Lake Mead National Recreation Area is located in both Mohave County, Arizona, and Clark County, Nevada. Spanning 1.5 million acres, this recreation area includes not only a reservoir but also Lake Mead and Lake Mohave as well as canyons, valleys, and mountains. The park contains 9 wilderness areas as well as a view of the Hoover Dam, which can be seen from either of its lakes. Not only is the park a place of recreation, it also has a practical use in supplying water to the surrounding farmland and to the homes of close to 20 million people. Entrance areas are Temple Bar, Northshore Road, Willow Beach, Katherine Landing, Boulder Beach, Lake Mead Parkway, East Lake Mead Blvd, and Cottonwood Cove.
Things to do and attractions
Lake Mead itself covers 247 square miles while Lake Mohave spans 41 miles, and both offer a prime location for watersports, including boating, canoeing, kayaking, and fishing. Boating occurs across the 290 square miles of waterways of Lake Mohave and Lake Mead. As well as boating on the open water, visitors can go exploring some of the private coves, or kayak or canoe around the rivers and lakes of the recreation area and view the Black Canyon. Fishing is another popular activity at the park. As the park lies across two states, and both states have different fishing laws, anglers should go to specific areas to fish with their valid fishing license. Fishers need to acquire a trout stamp to catch trout and can then head to the Katherine, Cottonwood Cove, and Willow Beach areas for the best trout fishing. Fees apply to those wishing to use the lakes and it is recommended that visitors enquire first. The primitive backcountry can reach highs of 112ºF in summer and drop below freezing in winter, so visitors are also advised to take the necessary precautions.
For hikers there are a number of desert trails meandering across the large expanse of the eastern Mojave Desert. Ranger hikes can be arranged that avoid the summer days and hike in the evening. The Black Canyon is a popular place for hikers to explore. The park roads have been specially designed for bicycles and many visitors attend the park for this reason. Bicycles pay the entrance fee requirements when they enter and can choose to cycle along the back country roads, the Historic Railroad Trail, or the River Mountains Loop Trail. Additionally, picnic areas are located at Redstone, Roger’s Spring, Blue Point Spring, Echo Bay, Callville Bay, Las Vegas Bay, Boulder Bay, Temple Bar, and South Cove. Visitors looking for a scenic drive can enjoy the panoramic views of Lake Mead and the horizon of the mountains by driving the Northshore Road and Lakeshore Road.
There are various marinas located within the Lake Mead National Recreation Area, including Callville Bay Resort and the Boulder Basin Las Vegas Boat Harbor. These locations are used for fuel, boat rentals, restaurants, snack bars, storage, and slip rentals. Lake Mead Marina is located in Hemenway Harbor as part of the Las Vegas Boat Harbor. Visitors intending to camp can choose from the facilities on offer, which comprise picnic tables, running water, restrooms, dump stations, and grills as well as recreational vehicle hook-ups and concessionaire campgrounds. Further popular activities include hunting and swimming.
The Virtual Museum is the online resource that tells the historic story of the Native Americans who lived in North Arizona and North Nevada. The museum displays artifacts, information, and photographs from this time.
Ongoing programs and education
The Become a Junior Ranger program allows children to receive a junior ranger certificate and badge by completing the activity book and other activities from the Junior Ranger Guide. An online Become a Webranger program is open for children to log in and learn about the park and nature while completing puzzles and quizzes to become a Webranger.
Lake Mead National Recreation Area offers a field trip program, where educators can book a ranger-led field trip. The school group will explore nature of the area with the ranger providing educational information and activities. There is also a guest speaker program, with the venue, topic, duration, and grade-appropriate content run in an outreach-style educational approach. Teacher workshops are open to educators who want to learn about using the park as an outdoor classroom.
601 Nevada Way, Boulder City, NV 89005, Phone: 860-583-3300