Just 35 miles northwest of Las Vegas is Mount Charleston. Part of the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area, Mount Charleston is Nevada's eighth-highest mountain peak and one of the top ten most topographically prominent peaks in the United States. While the National Recreation Area holds an abundance of recreational and sight-seeing opportunities including the 17+-mile State Route 156 scenic byway, the Nevada Department of Transportation, Nevada Highway Patrol, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police and other partners remind motorists on State Routes 156, 157 and 158 to always drive safely and follow these winter precautions and restrictions while visiting the Mt. Charleston area.
Winter Parking Restrictions
From December through March, the Nevada Department of Transportation and partners implement parking restrictions at Mt. Charleston. Due to the number of winter visitors on the weekends and holidays, motorists will not be allowed to park or walk on the actual roadways. No-parking signs are placed throughout Kyle and Lee Canyons. Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department and the Nevada Highway Patrol enforces parking restrictions.
Winter parking is eliminated on NDOT right-of-way on State Route 157 from State Route 158 to the Mount Charleston Lodge and on State Route 156 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 State Route 158), 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 and 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.
The following Nevada Revised Statutes regarding parking are important to note while traveling in Mt. Charleston:
In an effort to keep the area clean, visitors are encouraged to place litter in designated receptacles or take it home. Littering fines can reach $1,000.
Visitors should also refrain from playing or parking on private property or residential areas or areas marked “Closed.” Trespassing fines begin at $150.
Your safety is of primary importance. Several people have died in sled accidents in the last six years along a three-mile stretch on State Route 15.
Slopes along most of state routes in this area are inappropriate for sledding (very steep and full of trees). Sledding in these hazardous areas increases the chances of injury or even death. 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.
Snow chains and/or 4-wheel drive vehicles may be required for winter 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.
Cell phone reception is not available in most areas on State Route 156, State Route 157 and State Route 158, so it is a good idea to tell relatives and friends where you’re going. 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. For more information about public restrooms and winter recreation activities in the Mt. Charleston area, call Spring Mountains National Recreation Area offices at (702) 515-5400.