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.
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