With several inches of snowfall occurring over the Thanksgiving holiday in the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area (SMNRA), the U.S. Forest Service and partnering Mt. Charleston Winter Alliance organizations are encouraging the public to plan ahead before making the drive up the mountain to play in the snow.
Currently there is a winter storm waring in effect from 4 a.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 26 to 4 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 30 with possible snow accumulations of 12 to 24 inches. During this type of winter weather it always best to stay home and wait for conditions to improve.
Before heading to the SMNRA, the public is encouraged to visit www.GoMtCharleston.com for information about snow and road conditions, weather updates, and winter driving and snow play safety tips. Visitors can also check the National Weather Service website at: http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/vef/rec/index.php?loc=SM for current weather 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. 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 https://www.nvroads.com/.Cars should always be stocked with basic winter driving equipment: a scraper and brush; small shovel; jumper cables; road flares; tow rope; chains; and a bag of sand or cat litter for tire traction.
Due to the weather, the Spring Mountains Visitor Gateway at 2525 Kyle Canyon Road will be closed on Wednesday, Nov. 27. The center will also be closed on Thanksgiving. Restroom facilities are available at the Cliff Rose Trailhead across the traffic circle from the Visitor Gateway.
After the storm has passed, Lee and Kyle Canyons may become a very popular attraction bringing thousands of cars to the area, especially over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Visitors are encouraged to go early, and expect intermittent traffic delays and limited parking while crews work to clear the road.
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).
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. They will be open on weekends and holidays when there is at least 12 inches of snow, but it is best to check to see if these facilities have open by visiting http://www.leecanyonlv.com or call 702-385-2754.There are free public restrooms available at the Sawmill Trailhead.
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 SMNRA 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.