4 Fun Things to do at Lake Mead


Yes, I know it’s hard to believe. There are people who actually come to Las Vegas and never leave the Strip.  Shocking.  Some people just can’t fathom anything else beyond those bright lights and the crowds of people.  Or maybe it’s they just don’t know what else is really “out there”!

While Las Vegas possesses a dreamy nightlife and maybe an awesome day life around the pools.  But just imagine what you would discover if you rented a car and take a 40-minute drive south of Vegas.  That little drive will bring you past historic Boulder City and out to the gorgeous Lake Mead National Recreation Area. This lake was created in the 1930s by the building of the nearby Hoover Dam and is surrounded by spectacular desert views.

Here are 4 things to do in Las Vegas‘s Lake Mead that will make your vacation a once-in-a-lifetime experience:


Imagine boating across blue waters surrounded by soul-filling scenery. Lake Mead offers just that! There are also several options you can opt from. Rent one of the marinas or take it up a notch by bringing your own boat! However, that would require you to purchase a vessel pass from the entrance. This is guaranteed to make boating at Lake Mead a private moment for you!

Sidenote:  Like to fish?  Lake Mead is regularly stocked with largemouth bass, rainbow trout, black crappie, bluegill, green sunfish, and other freshwater fish.

The Northshore Drive

If the water-based activities get too much for you, drive along the north-western edge of Lake Mead. Driving miles overlooking the Muddy Mountains is sure to leave you awestruck. As a pro tip, remember to prepare a road-trip-worthy playlist before you hit the scenic road!



Not my idea of spending a night, but for others, the dreamy idea of camping under a starry sky will certainly come to life at Lake Mead. There are several campgrounds with different facilities. Look up options like the Boulder Beach campground that might prove to be your ideal camping site! From picnic tables to clean restrooms, these camping sites will make you feel like you are at home away from home.

Historic railroad Tunnels

Railroad Tunnels

Gear up to teleport back to the steam locomotion era! The 3.7-mile trail starts right before the park’s main entrance and takes you to the Hoover Dam. Originally built in 1931 to get the trains down to the dam site, this trail is great for a family walk since the path is flat and the walk does not take hours!

Final Thoughts

Out of the many things to do in Las Vegas, Lake Mead is an ideal natural respite! The combination of water and desert scenery makes Lake Mead an ideal stop to relax and catch a breath. If you are planning on visiting Las Vegas, make sure you pack your trekking shoes and camps. Lake Mead awaits you!

Related Post: Walking the Historic Railroad Tunnels

Other Links: Lake Mead National Recreation Area

Talking with a Park Ranger About Lake Mead [Video]


With all the recent media talk about the lack of water in Lake Mead, I thought it was time to go talk to someone about Lake Mead and let people know the other side of the story about the big lake we created when we built Hoover Dam.  Why is it there? is it a National Park?  Why was it needing protection and what can tourists do out there?

Just as a reminder, not far from the shining lights of the Las Vegas Strip sits one of the most popular National Recreation Areas in America. Lake Mead National Recreation Area (LMNRA). Lake Mead is the 16th largest manmade lake in the world as well as the first in America to be designated as a recreational area.  It may be a lake, but there is more than just a small puddle of water out there to go see!

LMNRA Public Affairs Officer Christie Vanover agreed to meet with me and talk a little about our famous lake.  It just happened to be a very windy day when we met at Lake Mead Over Look!  What makes Lake Mead special, what does it offer the tourists and just what is it really?  Plus she hinted at what awaits the tourist at the other, newest National Monument in Nevada: Tule Springs Fossil Bed National Monument.

So Lake Mead was created by the plugging up of the Colorado River when we built Hoover Dam.  As the lake filled up, it submerged a lot of “cultural Artifacts” from the construction of the dam.  Trains, equipment, shanty towns where some of the workers lived, cold war spy planes, etc. A popular place for divers!  It’s also a great fishing spot, fun for boating as well as swimming and jet skiing.  But the lake is just a small park of the area.

Lake Mead

The area surrounding Lake Mead was established as the Boulder Dam Recreation Area in 1936. In 1964, the area was expanded to include Lake Mohave and its surrounding area and became the first National Recreation Area to be designated as such by the U.S. Congress.

When people hear the words “Lake Mead”, they think just about the body of water. Not realizing that the actual park is 3 times more land than water.  The area surrounding the actual lake is popular for hiking, camping and wildlife viewing. At the north end, it connects with Valley Fire State Park as well as into the Grand Canyon

Christie Vanover and her bubbly personality, as well as her genuine love for the area, has made her the perfect face for Lake Mead on social media.  She has started to make twitter videos promoting the recreational opportunities within the lake  (Lake Mead on Twitter) Plus her favorite Vegas movie is Con-Air, so I like her!



Links to Tours in Lake Mead

206 Wayne Newton, Lake Mead and the new mating call for millennials?

Looks like Wayne Newton is coming back for a show on the Strip, dumb-dumb gangsta-wannabe gets killed flashing cash he made talking about his sexcapade on the Linq Observation Wheel, we talk about Lake Mead National Recreational Area and Mark tries to understand what appears to be the new mating call for the millennials.

All of that and so much more when Mark and Debbie Anthony sit down to do The Vegas Tourist Podcast #206 

First up is the story that just gets more weird and refuses to die.  The sexcapade on the Linq Observation Wheel.  The man of the couple, Phil Panzica, gets killed flashing the money he was paid from the TMZ show for telling his version of the events. (Review-Journal)

Wayne Newton is returning to the Strip with his own show.  Thankfully we won’t have to hear him try to sing.  But the man will come fully loaded with a lot of stories and observations from his long career and his amazing Las Vegas life.  If there is anyone who would have some great Las Vegas stories worthy of the price of admission, it would have to be our very own Wayne Newton!!  Mark talks about his trip to Vegas and seeing the Wayne Newton Show when it was at the Stardust Casino.

T-Mobile Arena opens next week.  The new 20,000 seat arena will be bringing Las Vegas into the 21st century of entertainment facilities and a long list of great shows and headliners are already booked.  The paid parking that will come to MGM when the new arena opens will be a sore point for a lot of people and the experts have spoken: Paid Parking is a deal killer for vegas tourists!

The Rock n Roll Marathon brought in $226 Million in non-gaming economic impact and the 2016 version kicks off November 10-13.  (Rock N Roll Marathon Las Vegas details)

The Vegas Black Knights will be the name for the Las Vegas NHL team when (you know it will happen) Las Vegas gets its NHL team.  Meanwhile, the hockey league is losing millions by not making it official.   What Vegas tourist doesn’t want a Las Vegas NHL Hockey sweatshirt??

Lake Mead National Recreation Area

Why was Lake Mead made into a Recreational Area and what’s under the water?  That and other questions about Lake Mead National Recreational Area is answered in my interview with Public Affairs Officer for Lake Mead National Recreation Area and Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument, Ranger Christie Vanover

Links From the Interview