Lake Mead National Recreation Area


Overview: Lake Mead National Recreation Area lies at the interface of the Mojave, Great Basin, and Sonorant Deserts in one of the hottest and driest places on Earth. Only a few miles west sits Las Vegas, the neon oasis. The horizon here looks limitless and is framed by striated stone, mountains, colorful wildflowers, and open sky. The area is massive--1.5 million acres spread north and south from Hoover Dam across nearly 3,000 square miles of Nevada and Arizona. It sprawls northward along Lake Mohave, and turns at the Hoover Dam, stretching eastward until it meets the border of Grand Canyon National Park at its eastern limit. Lake Mead's clear waters were formed by the Hoover Dam in 1935, and its sister lake, Lake Mohave, was created by Davis Dam in 1953. The recreation area was established in October 1964 and has since become a popular destination for millions of visitors each year. It will provide you with a wealth of diverse recreations and discoveries. What to see and do: For lodging, Lake Mead offers 1,148 campsites in eight campgrounds, five motels, and six RV campgrounds with full electric, water, and sewage hookups. The admission fee is $5.00 per vehicle. Concession lodging and overnight boat camping are also available in the marinas. Campgrounds are equipped with drinking water, toilets, and dump stations, and are situated to provide easy access to laundries and showers. If you're looking for full amenities, the most developed campground in Lake Mead National Recreation Area is Boulder Basin, which has three large marinas. Camping, swimming, boating, waterskiing, fishing, scuba diving, wildlife viewing, and hiking are the leading summer activities. Within Lake Mead National Recreation Area, you'll be able to rent houseboats, powerboats, mooring slips, and buoys, as well as buy fuel, camping and sports equipment, and groceries. You can enjoy raft and boat excursions, dam tours, and interpretive programs offered by the Alan Bible Visitor Center, which lies four miles northeast of Boulder City. The staff at the visitor center can also provide you with land and nautical maps, activity schedules, and any other information you'll need during your visit. One way to familiarize yourself with the Lake Mead area is to take a scenic drive. You'll be rewarded with dramatic desert and mountain vistas and panoramic lake views. Follow the Lakeshore and Northshore Scenic Drives that wind along the banks of Lake Mead. Be sure to visit the enormous Hoover Dam facility, where you'll be able to tour the inner workings and walk along the upper decks of this engineering miracle. Picnicking in any of the recreation area's scenic picnic sites is also a treat. You'll find sites with drinking water, tables, rest rooms, and cooking grills situated in the Colville Bay, Las Vegas Bay, Boulder Beach, Cottonwood Cove, and Katherine areas. Other picnic sites that have no drinking water are also available. Another good way to explore Lake Mead is to go on a desert hike. Hiking will allow you to see places you can't see from a boat or while driving. You can hike to see the sandstone formations situated near Redstone Picnic Area, or to a canyon where you can see centuries-old Indian petro glyphs carved in rock. Lake Mead and Lake Mohave are great settings for water recreation; the waters are blue and cool even in the hottest summertime heat. If you just want to sit back and enjoy good fishing, both lakes are stocked with bass, trout, catfish, crappie, bluegill, and other species waiting for the well-cast lure. Sailing and windsurfing against a backdrop of mountain ranges and desert expanses are options, as well as swimming in the lakes' blue waters. Noteworthy attractions adjacent to or near Lake Mead National Recreation Area include Valley of Fire State Park, located at the parks northwest edge, and Lost City Museum, found at the northern end of Lake Mead. Of course, you can always take an urban excursion into America's recreation city, Las Vegas.


601 Nevada Highway
Superintendent, Lake Mead NRA
Boulder City, NV 89005


35.97668500, -114.83864300
Visit Website
(702) 293-8907

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