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What to know in visiting Southern Nevada parks over holiday weekend

With the number of Memorial Day travelers expected to hit pre-pandemic levels, those who plan to visit a national park, forest or recreational area this weekend are expected to encounter closures and restrictions.

Fire restrictions issued

On May 16, state and federal agencies issued fire restrictions for Southern Nevada.

The restrictions prohibit:

— The building or use of a charcoal or campfire stove

— Use of any explosive without a permit

— Fireworks

— Use of a combustion engine without a properly installed and maintained spark arresting device that meets U.S Department of Agriculture-Forest Service standard

— Operating a acetylene torch with open flames without a permit

Other agency specific exceptions and restrictions can be found on nps.gov.

Red Rock Canyon continues reservations

Through May 31, the Bureau of Land Management requires timed reservations for vehicle entry to Red Rock Canyon’s scenic drive. Timed reservations are available online at recreation.gov. Reservations are valid for one day from entry time until park closing time. From April through September, Red Rock Canyon is open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Memorial Day is not a fee-free day.

For more information on the timed entry permit system, visit blm.gov.

Increased police presence, closures at Lake Mead

Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department’s DUI Strike Team and the National Park Service plan to heavily monitor the Lake Mead National Recreation Area by Boulder Beach on May 29, according to the NPS website.

Park rangers made 72 DUI-related citations and arrests in 2021. Park rangers had more than 50 DUI-related calls this year in the first five months.

NPS encouraged visitors who plan to consume alcohol at Lake Mead over Memorial Day weekend to have a designated sober driver. Call 911 if you witness a drunk driver. Drinking alcohol while operating a vessel is prohibited.

The only open launch ramp at Lake Mead is Hemenway Harbor due to low water levels at the reservoir. No boats over 24 feet are permitted to launch at the harbor. Launch points at Lake Mohave remained open.

NPS recommends visitors follow other safety measures including wearing a life jacket while swimming, taking caution when parking and walking along shoreline areas due to deep mud, avoiding cliff jumping and being courteous to other visitors.

The park service closed several trails for the summer on May 8, including Goldstrike Canyon, Liberty Arch, Sugar Loaf, Lone Palm and White Rock Canyon. Also, the Arizona Hot Springs and Trail are closed.

Campsites at Mount Charleston filling up

There are currently no closed campsites at Mount Charleston, but open campgrounds are filling up fast.

Officials said in a tweet Thursday visitors should consider dispersed camping or alternative campgrounds.

To book a campground reservation, visit recreation.gov.

Valley of Fire warns visitors to stay hydrated

Officials warned visitors in a Facebook post Wednesday about the dangers of hiking as temperatures are expected to stay above 80 degrees.

Officials advised visitors “Stay hydrated, stay cool, and stick to the beautiful views near the road when it’s this hot!”

Contact Taylor Lane at tlane@reviewjournal.com. Follow @tmflane on Twitter.

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