Destination Nevada: Discovering the beauty of Lake Mead National Recreation Area

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Lake Mead National Recreation Area is the 6th most visited national park in the country and has an interesting history starting with a massive construction project.

“In the 1930s the Hoover Dam was constructed and at that time that actually transformed the mighty Colorado River into Lake Mead which is America’s largest reservoir,” said Christie Vanover, public affairs officer, Lake Mead National Recreation Area.

It was 1935, when people started utilizing the area for recreation.

“So, the National Park Service helps the Bureau of Reclamation manage the area for reclamation and the area was known as the Boulder Canyon National Recreation Area,” Vanover said.

Lake Mead National Recreation Area.

Lake Mead National Recreation Area became the first national recreation area in 1964 with a designated 1.5 million acres. It is the size of the state of Delaware.

“Within those areas you are also going to find campgrounds, hiking trails and then we have hundreds of miles of paved and unpaved roads so people can do lots of scenic driving as well,” Vanover said. “We have multiple developed campgrounds and you can do anything from camping by pitching a tent or bringing in your RV and do full hook-ups with showers and all sort of things for you.”

It costs $25 to camp for one week.

“There’s also services in the park like boat rentals. So, if you don’t have your on boat you can rent a boat, you can rent a kayak, a stand up paddle board or even a house boat,” she said.

For out of town visitors, Lake Mead is not something expected in the middle of the desert.

“I think visitors are always happy when they come here. You can’t help but just feel that joy when the sun is beating on your face when you get the reflection of the water,” Vanover said.

“It is just absolutely beautiful,” said Ron Major, Lake Mead visitor. “I don’t know, it feels like we’re closer to God.”

An annual pass that covers both Lake Mead and Lake Mohave areas is $45.

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