Desert Beauty Meets Aquatic Adventure at Lake Mead

Lake Mead, the largest reservoir in the United States, is a spectacular retreat nestled in the arid landscapes of Nevada and Arizona. Formed by the Hoover Dam on the Colorado River, this vast body of water is renowned for its deep blue waters and strikingly scenic surroundings. The area around Lake Mead is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, offering a wide range of activities from boating and fishing to hiking and wildlife viewing.

Located just a short drive from the entertainment hub of Las Vegas, Lake Mead presents an ideal escape for those seeking a blend of adventure and relaxation. With its unique desert backdrop and miles of shoreline, it’s a perfect spot for vacation home rentals. Whether you’re looking to unwind by the serene waters, explore the rugged trails of the surrounding national recreation area, or indulge in water sports, Lake Mead provides an unforgettable experience for every visitor.


Top 3 Facts About Lake Mead


Human-Made Marvel

Lake Mead is a massive reservoir that was created by the construction of the Hoover Dam on the Colorado River in 1934. Despite its size, it’s intriguing to know that this vast body of water is human-made, illustrating the impressive scale of human engineering.


The Largest Reservoir in the United States

Lake Mead holds the distinction of being the largest reservoir in the United States by volume. At its maximum, the lake can hold approximately 26,134,000 acre-feet of water. This immense size makes it a significant water source for millions of people in the surrounding states.


A Home to a Sunken Town

The creation of Lake Mead led to the inundation of the town of St. Thomas, which was established in 1865. The town was submerged in the 1930s as the lake’s water level rose. Fascinatingly, due to recent drops in water levels, parts of this once-submerged town are now visible above water, offering a unique glimpse into the past.


Must-See Attractions

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Hoover Dam

Human-Made Marvel

A marvel of modern engineering, the Hoover Dam stands as a symbol of human ingenuity and perseverance, especially notable for its historical and architectural significance. Visitors can marvel at this massive concrete arch-gravity dam, which harnesses the power of the Colorado River, and enjoy various tours that delve into its history, structure, and operations.

Grand Canyon

Natural Marvel

The Grand Canyon, one of the world’s most stunning natural wonders, offers many activities ranging from scenic drives and challenging hikes to memorable river rafting experiences. This vast, colorful landscape, etched over millions of years by the Colorado River, reveals the earth’s geological history and is home to a variety of wildlife.

Valley of Fire State Park

State Park

Valley of Fire State Park, renowned for its 40,000 acres of bright red Aztec sandstone outcrops, offers a visual feast of ancient petrified trees and petroglyphs dating back over 2,000 years. The park’s landscape, formed from shifting sand dunes 150 million years ago, presents various hiking opportunities, scenic drives, and photography spots. Whether it’s exploring the Fire Wave, hiking through the White Domes, or viewing the ancient petroglyphs at Atlatl Rock, the park promises an unforgettable experience for nature lovers and adventurers​​​​​​​​.

Annual Events and Festivals

September, 2024

Las Vegas Balloon Festival

Experience a vibrant display of hot air balloons at the Las Vegas Balloon Festival, set to illuminate the sky at Craig Ranch Regional Park. The festival, running over a long weekend, features captivating balloon glows at dusk, exciting carnival rides, and an array of food and retail vendors, complemented by live music.

TBA, 2024

The Lights Sky Lantern Fest

The Lights Sky Lantern Fest, held in the Las Vegas area, invites attendees to experience the enchanting sight of sky lanterns illuminating the evening sky. This event offers a serene and beautiful setting, where participants can write messages or wishes on lanterns before releasing them into the night, creating a breathtaking display of light and hope. Along with the lantern release, the festival features food and drink options, vendors, and live music, making it a memorable experience for all ages.

November, 2024

Pomegranate Art Festival

Dive into the artistic and cultural vibrancy at the Pomegranate Festival, where artists and crafters showcase hand-made, unique creations. Enjoy continuous, free local entertainment, including singers and dancers, while exploring the festival’s art and craft exhibits. The event also hosts a raffle to support college-bound students in the arts and celebrates the versatile pomegranate, offering fresh fruits, jams, and themed crafts set amidst the scenic backdrop of Moapa Valley.

Top Hiking Trails

Railroad Tunnel Trail

10 Lakeshore Rd, Boulder City, NV

For an easy and historically rich hiking experience, the Railroad Tunnel Trail at Lake Mead National Recreation Area is an excellent choice. Spanning 3.7 miles one way, this trail offers stunning views of Lake Mead and Boulder Basin and a glimpse into the history of the Hoover Dam through its five large tunnels. It’s an excellent trail for families, dog walkers, and bikers, featuring relatively flat terrain and accessible facilities at the trailhead​​​​.

Gold Strike Hot Springs Trail

601 Great Basin Hwy, Boulder City, NV

The Gold Strike Hot Springs Trail is a strenuous yet rewarding hike leading to natural hot springs pools. This challenging route involves navigating through canyons, overcoming boulders, and using fixed ropes in certain sections. Besides providing a physical challenge and an adventurous experience, the trail also offers the soothing reward of relaxing in the natural hot springs at the end.

Liberty Bell Arch and Colorado Overlook

Willow Beach, AZ 86445, United States

The Liberty Bell Arch and Colorado Overlook trail is a journey through the valley leading to an impressive view of the Colorado River. Although direct river access is not available, the trail offers breathtaking views of geological formations and historical remnants from World War II magnesium mining. The hike is moderately challenging due to sandy and rocky terrain, and be sure to bring along plenty of water, especially during the hot summer months.

Best Golf Courses

SouthShore Country Club

100 Strada Di Circolo, Henderson, NV

Located amidst the striking landscape of Lake Las Vegas, the SouthShore Country Club is a private Jack Nicklaus Signature Course, the first of its kind in Nevada. This 6,925-yard championship course captivates golfers with its dramatic elevation changes, generous fairways, and strategically placed bunkering, all playing against the backdrop of the lake and desert hills.

Reflection Bay Golf Club

75 Montelago Blvd, Henderson, NV

Reflection Bay Golf Club at Lake Las Vegas is a prestigious Jack Nicklaus Signature Design course. Opened in 1998, this course has hosted several PGA events and boasts accolades from industry magazines like Golf Magazine and Golf Digest. The course is known for its challenging layout with a blend of dramatic landscapes, offering golfers a mix of desert, water, and mountain views, making it a top choice for golf enthusiasts​​.

Boulder City Golf Course

1 Clubhouse Dr, Boulder City, NV

The Boulder City Golf Course, established in 1973 by renowned architects Billy Casper and David Rainville, offers a 6,600-yard, par 72 golfing experience. Set against three mountain ranges and the Hoover Dam, this picturesque course features tree-lined fairways, large greens, and water hazards on several holes. It’s an ideal destination for golfers of all skill levels, promising an enjoyable round in a natural setting that’s just a stone’s throw away from the energy of Las Vegas​​.

Water Sports

Las Vegas Water Sports

Wakeboarding & Water Sports

Las Vegas Water Sports offers a thrilling water adventure on Lake Mead, perfect for those seeking a blend of excitement and scenic beauty. The company provides an array of activities such as wakeboarding, wake surfing, waterskiing, kneeboarding, and tubing, all set against the stunning backdrop of the Lake Mead National Recreation Area and Hoover Dam. With expert guidance and high-quality equipment, both beginners and experienced water sports enthusiasts can enjoy a memorable day on the lake.

Vegas Glass Kayaks

Kayak tours

For a unique water experience, Vegas Glass Kayaks offers tours that start at the base of Hoover Dam and explore various intriguing spots, including kayaking over submerged ghost towns. The tour includes pick-up, lunch, water, and cold adult beverages post-experience, making it a well-rounded adventure. This is a great way to experience Lake Mead’s scenic beauty, historical intrigue, and surroundings.

Boating Lake Mead

Boat rentals & More

Boating Lake Mead provides a family-friendly and stress-free boating experience on Lake Mead. They offer a wide range of boat rentals, including wave runners and SUP and kayak rentals, catering to both locals and visitors. This is an ideal option for those looking to enjoy a leisurely day on the lake, with options suitable for all levels of experience and interest in water activities.

Winter Activities

Winter Fishing

Anglers seeking a winter catch will find Lake Mead a prime spot, especially for striped bass fishing. These fish can be found at depths of 25 to 40 feet during the cooler months, with the potential for impressive catches of over 40 pounds. Moreover, winter marks the peak season for crappie fishing on the lake. Local fishing enthusiasts often recommend targeting coves and vertical walls for the best results​.

Scuba Diving

While the winter waters of Lake Mead may be too chilly for a casual swim, they create ideal conditions for scuba diving when equipped with a wetsuit. The cooler temperatures reduce algae growth, enhancing underwater visibility to between 20 and 50 feet. A unique diving attraction is the B-29 Superfortress Bomber, a sunken WWII aircraft in the lake. Keep in mind that diving here is regulated by the National Park Service, so interested divers should check the specific guidelines and restrictions.​

Hike & Hot Springs

For those who enjoy a blend of physical challenge and relaxation, the hike to Gold Strike Hot Springs near Boulder City is an ideal winter activity. This 6-mile trek rewards hikers with soothing hot springs and stunning views of the Colorado River, making it a perfect way to unwind after the exertion. The trail and springs offer a unique way to experience the area’s natural beauty in the cooler months.

Where to Eat

The Boat House

$ – $$ • Fish & More

Harbor House Cafe

$ – $$ • Breakfast, Burgers, and Wraps

Southwest Diner

$$ • Homestyle Meals

Where to Shop

Hottest Dam Boutique

Women’s Clothing

Apricot Lane Boutique

Women’s Clothing

Springs Preserve Gift Shop

Souvenir Shop

Where to Sleep

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Casa Lago 5 Bed Waterfront House

3746 Ferretti Ct, Innisfil, ON L9S 0N6, Canada
Number of Guests 10
Bathrooms 5
Bedrooms 5
Sq Footage 3,000
Carbon monoxide detectors, Fire extinguisher, First aid kit, Smoke detectors
$1,000.00 / day
sparkles New

Mason Street Getaway

555 Mason St, Saugatuck, MI 49453, USA
Number of Guests 5
Bathrooms 2
Bedrooms 2
Sq Footage 1,165
Carbon monoxide detectors, Fire extinguisher, First aid kit, Generator, Smoke detectors
$475.00 / day
sparkles New

JP Rest House

V262+C5P, Manikganj, Bangladesh
Number of Guests 4
Bathrooms 2
Bedrooms 4
Sq Footage 2,400
Carbon monoxide detectors, Fire extinguisher, First aid kit, Generator, Smoke detectors
$300.00 / day

Tips on Renting a Vacation Home on Lake Mead

Location and Proximity to Activities

Choose a rental that provides easy access to the diverse activities at Lake Mead National Recreation Area, such as boating, hiking, fishing, and photography. Being close to these activities can significantly enhance your vacation experience. Additionally, consider rentals near Las Vegas, which is about 30 miles west of Lake Mead, for various entertainment, shopping, and nightlife options​​.

Rental Options and Style

Lake Mead area offers a wide range of rental options, from cozy cabins to luxurious vacation homes. Consider what fits your personal preferences and budget. Some rentals might include unique features like fireplaces or special views, enhancing your vacation experience​​.

Water Level Awareness

Lake Mead’s water levels can fluctuate, impacting certain activities like boating or fishing. Before booking, research the current water conditions and how they might affect access to various recreational areas and amenities. This will help ensure that your preferred activities are available during your stay.

Explore the Surrounding Areas

While Lake Mead itself is a major attraction, the surrounding areas, including Las Vegas and Boulder City, offer additional activities and sights. Consider spending a day exploring these nearby locations for dining, shopping, and entertainment options. This can add variety to your trip and make your vacation even more enjoyable.

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Going Deeper on Lake Mead

Lake Mead National Recreation Area, spanning one and a half million acres, has a rich history rooted in early Native American cultures, explorers, and pioneers. Archaeological finds, including ancient animal remains in a nearby cave, point to human activity in the region dating back 8,000 to 10,000 years. These early inhabitants practiced hunting, gathering, and rudimentary farming, adapting to a markedly different environment from today’s.

The region’s transformation continued through the explorations of Jedediah Smith and later, John Wesley Powell, who documented the Colorado River and its surroundings. The construction of Boulder Dam, later renamed Hoover Dam, in 1931 marked a pivotal moment. This project, initiated under the Reclamation Act of 1902, aimed to harness the Colorado River for irrigation and industry.

The damming of the river resulted in the creation of Lake Mead, named after the then Bureau of Reclamation commissioner Elwood Mead. Today, Lake Mead National Recreation Area, established in 1964 as the first of its kind in the U.S., attracts millions of visitors annually, drawn to its unique blend of desert and aquatic landscapes and recreational opportunities.

Frequently Asked Questions About Lake Mead

Lake Mead, formed by the Hoover Dam on the Colorado River, varies in depth. It is one of the largest human-made lakes in the United States. The depth can fluctuate based on factors like water inflow and usage, but its maximum depth has been recorded at over 500 feet in certain areas.

Accessing Lake Mead is relatively straightforward. The most common approach is by car, with several major roads leading to the lake, including the Northshore Road and Lakeshore Road. The closest major city is Las Vegas, Nevada, which is approximately 30 miles away. Public transportation options are limited, so driving is typically the best method.

Swimming is a popular activity at Lake Mead, especially during the warmer months. The lake’s water is generally safe for swimming, but visitors should always be mindful of changing conditions, such as water levels and currents. It’s recommended to swim in designated areas and follow any safety guidelines provided by the Lake Mead National Recreation Area.

The best time to visit Lake Mead is typically during spring and fall shoulder seasons when the weather is temperate and outdoor activities are more enjoyable. Summer can also be popular, but you should be prepared for intense heat and ensure proper hydration.

Water levels at Lake Mead can vary significantly, influenced by factors like drought and water demand. Lower water levels can affect boat launch accessibility and reveal previously submerged areas. Visitors planning activities like boating or fishing should check current water levels and launch conditions beforehand.

Lake Mead offers a wide range of water sports and activities for you to enjoy, such as swimming, fishing, boating, kayaking, and even scuba diving. You may also find guided tours and cruises that can take you around the lake and its surrounding areas for an unforgettable experience.

Muskoka is known for its picturesque towns and charming villages. Some popular towns you can visit include Bracebridge, Gravenhurst, Huntsville, and Port Carling. Each town offers its unique attractions, shops, and restaurants, making them perfect stopovers during your exploration of the Muskoka region.

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