Lake Mead

About Lake Mead

Barely more than 20 miles from the Las Vegas Strip, and within an easy drive of southeast Last Vegas, Henderson, and Boulder City, is Lake Mead, the largest reservoir in the United States. With its nearness to the cities, and the phenomenal National Park that encompasses it, living near Lake Mead is becoming an increasingly popular and beneficial choice.

The Lake Mead National Recreation Area (NRA) contains one of the most diverse and popular recreational areas in the U.S. With a unique ecosystem, diverse set of wildlife and plant life and tons to do, a move to the Lake Mead area won’t leave you lacking.

Lake Mead National Recreation Area near Boulder City

view from Lake Mead NAR near Boulder City, NV

The Origins of Lake Mead 

Lake Mead came into being back in the 1930s when the U.S. government built Hoover Dam. The dam was built across the Black Canyon to control the flow of the Colorado River.

The result was Lake Mead, a reservoir that holds more water than any other reservoir in the United States. It is capable of holding more than 26 million acre feet of water, and at its fullest it is 112 miles long, 532 feet deep, and a surface area of 247 square miles.

The lake supplies water to Nevada, Arizona and California. Unfortunately, since the turn of the 21st century, consistent drought has resulted in the lake being at less than even 40% capacity.

Lake Mead National Recreation Area 

From the start, the new reservoir and its surrounding acreage was designated as a national recreation area under the charge of the National Park Service.

The park is considered the most diverse of all America’s national recreation areas / parks. Guests to the park can boat or fish on either Lake Mead or Lake Mohave, and/or hike, bike, or camp in one of the nine wilderness areas contained in the park.

The park, encompassing land in both Nevada and Arizona, is predominantly composed of desert terrain. However, it is a land rich with a variety of life, scenery and wild life habitats.

Guests may catch a glimpse of desert bighorn sheep, bats, coyotes, beavers and even mountain lions! Lake Mead NRA is also home to over 240 species of bird, including numerous types of owls, sandpipers, hummingbirds, rock wrens, and more.

Reptiles and fish are also plentiful in the park. Some of the most unique and bizarre reptiles in the world might be seen here, including the venomous Gila Monster, the Desert Iguana, the Desert Tortoise and more.

Besides the abundant wild life, the park also boasts many beautiful views and scenery. Whether you are down in the valley, by the beautiful blue waters of Lake Mead, or up high, overlooking one of the vistas, there is no shortage of awesome sites. Furthermore, the land is rich with ancient aboriginal history, evidence of which can be seen on some of the canyon walls. 

Benefits of Living Near Lake Mead 

Just the Lake Mead NRA alone offers so much rare beauty and opportunities and adventures. In addition, the numerous benefits the park offers, though, are other perks of living in the area.

If you are considering a move out west, here are just a few benefits of choosing to settle down near Lake Mead:

  1. So Much to Do in Lake Mead NRA
    As already a bit evident from the above, when you live near Lake Mead, you will have no shortage of things to do. The NRA offers:

    • Backcountry Driving: backroads offer limited access to rarer and more secluded views and areas of interest throughout the parks 1.5 million acres.
    • Hiking: trails lace the entire park, offering brilliant views and rare sites of the beautiful, multi-colored rock formations and wildlife
    • Camping: both serviced campground and back country camping is available in the park
    • Horseback Riding: see the park by horseback for a true Western adventure
    • Hunting: limited hunting areas are available for use during the appropriate time of year
    • Biking: cover more ground on the many bicycle trails
    • Swimming: go for a refreshing dip or splash in the shallows at either Lake Mead or Lake Mohave
    • Kayaking / Canoeing: spend a day kayaking or canoeing parts of the lake and get up close looks the canyons
    • Scuba Diving: Lake Mead is regarded as one of the best freshwater lakes for scuba diving in the world
    • So much more: fishing, boating, wildlife siting, birding, picnicking, etc.
  2. Live Surrounded by Nature

    When you live in the Lake Mead area, you are surrounded by true wilderness. From the 1.5 million acres in the National Recreation Area, to the Grand Canyon National Park not that far away, the Mojave National Preserve, and numerous other national forests, there is wilderness that you can enjoy everywhere. Top that off with the fact that there is really only one major city within miles, and you know that when you live out here, you will get to experience true peace and quiet and a slower pace of life.
  3. Nearby CitiesBut while you get to be truly “out there,” you still have the benefit of one major city (Las Vegas) and the smaller Boulder City, and Henderson (Lake Las Vegas is located in Henderson) nearby for your convenience and if you need a break from the quiet.
  4. Rich Cultural OpportunitiesThe Southwest is full of history and culture, especially in the region of Mead Lake. Not far to the west are many, may Indian reservations, and the territory is filled with old Native American sites, including the Lost City ruins.