December. 1, 2011
During the winter travel season at Mount Charleston, the Nevada Department of Transportation will implement and enforce parking restrictions in the area from December 2011 through March 2012. The restrictions are part of the department’s public safety outreach. Due the number of visitors on the weekends and holidays, motorists will not be allowed to park or walk on the actual roadways. No-parking signs will be placed throughout Kyle and Lee Canyons. Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department and the Nevada Highway Patrol will enforce parking restrictions.
Parking will be eliminated on NDOT right-of-way on SR157 from SR158 to the Mount Charleston Lodge and on SR156 from the Meadows to the ski resort and by the fire station in Lee Canyon. Where parking is allowed (Resort at Mt. Charleston, U.S. Forest Service parking lots/land and east of SR158), vehicles must park in parking spaces or off the road—wheels must be to the right of the white lines to prevent damage to vehicles and allow medical, police, fire personnel to respond to emergencies. Vehicles parked over white lines, in “No Parking” zones or that impede traffic will be ticketed and towed. Fines begin at $190.
Visitors should also refrain from playing or parking on private property or residential areas or areas marked “Closed.” Trespassing fines begin at $150. Snow chains and/or 4-wheel drive vehicles may be required for travel in Mount Charleston. Motorists who stop in travel lanes to put on snow chains will be cited. If you do not have the right equipment or the skills to operate the equipment/vehicle in winter conditions, your safety may be compromised. Visitors are encouraged to bring extra food, water, clothing, a shovel, blankets and other items in case emergency vehicles can’t immediately reach or help them.
“Everyone likes to enjoy the fun in Mount Charleston in the snow, but it becomes very dangerous if emergency vehicles and snow plows can’t get through; parking restrictions are in place to keep everyone safe,” said Mary Martini, District Engineer for NDOT’s District 1. Mike Johnson, assistant fire chief for the Clark County Fire Department, agreed. “It’s critical that roadways are clear and parking restrictions obeyed so that emergency responders can quickly and safely get to people who need help. When roadways are not clear, it may impede the ability of responders to get to where accidents or injuries have occurred.”
Cell phone reception is not available in most areas on SR156, SR157 and SR158, so it is a good idea to tell relatives and friends where you’re going. In an effort to keep the area clean, visitors are encouraged place litter in designated receptacles or take it home. Littering fines can reach $1,000. Sledding is encouraged at the Foxtail Picnic Area in areas that are free of trees and other hazards. The picnic area is open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., when there is more than 12 inches of snow on the ground. Sledding is prohibited in undesignated areas (very steep and full of trees). Sledding in these hazardous areas increases the chances of injury or even death. Four people have died in sled accidents the last five years along a three-mile stretch on SR157.
To protect plants and animal habitats, snow play is only recommended in areas where there is more than 12 inches of snow. Public restrooms are located at the Foxtail and Sawmill picnic areas, McWilliams Campground and open campgrounds in Kyle Canyon. Visitors can help keep the mountain safe by parking in designated locations, stopping vehicles completely off the roadway and not littering.For more information about public restrooms and winter recreation activities in Mt. Charleston, call the U.S. Forest Service at (702) 515-5400. Visitors can check on road conditions prior to their trips by logging on to www.safetravelusa.com/nv.