With the season's first snowfall in the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area (SMNRA), the U.S. Forest Service and partnering Mount Charleston Winter Alliance organizations remind the public to be patient and safe when visiting the popular Mount Charleston area this weekend. Although the area received a light dusting of snow this week, there is not enough snow to safely support winter activities like sledding, snowshoeing, or other typical snow play activities.
"More snow is expected over the Thanksgiving holidays, so we can't stress enough the importance of checking the weather and driving conditions before heading to the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area," said Deb MacNeill, the Area Manager. "We encourage the public to visit www.GoMtCharleston.com for information about snow and road conditions, weather updates, and winter driving and snow play safety tips. For real-time road information, visitors also can dial 511 within Nevada and 1-877-NV-ROADS (1-877-687-6237) outside of Nevada or visit www.nvroads.com/511-home."
The Lee Canyon Ski Resort is not expected to open until early December, snow conditions permitting. The Resort also manages snow play areas during the winter months in Lee Canyon in the Foxtail and Old Mill Picnic areas and the McWilliams Campground. These areas are NOT open this weekend, as there is not enough snow on the ground yet for safe snow play. They will be open on weekends and holidays in the future when there is at least 12 inches of snow. There are free public restrooms available at the Sawmill Trailhead. For more information, visit http://www.leecanyonlv.com or call (702) 385-2754.
The National Weather Service is predicting another snow event over the Thanksgiving Holiday weekend. Coupled with the Clark County School closure, visitation will be high. If you'd like to view the snow and traffic conditions, visit https://www.gomtcharleston.com/snow-season/ and click on the live webcam links.
The popularity of Lee and Kyle Canyons during the winter season can bring thousands of cars to the area, especially on weekends when snow is present. 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 at 2525 Kyle Canyon Road, 89124, is operated by the U.S. Forest Service in partnership with the Southern Nevada Conservancy. Information about programs and activities in the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area is available on the Go Mount Charleston website or call (702) 872-5486. The Visitor Center is open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. The center will be closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas and may be closed during weather events. Restroom facilities are available at the Cliff Rose Trailhead across the traffic circle from the Visitor Gateway.
To ensure timely emergency response and public safety during the popular winter months, Nevada Highway Patrol (NHP) and Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (Metro) monitor traffic congestion and road conditions in Kyle and Lee 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).
Additional Mount Charleston Visitation Tips
- Before heading to the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area, check weather and driving conditions.
- 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.
- 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.
- Abide by 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).
- Cell phone service is limited. Pay phones are located along Nevada State Route 156 (Lee Canyon Road) near Lee Meadows and the Old Mill Picnic Area.
- 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. 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 the Southern Nevada Conservancy.