Lake Mead – More or Less

Lake Mead Rocks

When frequent Vegas Tourists get tired of the bright lights, the food and the people, I get asked “What Else Can We Do Here?”  My answer is usually to tell them to take a tour or rent a car and make your own tour. There’s a lot to see off the strip and even out of the valley.

One of those places to visit is Lake Mead National Recreation Area. Just outside Bolder City. (Lake Mead is the largest water reservoir in the United States and was created by the building of Hoover Dam in 1935)

Not only is there plenty of water activities; from fishing to boating to burying bodies out there, you also have plenty of hiking, biking and exploring opportunities.    Wear comfortable shoes, dress in layers and bring your camera with a lot of memory power!  Also You Will Need Water, energy snacks and a hat. Even in the winter, the sun could get a bit overwhelming for those of you from the north-land!

I need to mention that the Lake Mead Recreation Area is protected by The National Park Service.  That means there is a $10 per private vehicle fee(?) to get into the park unless you have a Government pass.  We have the National Parks Pass.  The best $80 I’ve spent in a long time…

This past weekend, Miss Debbie and myself headed out there to explore and get out from the big city.  We grabbed the camera and some water and headed down Lake Mead’s Lake shore Drive.   From the looks of things, it may need a new name….  The lake shore is not really there anymore.  It Moved!  Partly because of climate change, partly because Lake Powell is not releasing enough water down stream and partly because Vegas is sucking up a lot of water, the shore line just isn’t there anymore.

What is there is unique rocks, rock formations, old miners trails, mountain sheep trails and park paths all there waiting for you to explore.  And not an ATM or slot machine to be seen.

Lake Mead drying up

There used to be six marinas on the lake, now they are down to two, maybe soon will be only one…  We found one of the four that are abandoned…

Where is It??

Lake Mead Nation Recreation Area has two popular entry points.

1) Valley of Fire – If you have the time, head north on I-15, ext to Valley of Fire.  About an hour drive from the Strip. An awesome little adventure awaits you there.  But it is a State Park and has its own entry fee and park pass.  Drive thru Valley of Fire and exit its east gate, turn right and you will enter Lake Mead.

2) Boulder City/Hoover Dam – If you go from Vegas and head Southeast towards my favorite little town in the desert, Boulder City… Go through Boulder City and head towards Hoover Dam and you will see the left hand exit for Lake Mead right before the Hacienda Casino  (soon to be the Hoover Dam Lodge)

There are also several ghost towns along the shore line from before the Hoover Dam was built and flooded everything.  The water is at record lows, exposing these old haunts.

We always stop off in Hemenway Park in Boulder City to see the Big Horn Sheep

big horn sheep

Mark Anthony

Mark Anthony is The Vegas Tourist! Popular Tourism Ambassador, a frequent contributor to Las Vegas forums as well as travel media and bloggers. Loves to help people discover new things to see, do and experience while visiting Las Vegas and Beyond!

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