It’s hard to believe that Sin City is only a few hours away from Lake Mead National Recreation Area, with dramatic and often surreal scenery of sharp craggy mountains, deep canyons, and desert basins. Coboldmprising the areas around Lake Mead and Lake Mohave, this recreation area attracts water sports enthusiasts, boaters, and nonboaters alike.
Lake Mead National Recreation Area comprises the basin where the Colorado River flows into the Hoover Dam. Thrill seekers can take an ATV tour or explore Lake Mead by Jet Ski, while those looking to break a sweat can opt for a cycling tour or guided trail run along the lake shores. Mississippi-style paddle wheelers offer romantic dinner cruises, while some tours combine a visit to Hoover Dam with an afternoon boat ride on Lake Mead.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Lake Mead is a must-visit for adventure travelers and those looking for an escape from Las Vegas.
- Always wear a life jacket when out on the lakes as conditions can change quickly.
- Don’t forget to bring sun protection and plenty of water.
- Wi-Fi is available at several locations throughout the park.
- Several areas of the park, including Boulder Beach, Willow Beach, and Callville Bay, are wheelchair accessible.
How to Get There
Lake Mead borders Arizona and Nevada and is located 30 miles (48 kilometers) southeast of Las Vegas. The national recreation area has nine entrances, and the visitor center sits off U.S. 93 just southeast of Boulder City.
When to Get There
The recreation area is open daily throughout the year, though some beaches and other natural areas are day-use only. Spring and autumn offer the best daytime temperatures for outdoor adventure, while summer sees highs in the triple digits.
Attractions in the Lake Mead Area
Boulder City and Lake Mead NRA are located within a two-hour drive of several other attractions that can be visited in a day. The most popular is Hoover Dam, the engineering marvel responsible for forming Lake Mead. Old Las Vegas Mormon Fort State Historic Park and Spring Mountain Ranch State Park are both nearby, as is Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, popular among hikers.