Lake Mead

Lake Mead header

Lake Mead is located on the Colorado River about 24 miles from the Strip southeast of Las Vegas. Lake Mead was formed after construction of the Hoover Dam. When it’s full, Lake Mead is about 112 miles long and when filled to capacity it contains around 28 million acre-feet of water.

Here’s a little piece of information about Lake Mead we found on Wikipedia:
The lake was named after Elwood Mead (January 16, 1858 – January 26, 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 established as the Boulder Dam Recreation Area in 1936, administrated by the National Park Service. It was then changed to the Lake Mead National Recreation Area in 1964, this time including Lake Mohave and the Shivwits Plateau under its jurisdiction. Both lakes and the surrounding area offer year-round recreation options. The accumulated water from Hoover Dam forced the evacuation of several communities, most notably St. Thomas, Nevada, whose last resident left the town in 1938. The ruins of St. Thomas are sometimes visible when the water level in Lake Mead drops below normal. At lower water levels, a high-water mark or “bathtub ring” is visible in photos that show the shoreline of Lake Mead. The bathtub ring is white because of the deposition of minerals on previously submerged surfaces (you can see this bathtub ring on several of the pictures below).

Lake Mead offers many types of recreation to locals and visitors. Boating is the most popular. Additional activities include fishing, water skiing, swimming and sunbathing. There are five marinas on the lake. The area also has many coves with rocky cliffs and sandy beaches. There are several small to medium-sized islands in the lake area depending on the water level.

When we joined the tour to the Hoover Dam we also made several stops at the shores of Lake Mead. We visited the area during an October visit so, compaired to the Las Vegas Strip, Lake Mead offered a great feeling of peace and tranquility. There’s several tour companies out there that offer sightseeing cruises on a paddlewheel boat. There’s also the opportunity to join a sunset dinner cruise on Lake Mead which would offer a nice change of pase from the bright neon lights of Las Vegas Boulevard. When you’re staying in Vegas for more than a couple of days, this is an opportunity we can highly recommend.


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