Lake Mead National Recreation Area


Lake Mead National Recreation Area (NRA) offers a wealth of things to do and places to go year-round. 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 reservoir created by the damming of the Colorado River became Lake Mead, named after Elwood Mead, the Bureau of Reclamation commissioner at the time. The newly formed lake drew thousands of visitors to this wondrous contrast of desert and water. Lake Mead National Recreation Area became the first national recreation area in 1964. Today, millions of visitors each year come to enjoy the many recreational opportunities found within the park's diverse landscape.


Seasonality / Weather

Lake Mead National Recreation Area is known for its mild winters, hot summers and spectacular scenery. In summer sunbathers, boaters and water skiers may experience temperatures 110 degrees F and above. The area generally has less than five inches of annual rainfall. Water temperatures may range from 45 degrees F to 85 degrees F.



Lake Mead NRA is approximately 25 miles east of Las Vegas, Nevada. The Lake Mead Visitor Center is located off of U.S. 93, four miles southeast of Boulder City. There are 9 paved accesses into Lake Mead.


Lake Mead NRA is approximately 25 miles from McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas. Other communities bordering and near Lake Mead NRA have smaller airports.

Public Transport: 

There is no public transportation to Lake Mead, although tour buses operate from many Las Vegas resorts and attractions.