What You Should Know Before Heading to Mt. Charleston

Mt. Charleston in the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area (SMNRA) is one of the region's most popular destinations during winter months. If you and your family are planning to head up the mountain, it is strongly recommended that visitors check the National Weather Service’s forecast before heading to the mountains.

Whenever snow is in the forecast, visitors are encouraged and reminded to wait to drive up the mountain until after a snowstorm and roads have time to be plowed.

Before heading to Mt. Charleston or the SMNRA, visit the Go Mt. Charleston’s snow season web page in English (https://www.gomtcharleston.com/snow-season/) and Spanish (https://www.gomtcharleston.com/nieve-en-spring-mountains/) to plan your winter visit. Conditions and safety information are also posted at https://www.facebook.com/GoMtCharleston or https://twitter.com/GoMtCharleston.

For current weather conditions, visitors can check the National Weather Service website or view one of the following webcams:

It is crucial to check driving conditions, chain requirements, and road closures before traveling to the Mt. Charleston area. Check real-time information by calling 511 within Nevada or visiting https://www.nvroads.com.

Law enforcement officials ask visitors to observe and comply with highway reader boards and flashing signs on Nevada State Routes 156 (Lee Canyon Road) and 157 (Kyle Canyon Road) when they indicate four-wheel drive or tire chains are required 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. For more detailed information on chain requirements, please visit https://bit.ly/NDOTTractionandChainRequirements.

The popularity of Lee and Kyle Canyons during the winter season can bring thousands of cars to the area, especially on weekends, holidays, and school breaks. It is best to be there by 9 a.m. these days, or you may have to wait to go up the mountain if traffic is too congested. Weekdays and non-holiday times may provide fewer crowds and better access. Go early, be patient, and abide by all traffic laws. Also, consider carpooling with friends and family to the mountain and NOT using ride-share services (e.g., Uber or Lift) because limited cell service and traffic may not allow pick-up for return rides.

To ensure timely emergency response and public safety during the popular winter months, Nevada Highway Patrol and Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department will closely monitor traffic congestion, available parking, and road conditions in Kyle and Lee canyons and regulate access. Additionally, these law enforcement agencies will closely inspect and turn folks around at designated “chain-up” areas should they not have snow tire chains or 4-wheel drive capabilities. 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).

It is essential 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 on where parking is restricted, please visit: https://bit.ly/SMNRASnowSeasonMap, which is in both English and Spanish.

In case of a roadway emergency, dial *NHP (*647) or 911 to report a severe accident. Since cell phone service is limited, public phones are located on Lee Canyon Road across from Lee Meadows, Old Mill Picnic Area, and Foxtail Snow Play Area. Local 702 and 911 calls from these phones are free.

When traveling to Mt. Charleston, start with a full tank of gas because gas stations are not available 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.

Visitors must wear appropriate clothing for their planned activities and avoid trespassing on private property or closed areas. Sledding is not recommended in areas with less than 12 inches of snow. Trash should be carried home or placed in dumpsters or trashcans. Owners should keep pets on a leash and clean up their waste.

The Lee Canyon Ski Resort is the largest winter activity area on the mountain and offers skiing and other winter activities for daily and annual fees. Information about the ski resort, facility availability, and parking information is available at: https://www.leecanyonlv.com or by calling 702-385-2754. Due to limited cell service, Ski Resort visitors are reminded to have their pass or online reservation receipts printed or downloaded on their phones 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, Sawmill Trailhead, 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.

The Spring Mountains Visitor Gateway facilities and parking area at 2525 Kyle Canyon Road are open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. The facility may be closed during inclement weather events. 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 Picnic Area.

The Mt. 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, Mt. Charleston Lodge, National Weather Service, Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT), Nevada Highway Patrol (NHP), U.S. Forest Service, and the Southern Nevada Conservancy.