Nevada Conservancy. The Visitor Center is open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. For more information on family-friend activities on Saturday and Sunday, visit https://www.gomtcharleston.com/programs/
SMNRA Restroom Info: Free public restroom facilities are available in Kyle Canyon at the Cliff Rose Trailhead across the traffic circle from the Visitor Gateway and in Lee Canyon at Sawmill Trailhead. 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 the Southern Nevada Conservancy.