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Expect big traffic at mountains near Las Vegas for MLK weekend

Updated January 19, 2019 - 12:30 am

Las Vegas Valley residents planning to head up to the Spring Mountains to enjoy the fresh snow over the Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend should be prepared for traffic delays and congestion.

And they should bring their patience along for the ride, according to the Mount Charleston Winter Alliance.

“With fresh snowfall occurring in the Spring Mountains this week, the Mount Charleston Winter Alliance reminds the public to be patient and safe when visiting the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area” over the holiday weekend, the alliance said in a news release.

People traveling to the mountains this weekend should expect high traffic volume in Kyle and Lee canyons, the alliance said in the release. Visitors should go early to avoid delays and be aware of safety recommendations for the area.

Holiday weekends can bring more than 25,000 cars to the canyon areas, according to the release.

Snow could fall again on the mountains early Monday, which will have a 10 to 20 percent chance for snow showers, the National Weather Service said Friday night.

Saturday will be partly cloudy in the Mount Charleston area, with a high near 56 degrees and light winds. Sunday will be sunny with a high of 57, and Monday will be sunny with a high near 47. The Kyle Canyon area will be slightly colder, with highs near 49 on Saturday and Sunday and 34 on Monday, according to the weather service.

Since sledding is a popular activity, the Winter Alliance asked that visitors avoid sledding in any areas with less than 12 inches of snow, as well as areas near traffic or dangerous items such as trees and rocks, the release said.

Snow play areas in Lee Canyon will be open Saturday through Monday, the alliance said. The Foxtail Picnic Area in Lee Canyon will be open for snow play, concessions and restrooms with a $25 fee per car.

The Spring Mountains Visitor Gateway in Kyle Canyon will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday through Monday for visitor services and education programs offered by the Southern Nevada Conservancy. The conservancy also will offer free programs at the Old Mill Picnic Area of Lee Canyon on Sunday, when the Junior Ranger program will start at 11 a.m., and a guided hike will begin at noon.

Parking at the Old Mill Picnic Area is $15 per car.

The Nevada Highway Patrol and the Metropolitan Police Department will monitor traffic congestion and road conditions in both canyons during the holiday weekend, the alliance said.

Periodic road closures may occur on Lee Canyon Road, Kyle Canyon Road and Deer Creek Road, depending on traffic volume and available parking.

Contact Katelyn Newberg at knewberg@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0240. Follow @k_newberg on Twitter.

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