Forest Service: Please Don't Travel To Mt. Charleston

Every Bathroom Locked, All Campgrounds Closed

Paul Ihander
May 01, 2020 - 2:45 pm

Photo Courtesy: Dreamstock

With the extension of Nevada’s “Stay at Home” directive, the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest asks the public to please honor this directive by not traveling to the Mt. Charleston area on the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area (SMNRA) near Las Vegas. If some time outside is needed, the stay-at-home directive asks the public to keep close to home in areas where social distancing can be practiced.

There are currently no facilities available on the SMNRA. All campgrounds, picnic areas, restrooms, and the Spring Mountains Visitor Gateway are closed. Despite this, the SMNRA is experiencing visitation consistent with holiday weekends, resulting in overcrowding, lack of social distancing, illegal campfires, accumulating trash and human waste, and road congestion due to illegal parking that impedes emergency access.  

The Forest recognizes that the current closures and restrictions come at a time when many are seeking respite in natural areas. However, these actions have been taken to support federal, state, county, and local measures to control the COVID-19 pandemic.

The following restrictions are in place on the SMNRA:

Group Size

No more than nine people in an area in accordance with social distancing recommendations provide by the CDC.

Fire Restriction

No igniting, building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, including charcoal grills and barbecues, coal and wood burning stoves and sheepherder’s stoves.

No smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle, trailer, or building.

Anyone that violates these restrictions could be subject to fines of up to $5,000 and/or six months in jail. In addition, anyone found responsible for starting a wildfire can be held civilly and criminally liable.