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Extra planning needed for winter recreation

Minimal snowfall is expected in the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area over the upcoming holidays, and there likely will not be enough to safely support sledding, snowshoeing or other typical winter activities.

“With not enough snow present to protect them, vegetation and small trees in the area can be damaged if you play on them right now with sleds and snowshoes,” said Capt. Don Harris of Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest law enforcement. “Therefore, we ask you to refrain from these activities until there is more snow.

“Also, campfires are not allowed within one mile of homes in Kyle Canyon, Lee Canyon, Cold Creek, Mountain Springs, Trout Canyon, Lovell Canyon and Coal Springs. Signs are posted in these areas to remind everyone of this restriction.”

Please visit www.GoMtCharleston.com/snow-season for information about conditions and safety before heading to the mountains. For real-time road information, travelers 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, including maintain physical distance of at least 6 feet from others, wear a facial covering if proper distancing is not possible, follow current state and local group size restrictions and stay home if you feel sick.

Additionally, the Spring Mountains Visitor Gateway facilities and parking area at 2525 Kyle Canyon Road are closed 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. Because of 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 https://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 might provide fewer crowds and better access. Visitors are advised to go early, be patient and abide by traffic laws.

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 might occur on Nevada State Routes 156 (Lee Canyon Road), 157 (Kyle Canyon Road) and 158 (Deer Creek Road).

Law enforcement officials ask you to observe and comply with highway reader boards and flashing signs on Lee Canyon Road and Kyle Canyon Road when indicating 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 could 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.

Please abide by all posted parking signs in Kyle Canyon and Lee Canyon. 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 https://www.gomtcharleston.com/wp-content/uploads/spring-mountains-snow-season-map.pdf.

Other typical winter suggestions apply. Visitors should wear appropriate outdoor clothing including layering light and warm clothing, gloves, hats, scarves and waterproof boots. Do not sled in areas with fewer than 12 inches of snow and avoid traffic and dangerous objects such as trees and rocks. Sledding might be dangerous in icy conditions. Use sturdy sleds for snow play, not makeshift items such as cardboard boxes.

The Mount Charleston Winter Alliance reminds all visitors not to trespass on private property or closed areas, keep pets on leashes and clean up after them, and take trash home or put it in provided trashcans or dumpsters.

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