Lake Mead NRA is home to bighorn sheep, mule deer, coyotes, kit foxes, bobcats, ringtail
cats, desert tortoise, numerous lizards and snakes, and a wealth of bird species.
Threatened and endangered species such as the desert tortoise and peregrine falcon are
found here, as well as ancient Colorado River fish species.
A long geological
history can be seen from the 1.8-billion year-old gneiss of Black Canyon to the lava flows
capping Fortification Hill formed about 6 million years ago during the last Ice Age.
A good place to start your visit is the Alan Bible Visitor Center, four miles
northeast of Boulder City, Nevada on U.S. 93. The park staff can help plan your stay and
give you up-to-date information on park activities and services. Exhibits, books,
brochures, and topographical maps and nautical charts are available. An outdoor botanical
garden displays some of the area's interesting desert trees, shrubs, and cactuses.
- Year-round use; peak lake-use in summer.
- southern Nevada, western Arizona
- Lake Mead NRA
- 601 Nevada Highway
Boulder City, Nevada 89005
- (702) 293-8907 Monday-Friday, 7:30 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. Voice mail after hours.
- OPERATING HOURS, SEASONS:
- Open year-round, 24 hours, 7 days a week. Visitor center: 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.; and
8:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. between Memorial Day and Labor Day.
- CLIMATE, RECOMMENDED CLOTHING:
- Sturdy shoes, brimmed hats, sunscreen recommended year- round.
- Access off Interstate 15 in Nevada; U.S. Highways 93 and 95 in Nevada and Arizona.
- To Park: air to Las Vegas (25 miles from Lake Mead NRA), air to Bullhead City, AZ (10
miles from Lake Mead NRA on Lake Mohave); personal vehicle, tour bus. In Park: personal
vehicle, tour bus.
- FEES, COSTS, RATES:
- No admission fee to enter the park area.
- FACILITIES AND OPPORTUNITIES:
- Visitor Center/Exhibits:
- Alan Bible Visitor Center off U.S. Highway 93 near Boulder City. Contact stations on
Lake Mead at Overton Beach, Echo Bay, Callville Bay, Las Vegas Bay in Nevada, and Temple
Bar in Arizona. Contact stations on Lake Mohave at Cottonwood Cove in Nevada, Katherine
and Willow Beach in Arizona.
- Trails, Roads:
- State roads lead to major sites. Several established hiking trails. Substantial number
of approved backcountry roads.
- Winter lecture series, ranger-led programs and hikes, paddle- wheel tour boat ride to
Hoover Dam, Black Canyon raft trip.
- Lodging and Camping Facilities:
- Eight campgrounds, five motels, six RV campgrounds with hookups.
- Concession-run stores at major sites.
- Other Concessions/NPS-Managed Visitor Facilities and Opportunities:
- Bookstore located in Alan Bible Visitor Center managed by Southwest Parks and Monuments
- Most services available at major sites:
- -marine and boat rentals
- -restaurants, cafes and snack bars
- -accommodations (five locations)
- -service station and fuel
- -groceries and souvenirs
- -fishing equipment and tackle
- -RV campgrounds with hookups (six locations)
- -Paddle-wheel tour boat to Hoover Dam
- -Black Canyon raft trip
- RECOMMENDED ACTIVITIES/PARK USE:
- Scenic Drives: Several paved roads wind through the dramatic desert scenery of Lake Mead
country. Towering, stark mountains, plateaus, desert basins of cactuses and creosote bush,
and vertical-walled canyons are some of the sights motorists can discover. One popular
tour follows the Lakeshore and Northshore Scenic Drives along the edge of Lake Mead. From
these roads there are panoramic views of the blue lake set against a backdrop of the
browns, blacks, red, and grays of the desert mountains. Northshore Scenic Drive also leads
through areas of brilliant red boulders and rock formations. Driving off designated roads
is not permitted. Drive only on paved roads or on unpaved roads that are marked with
approved road signs (yellow arrows).
Picnicking: Shaded picnic areas with tables, water, fire grills, and restrooms are located
at Callville Bay, Las Vegas Bay, Boulder Beach, Cottonwood Cove, and Katherine. There are
also picnic areas along Northshore Road, including one at Rogers Spring; these do not have
Hiking: Short desert hikes lead to places you will never see from a
boat or car. One such place is the area of colorful sandstone formations near Redstone
Picnic Area along Northshore Road. Another is a canyon where Indian petroglyphs were
carved in a rock wall hundreds of years ago. Hiking in the recreation area almost always
requires crosscountry travel; few maintained trails exist. The best hiking months are
October through May. You can explore on your own during this time, or with park
naturalists, who lead hikes on weekends. Longer hikes demand careful planning; consult a
topographical map and a park ranger. Let someone know where you are going and when you
will return. Rangers will have a difficult time finding you if you get lost in this
expanse and they don't know where to begin looking. Always carry water; one gallon per day
per person is advised. Long crosscountry hikes are discouraged from June through
September, when the desert heats up like a furnace.
Water Sports: With Lakes Mead and Mohave as the central focus, visitors to Lake
Mead NRA may enjoy a variety of water recreation activities in a setting of rugged
mountains, desert washes, sheer cliffs, colorful soils and rock formations, and the
ever-changing blues of the lakes.
Lakes Mead and Mohave offer some of the country's best sport fishing. Largemouth
bass, striped bass, rainbow trout, channel catfish, crappie and bluegill are found in both
lakes. Boating of all kinds is popular within Lake Mead NRA. Waterskiing is a favorite
activity on the broad expanses of open water, along with kayaking and canoeing. Increasing
numbers of sailboats and sailboards are seen because of the dependable desert winds, and
personal watercraft use is gaining popularity. Of course, swimming is a major form of
water recreation during summer months when lake temperatures warm into the 80-degree
range. Both lakes are clear, clean and also ideal for snorkeling and Scuba diving. No
lifeguards are present. Never swim alone.
- Reservations are accepted only for group campsites. Individual sites are all on a
first-come, first-served basis. No backcountry permits are needed.
- VISITOR IMPACTS:
- Biggest weekends for visitor use are Memorial Day, July 4, and Labor Day weekends.
- ADJACENT VISITOR ATTRACTIONS:
- Valley of Fire State Park; Lost City Musem; communities of Las Vegas and Laughlin,
Nevada; Hoover Dam and Red Rock Canyon (Bureau of Land Management), Charleston Peak (U.S.
- ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
- Write Superintendent, Lake Mead NRA, 601 Nevada Highway, Boulder City, Nevada 89005.