Lake Mead

on Tuesday, 16 April 2013. Posted in Trails, State and National Parks and Recration Areas, Water Sports


Lake Mead National Recreation AreaLake Mead is located on the Colorado River, approximately 30  miles southest of Las Vegas, in the States of Nevada and  Arizona. The many marinas and coves can be accessed from North  Shore Road, Lake Shore Road, and Highway 93 in Nevada, and  several roads in Arizona. Many of the more seclued coves do not have road  access, you can reach them only by boat.

Lake Mead was formed when Hoover Dam was built in the 1930's, and the forming of Lake Mead meant the end to a small town in Overton, St. Thomas. St. Thomas was  a thriving community settlled by Mormon Pioneers.

Lake Mead is the perfect destination for recreational adventures. Boating, fishing, jet skiing, hiking, kayaking stand up paddle boarding, swimming, and more are available at numerous coves and beaches.

Lake Mead Interesting Facts:

    Visited by approximately 8 Million people per year
    Is the largest National Recreation Area in the country
    Was the FIRST National Recreation Area in the country.
    Is the 5th most visited recreation area in the country
    Visitation is equal to total visitors to Grand Canyon and Yosemite COMBINED!
    900 plant species
    500 animal species
    Convergence of three of the four North American Deserts
    25 threatened or endangered species
    Nine wilderness areas (185,000 acres)
    1.8 million years of geological occurrences
    10,000 years of human presence

To read more about Lake Mead, click here for a PDF with facts, maps, information and more.
Visit the Lake Mead Website  for the most up to date information

Click the Map Image Below for a printable PDF Version of the map
Lake Mead Map


 Vehicle or Motorcyle (covers all passengers)
Yearly Pass: $30
1-7 Day Pass: $10
Yearly Pass: $30
1-7 Day Pass: $16

Individual: Hikers, Bikers, etc...
Yearly Pass: $30
1-7 Day Pass: $5

Senior Federal Lands Pass: $10 per person. Seniors 62 and older. Lifetime pass.

Access Federal Lands Pass: FREE for those medically determined to be permanently disable. Lifetime Pass

Federal Interagency Pass: $80 yearly.

For more informaton about Lake Mead Fees vist the Lake Mead National Park Service Website

History and Today

History: Lake Mead is the largest reservoir in the United States and was formed by the impounding of the Colorado River when Hoover Dam was built. It extends 112 miles behind the dam, and holds  28,500,000 acre feet of water. It was named after Elwood Mead  (1858–1936), who was the commissioner of the U.S. Bureau of  Reclamation from 1924 to 1936 during the planning and  construction of the Boulder Canyon Project that created the dam  and lake.

Lake Mead was first known as the Boulder Dam Recreation Area  starting in 1936, under the administration of the National Park  Service. In 1964, it was established as Lake Mead National  Recreation Area, and added Lake Mohave and Shivwits Plateau to  its jurisdiction. It was the first National Recreation Area in  the country.

Pre History: The one and a half million acres that make up the Lake Mead National Recreation Area were occupied by many groups of people prior to the building of Hoover Dam, including early Desert Native Americans, explorers, pioneers searching for cheap land and religious freedom, and prospectors seeking their fortunes.

Archeologist Mark R Harrington and Paleontologist James Thurston discovered remains of large mammals in a cave near the present day Lake Mead, including ground sloths, horses, camels, and mountain sheep. Mark R. Harrington's excavations included the Lost City, Gypsum Cave, and Tule Springs and were considered pioneering pieces of work. The Lost City Museum in Overton, NV offers visitors the chance to learn more about the excavations and the history of Moapa Valley and Lake Mead.

Present Day Lake Mead

Today: millions of visitors come to Lake Mead to enjoy the  varied recreational activities available, including swimming, boating, watersports, fishing, hiking, camping, and more.

There are currently Fee Stations at Boulder Beach, East Lake Mead Blvd., Lake Mead Parkway, Cottonwood Cove, Temple Bar and Katherine Landing. and on the north end, just outside the Valley of Fire State Park..

LAUNCH RAMPS: There are several launch ramps on Lake Mead, and  because of the fluctuating water levels, it's a good idea to
check current conditions while planning your trip. View National Park Service Ramp Conditions.

Calville Bay-Hemenway Harbor-Boulder Harbor--South Cove-Temple Bar-Echo Bay


Lost City Museum

Mark Harrington

Hoover Dam


 Click on the marina names to visit their website for  information or reservations.

Boulder Basin: Lake Mead Marina-Las Vegas Boat Harbor-Calville Bay

These marinas all offer boat rentals, fuel, general store merchandise, restaurants or snack bars, dry storage and slip rentals. Boat Rentals range from Personal Watercraft up to Houseboats. Reservations are recommended.

Overton Arm: Echo Bay Resort-Most of the services at Echo Bay closed effective April 1, 2013, the following was obtained from the NPS Website:


BOULDER CITY, Nev. - Land-based services will remain open at Lake Mead National Recreation Area's Echo Bay under a contract amendment that was signed Feb. 1. The trailer village, RV site, land-based fuel, dry boat storage and administrative building were scheduled to close Feb. 1 after the temporary contract they operated under expired. By amending another contract within the park, these services will now remain open.

Please check with National Park Service for any updates concerning Echo Bay Marina.

EAST Lake Mead: Temple Bar Marina

Temple Bar Marina offers boat rentals, fuel, general merchandise, restaurant, dry storage and slip rentals.

Lake Mohave: Lake Mohave Resort-Cottonwood Cove Resort-Willow Beach

These marinas offer boat rentals, fuel, general store merchandise, restaurants or snack bars, dry store and slip rentals. Willow Beach Marina has limited services.

Always check with the specific marina for any services before planning your visit, as services might have changed since this article was published.

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