Well, it’s officially winter in the mountains above Las Vegas.
If you haven&x#39;t spent time in the Spring Mountains, which rise a little less than an hour outside of town, you’re missing one of the best reasons to live in Las Vegas.
The incredible, literally breath-taking environment climbs well above 11,000 feet at its peak and often accepts more than 200 inches of snow, averaging about 160 each year.
Part of what makes Lee Canyon, Mt. Charleston, and the Spring Mountains such a unique place is the sheer change in physical setting from the Las Vegas valley.
The low-lying, cactus-and-sandstone rolling hills of our corner of the Mojave abruptly change into a length of ponderosa pine-strewn peaks, cliffs, and walls, home to wild horses, deer, and even a small elk herd.
It’s not uncommon for the temperature to sit 20 degrees below what we experience on the desert floor, and yes, the snow often comes in feet.
What was once The Las Vegas Ski and Snowboard Resort was rebranded recently to Lee Canyon, named for the jagged, narrow canyon in which the resort was built.
It was then purchased by Powder Corp., one of the most recognized names in the ski industry. Renovations and upgrades followed, and before we knew it, Las Vegas has a one of the coolest, most fun family snow resorts in the western United States.
There are three lifts at Lee, and 24 serviced runs. The mountain’s staff have created an array of challenging runs and tree cuts, allowing expert skiers and riders to dart in and out of deep forest and narrow chutes. There’s even plenty of terrain for hiking, allowing backcountry enthusiasts to get their fix for non-lift served terrain.
Overall, the resort is designed for families, and delivers on every promise, from its restaurant, the Bighorn Grill, to the always happening Bristlecone Bar, there’s a little something for everyone at Lee Canyon.
Kids just getting their boards beneath them will find expert instruction and a wide, gentle run for them to become comfortable with speed and of course, falling.
Ski and board tuning, repairs, and accessories and gear are all available on-site. The close-knit community of staff and management always make it easy to get what you need quickly, and back out on the slopes before the powder is skied out.
There’s little to not love about Lee Canyon, which is an absolute gem of an outdoor destination for Las Vegas.
If you get the chance this winter, pack up the family and head out, and up, to the best little ski resort in the west.