Winter break for all Clark County students begins on Friday, Dec. 20 at the conclusion of the school day. By Saturday morning, the Las Vegas community often looks to the Spring Mountains National Recreation (SMNRA) area for winter recreation opportunities in the great outdoors.
The popularity of Lee and Kyle Canyons during the winter season can bring thousands of cars to the area, especially on weekends. 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. You may have to wait to go up the mountain if traffic is too congested or conditions are unsafe.
Remember to wear appropriate outdoor clothing including layering light and warm clothing, gloves, hats, scarves and waterproof boots. Also, do not sled in areas with less than 12 inches of snow, and avoid traffic and dangerous objects like trees and rocks. 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. Please 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 open for winter sport activities. The 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 Lee Canyon 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. When there is at least 12 inches of snow, the Foxtail area is also open on weekends and holidays. It is best to check the resort website for details.
For Information on the SMNRA, 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. It is closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, and may be closed during weather events. 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.
Before heading to the SMNRA, visit www.GoMtCharleston.com to plan your visit. Information about weather and driving conditions is posted on the site along with an activities calendar and safety tips. See our Public Service Announcements in English and Spanish for visitor information. 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:
Also, it is important to check driving conditions, chain requirements, and road closures before traveling to the SMNRA. Check real-time information before driving 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, drivers must use chains or other approved traction device on their vehicle, if the vehicle does not have mud/snow tires. For more detailed information on chain requirements, please visit: https://www.nevadadot.com/safety/safe-winter-driving/traction-and-chain-requirement-descriptions.
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, a bag of sand/kitty litter for traction, spare batteries, non-perishable foods, and water.
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, available parking and road conditions in Kyle and Lee canyons and regulate access. 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. 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.
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.