Recreation Closure Information

Tropical Storm Hilary was an unprecedented natural event that impacted the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area and the Mt. Charleston community near Las Vegas Nevada in August 2023. During this historic flooding event, this area received 40 percent more rainfall than it receives throughout monsoon season. Impacts from tropical cyclones such as Hilary are extremely rare in Nevada, occurring only once every few decades. The Spring Mountains National Recreation Area asks the public to be patient as the recovery efforts from Tropical Storm Hilary continues.

Ninety-nine percent of the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area reopened in early November 2023. This milestone was reached because of Forest Service employees, partners, and volunteers working tirelessly to make the necessary hazard mitigations and repairs. A few of the most popular roads, trails, and developed recreation sites in Deer Creek, Kyle, and Lee Canyons that residents enjoy, and tourists rely on during their vacations sustained severe damage during Tropical Storm Hilary and need significant work to make them accessible to the public.

Forest Service staff are currently working on options to secure funding and resources to help get identified critical infrastructure safely reopened in the future. Until funding can be secured, damaged areas are closed indefinitely under a Forest Closure Order for public safety and natural resources protection.

For a map that shows the closed areas, please visit https://bit.ly/SMNRA_ClosureMap.

Newly Reopened Areas

The Spring Mountains National Recreation Area and partners are working hard to reduce some of the area closures caused by Tropical Storm Hilary throughout the summer. As sections of closed areas reopen, they will be announced on the Go Mt. Charleston’s web page at http://www.gomtcharleston.com and posted at https://www.facebook.com/GoMtCharleston or https://www.instagram.com/gomtcharleston/

  • Reopened as of May 24, 2024
    • Two miles of Mack’s Canyon Road -Only two miles of the road is now open for dispersed camping.
    • Lower Bristlecone Trailhead and Trail - Only a portion of the Lower Bristlecone Trial will be available making it an out-and-back hike, while the Upper Bristlecone Trail remains closed.
    • Little Falls Trail - Accessible from Cathedral Rock Trailhead.
    • South Loop Trail - Accessible from Cathedral Rock Trailhead.

The Spring Mountains National Recreation Area’s recreation staff hopes to reopen Echo Trailhead sometime this summer.

Closed Areas

An extraordinary amount of water and force that came through the canyons during Tropical Storm Hilary damaged roads, trails, and developed recreation sites in Deer Creek, Kyle, and Lee Canyons. These roads, trailheads, trails, and picnic area were not simply washed out and cannot be easily repaired. It will take a significant amount of work, and in some areas, a complete reconstruction to repair them. Looking for a similar recreation experience to the currently closed roads, trails and recreation sites on the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area, visit: https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/fseprd1176536.pdf

Deer Creek Canyon (Nevada State Routes 158)

  • Deer Creek Picnic Area 
    • Flooding destroyed all the infrastructure at the Deer Creek Picnic Area, at this time there are no plans to rebuild the site.​

Kyle Canyon (Nevada State Routes 157)

  • Mary Jane Falls Trailhead and Trail*
    • Flooding caused around a 2-foot by 2-foot trench to form down the center of the parking area of the Mary Jane Falls Trailhead with debris flows causing other damage to the area. Throughout the Mary Jane Falls Trail deep ravines formed on the trail, some up to 15-foot deep and 15-foot across. Also, the majority of the trail was obliterated with washouts and debris flows with hazardous trees, either leaning or downed, along it.
  • Trail Canyons Trailheads and Trails*
    • Flooding washed out sections of the Trail Canyon Trail. Hazardous trees can also be found either leaning or downed, sporadically along the trail.
  • Cathedral Rock Trail*
    • Flooding caused the majority of the Cathedral Rock Trail to be obliterated with washouts and debris flows. In sections, the trail is deeply trenched and rutted with hazardous trees, either leaning or downed, along it.
  • Echo Road*
    • Flooding destroyed about 2,000 feet of pavement on Echo Road, which runs through the Echo Canyon subdivision and to parking areas of Mary Jane Falls and Trail Cayon trailheads. Clark County’s Public Works Department made repairs up to the last property on Echo Road. At this time, the county has no estimated date of repair and/or replacement.
  • Powerline Access Road
    • Flooding washed away the underlying road surface of the Powerline Access Roads. The roads in this area are deeply trenched and rutted.​

* Upper Kyle Canyon Complex

Lee Canyon (Nevada State Routes 156)

  • Upper Bristlecone Trailhead and Trail​
    • Flooding caused the pavement at the Upper Bristlecone Trailhead to crumble. About 1 mile of the Upper Bristlecone Trail was washed out and around a 6-foot by 15-foot trench formed through the trail. Also, hazardous trees, either leaning or downed, can be found along the trail.

Safety

The Spring Mountains National Recreation Area and Mount Charleston Fire Protection District have serious concerns about people getting injured if they attempt to access closed areas, so the public is asked to obey the Forest Service Closure Notice. Due to hazards in many of the closed areas, Mount Charleston Fire Protection District, search and rescue, and emergency medical services personnel cannot safely access closed areas, so assistance could be severely delayed, including LifeFlight. Violating a Forest Service Closure Order could carry a fine up to $5,000 and/or six months in jail.

To view the closure order, visit: https://bit.ly/SMNRAClosureForestOrder.

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