Friday, Dec. 17, 2010 | 10:07 a.m.
Families hoping to sled at Mount Charleston this coming weekend might have to leave their boots and snow pants packed in their closets.
Because of below-average snowfall in the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area, officials are prohibiting sledding to prevent damage to the park’s natural habitat. Snow must be at least 12 inches deep for sledding.
It is expected to snow in the Mount Charleston area today, Saturday and Sunday, and into next week, according to the National Weather Service. Still, the U.S. Forest Service says snow accumulation through the weekend likely won't be enough to allow sledding – yet.
“Normally we have enough snow so that people can sled safely,” said Judy Suing, spokeswoman with the forest service. She said last year the mountains got more snow than normal.
Suing said the forest service will update its Twitter feed to let people know when sledding is allowed again.
When sledding does open, sledders are being urged to use Foxtail Picnic Area in Lee Canyon.
“That area has a lot of wide, open trails,” Suing said.
Sledders will be fined $275 for any damage to plants or animal habitats during the prohibited period.
Suing said drivers at Mount Charleston during snowy or icy weather can call 511 to check road conditions. Hiking areas, as well as the Las Vegas Ski and Snowboard Resort – which makes its own snow – remain open.
Snow tires and chains are currently required on highways in the Mount Charleston area.