Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Nevada/Arizona


Lake Mead National Recreation Area is located in southern Nevada and western Arizona along the Colorado River and Lake Mead, which is the reservoir created along the Colorado River by the Hoover Dam. It also included the smaller Lake Mojave which is created by the Davis Dam. It was the first National Recreation Area to be created by an act of Congress in 1964. It is one of four National Park Service Sites in Nevada and one of twenty-two National Park Service Sites in Arizona.

The primary recreation activity for the site is water sports, as it is one of the few lakes of any size to be found in either Nevada or Arizona. There are 6 boat landings located on Lake Mead and one on Lake Mojave. There are also campgrounds available in the recreation area which you need to register for to use.

The entire area surrounding Lake Mead is a desert. It is actually convergence point of several desert ecosystems: The Mojave Desert, the Great Basin Desert, and the Sonoran Desert. Anyone hiking or camping in the area should take precautions that you would take in any desert environment.

Within the National Recreation Area are several parts which are jointly administered by other agencies. In particular, there are nine official wilderness areas which are managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and part of the Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument which is also administered by the BLM.

The Hoover Dam visitor center and tours of the Hoover Dam are run by the Bureau of Reclamation.

Lake Mead National Recreation Area

How To Get There

The nearest major city to Lake Mead is Las Vegas, Nevada. Driving time from downtown Las Vegas or the strip to the visitor center in Boulder City is approximately 30 minutes depending on traffic. Depending on your starting location, take I-515 or I-215 south to Henderson, NV. From there take highway 93 through Boulder City, NV and you will see signs for the park entrance.

Visitor Center, Fees, Park Stamps, and Hours of Operation

Lake Mead National Recreation Area Passport StampThe Alan Bible Visitor Center is located in Boulder City, Nevada along highway 93. The recreation area itself is open 24-hours a day, whereas the visitor center is open 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The park stamp for the site is located in the Alan Bible Visitor Center.

There is a fee for entering the recreation area, but not for entering the visitor center.

Lake Mead National Recreation Area Visitor Center
Lake Mead National Recreation Area Visitor Center

4 thoughts on “Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Nevada/Arizona”

  1. What an amazing oasis in the middle of the desert! The USA never fails to surprise me, something that my recent adventures in the country have also confirmed.

  2. Hey Gary,
    I’m from Central Michigan but never visit the Lake Mead National Recreation Area :)
    I wish, I’ll visit this area soon and thanks for such a cool information.

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