Lake Mead National Recreation Area (NRA) offers a wealth of things to do and places to go year-round. With 1.5 million acres, it is twice the
size of Rhode Island. Its huge lakes cater to boaters, swimmers, sunbathers, and fishermen while its desert rewards hikers, wildlife photographers, and roadside sightseers. Three of
America's four desert ecosystems -- the Mojave, the Great Basin, and the Sonoran Deserts -- meet in Lake Mead NRA. As a result, this seemingly barren area contains a surprising
variety of plants and animals, some of which may be found nowhere else in the world. The Lake Mead National Recreation Area was established October 8, 1964.
Short desert hikes allow you to experience places that few see.
Hiking in the recreation area almost always requires cross-country travel. Few maintained trails exist, so it is best to
be prepared. The best hiking months are October through May as, in the summer months, the temperatures may exceed 100 degrees farenheit.
You can explore on your own or participate in a weekend hike led by park naturalists. Longer hikes demand careful planning so
consult a topographical map and a park ranger. Provide detail plans to someone who will know your route, and when you anticipate returning -- and stick to your plans. Always carry water;
(at least one gallon per day per person is recommended). Avoid long cross-country hikes from June through September.
GOLF AND TENNIS
There are several golf clubs in the area with both nine and 18 hole courses and most will rent clubs. These range from municipal
courses to those owned by the hotels or casinos, which generally are open to the public. Public tennis courts are located in Boulder City and Las Vegas.
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 wildlife sanctuary located at the tip of the Overton Arm of the lake is populated by a variety of birds. Bring your binoculars and don't forget your camera!
If you are looking for great sport fishing, look no further than Lake Mead or Lake Mohave. Largemouth bass, striped bass
(Stripers), rainbow trout, channel catfish, crappie and bluegill are found in abundance. See our fishing page at fishing.htm.
Houseboating and day boating are extremely popular within Lake Mead NRA. The broad expanses of water are ideal for water-skiing,
but be sure to observe all safety laws. Kayaking and canoeing are excellent options for those looking for a slower pace. The dependable desert winds of the National Recreation Area has
created an interest for those seeking the thrill of sailboats and sailboards. 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 ideal for snorkeling and scuba diving. No lifeguards are present. Never swim alone.
Five miles from Echo Bay is an asphalt landing strip for daylight landing only, and there are fuel facilities available through
the resort at no charge. Echo Bay monitors UNICOM122.8. Radio ahead for pickup. Las Vegas operates an airport that serves as a hub in the southwest.
Interesting Sights and Side Trips
Lake Mead, the largest man-made lake in the U.S. (based on storage capacity)
was created by the construction of Hoover Dam, one of the country's modern engineering wonders. Due is overall depth, it stores more water than any other
Colorado River reservoir, including Lake Powell. Both land and boat tours of the dam are conducted daily. The desert princess, a 250 passenger paddlewheeler
located at Lake Mead Marina, is available for tours.
The nearby Grand Canyon is absolutely breathtaking and worthy of a day trip. The
Valley of Fire Park is also a worthwhile side trip by car, located just few miles north of Echo Bay Resort. It was named for the massive red rock formations. Many of this
rocks bear ancient Indians petroglyphs. Bring your camera.
A fish hatchery, where trout are bred for Lake Mead and Mohave, can be found three miles north of Lake Mead Resort,
and is open to the public seven days a week. Nearby, exciting and fun-filled Las Vegas features gaming of all sorts, and name entertainment and reviews.
Three towns are located in close proximity to Lake Mead. Overton is just a few
miles north of the tip of the Overton Arm; Boulder City is located to the southwest of Boulder Basin, and very close to Hoover Dam; Las Vegas is just
a 30 minute drive west. Overton, Boulder City and Las Vegas all have supermarkets and medical facilities. Las Vegas, known as the entertainment
capital of the world, also has shopping centers and plenty of lodging. Since Las Vegas has been growing in popularity as a location for conventions, it is
strongly recommended you make advance reservations for lodging