Agencies Offer Tips to Encourage Safe Visitation at Mount Charleston This Winter

Light snowfall is projected today in the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area (SMNRA). Although snow showers are anticipated, there will not be enough snow to safely support winter activities like sledding, snowshoeing, or other typical snow play activities.

Members of the public are encouraged to visit www.GoMtCharleston.com/snow-season for information about conditions and safety before heading to the mountains. 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.

Visitors are also asked to adhere to COVID-19 protection measures that are in place this season:

  • Maintain physical distance of at least six feet from others.
  • Wear a facial covering if proper distancing is not possible.
  • Follow current state and local group size restrictions.
  • If you feel sick stay home.

Additionally, the Spring Mountains Visitor Gateway facilities and parking area at 2525 Kyle Canyon Road are closed to the public to minimize the impacts and spread of COVID-19. 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.

Lee Canyon Ski Resort, which has been making its own snow, is open. Information about this ski area is available at: https://www.leecanyonlv.com/ 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. Due to COVID restrictions, parking reservations are required, and details can be found at https://www.leecanyonlv.com/plan-your-trip/getting-here/reserve-parking.

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. 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 at www.leecanyonlv.com/plan-your-trip/activities/winter-activities.

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. The public may have to wait to go up the mountain if traffic is too congested or conditions are unsafe.

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).

Law enforcement officials are asking the public to observe and comply with highway reader boards and flashing signs on Lee Canyon Road and Kyle Canyon Road when they indicate that four-wheel drive and snow tires or tire chains are required 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. 

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 public is also reminded to 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 to the right of the white line to keep the lane clear for emergency vehicles. For more detailed information where parking is restricted, please visit: www.gomtcharleston.com/wp-content/uploads/spring-mountains-snow-season-map.pdf.

Additional Winter Recreation Tips:

  • 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. 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 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 Resort, 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.