Lake Mead National Recreation Area

Lake Mead is located on the Colorado River, approximately 30 miles southeast of Las Vegas, in the States of Nevada and Arizona. The many marinas and coves can be accessed from North Shore Road, Lake Shore Road, and Highway 93 in Nevada, and several roads in Arizona. Many of the coves do not have road access, you can reach them only by boat.

From Moapa Valley, the closest Marina is Echo Bay, approximately 20 miles from Overton. Other popular areas close to Moapa Valley include Stewart’s Point, and St. Thomas. Overton Beach Marina was closed at the end of 2006 due to low water levels. This was the closest Marina to Moapa Valley and a favorite of locals and visitor alike.


Lake Mead is the largest reservoir in the United States and was formed by the impounding of the Colorado River when Hoover Dam was built. It extends 112 miles behind the dam, and holds 28,500,000 acre feet of water. It was named after Elwood Mead (1858–1936), who was the commissioner of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation from 1924 to 1936 during the planning and construction of the Boulder Canyon Project that created the dam and lake.

Lake Mead was first known as the Boulder Dam Recreation Area starting in 1936, under the administration of the National Park Service. In 1964, it was established as Lake Mead National Recreation Area, and added Lake Mohave and Shivwits Plateau to its jurisdiction. It was the first National Recreation Area in the country.

Pre History:

The one and a half million acres that make up the Lake Mead National Recreation Area were occupied by many groups of people prior to the building of Hoover Dam, including early Desert Native Americans, explorers, pioneers searching for cheap land and religious freedom, and prospectors seeking their fortunes.

Archeologist Mark R Harrington and Paleontologist James Thurston discovered remains of large mammals in a cave near the present day Lake Mead, including ground sloths, horses, camels, and mountain sheep. Mark R. Harrington’s excavations included the Lost City, Gypsum Cave, and Tule Springs and were considered pioneering pieces of work. The Lost City Museum in Overton, NV offers visitors the chance to learn more about the excavations and the history of Moapa Valley and Lake Mead.

Later stories will include more history of this area, so check back often for the latest updates.

Click here to read more about Mark R Harrington.

Click here to read about The Lost City Museum

Present Day Lake Mead

Today, millions of visitors come to Lake Mead to enjoy the varied recreational activities available, including swimming, boating, watersports, fishing, hiking, camping, and more.

There are currently Fee Stations at Boulder Beach, East Lake Mead Blvd., Lake Mead Parkway, Cottonwood Cove, Temple Bar and Katherine Landing, and North Shore Road just outside the Valley of Fire State Park.

LAUNCH RAMPS: There are several launch ramps on Lake Mead, and because of the fluctuating water levels, it’s a good idea to check current conditions while planning your trip.

For complete and updated information, please visit the Lake Mead Website