High Volumes of Visitation Expected on the Spring Mountains Over the Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday
Las Vegas - Mt. Charleston Winter Alliance reminds the public to recreate responsibly when visiting the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area over the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend. The Spring Mountains National Recreation Area did receive snow on Tuesday, but not as much as was expected, and not nearly the 12” that the Forest recommends for safe sledding. With warming trends much of the snow will have melted off by the weekend.
“There is not much snow left after our recent snowfall, and what is left is patchy, icy, and muddy,” said Chris Linehan, Recreation Staff Officer. “Visitors should use their best judgment while playing in the snow, some hazards do exist.”
The popularity of Lee and Kyle Canyons during the winter can bring 25,000 cars to the area, especially on weekends when snow is present. 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. 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.
Due to public safety concerns for emergency access, Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) has put additional parking restrictions in place on Nevada State Route 156 (Lee Canyon Road) along the Lee Meadows area. This is similar to restrictions along upper portions of Kyle Canyon Road. Recreationist should plan accordingly and dress warmly in case they need to park and walk a distance to access snow. Drivers should follow all posted parking signs. Illegally parked vehicles may be fined and towed.
Spring Mountains visitors should be aware of the following tips to ensure a safe visit:
• Check driving conditions, chain requirements, and road closures before traveling to the mountain. For real-time road information, dial 511 within Nevada, 1-877-NV-ROADS (1-877-687-6237) outside of Nevada.
• Do not sled in areas with less than 12 inches of snow, and avoid traffic and dangerous objects like trees and rocks. Use sturdy sleds for snow play, not makeshift items like cardboard boxes. Do not trespass on private property or closed areas.
• Large amounts of trash are being left by visitors to the mountain. Please help keep the area beautiful for everyone to enjoy by taking trash and sled debris home or put it in provided trashcans or dumpsters.
• It will be very cold and windy on the mountain, so it is extremely important to wear appropriate outdoor clothing. This would include layering light and warm clothing, long pants, gloves, hats, scarves and waterproof boots that have traction for icy conditions.
• When traveling to the mountain, start with a full tank of gas. There are no gas stations in the area. Always carry with you: tire chains/tow strap, cell phone, flashlight, ice scraper, jumper cable, snow shovel, blanket/sleeping bag, first aid kit, compass, maps, bag of sand/kitty litter for traction, spare batteries, non-perishable foods and water.
OPEN RECREATION AREAS
• Lee Canyon ski area is the largest recreation area and offers skiing and tubing for daily and annual fees.
• Old Mill Picnic Area ($10 per car). Services offered through Lee Canyon ski area operating under special use permit.
• Sawmill Day Use Area (no fee).
• Lee Meadows. The meadows is often crowded on weekends. There is no roadside parking on Nevada State Route 156 (Lee Canyon Road) in the Lee Meadows area. NDOT has restricted parking in this area for public health and safety similar to restrictions that have previously been put in place along upper portions of Kyle Canyon Road.
• Bristlecone Trail.
• McWilliams Campground (Overnight camping only. $25 for single site). From December 15, 2017 through February 28, 2018, McWilliams Camp Ground will be reservation only.
• Managed areas are only opened as weather permits.
Kyle Canyon and Deer Creek
• The Spring Mountains Visitor Gateway is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. seven days a week for visitor information.
• Kyle Picnic Area (depending on picnic area size and day of the week, ranges from $12 on weekdays to $18 on weekends and holidays).
• Fletcher View Campground ($33 for a single site).
• Various pullouts on Deer Creek Road (Nevada State Route 158).
• Managed areas are only opened as weather permits.
• Avoid crowds by visiting more remote areas of the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area. When snow is available, Lovell Canyon, Trout Canyon, and the Potosi Mountain area make great snow play areas if you are properly equipped. Roads to these areas are not maintained.
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), the Mount Charleston Fire Protection District, National Weather Service, Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT), Nevada Highway Patrol (NHP), U.S. Forest Service, and Southern Nevada Conservancy.