• Sunset at Lake Mead's Boulder Basin

    Lake Mead

    National Recreation Area AZ,NV

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  • I-15 REOPENED, LAKE MEAD ENTRANCE FEES TO RESUME SUNDAY

    The Nevada Department of Transportation reopened a northbound and southbound lane of Interstate 15 Sept. 12; therefore, Lake Mead National Recreation Area entrance fees will resume Sept. 14. More »

  • Important Notice to Mariners

    Lake Mead water elevations will be declining throughout the summer. Before launching, check lake levels, launch ramp conditions, changes to Aids to Navigation and weather conditions by clicking on More »

  • Areas of Park Impacted by Storm Damage

    Strong storms rolled through Lake Mead National Recreation Area Aug. 3-4, causing damage to some areas of the park. Crews are working to restore the below locations. Debris may be present in other areas of the park, as well, especially in the backcountry. More »

Overton Beach History

Lost City

The Basketmaker Indians lived at Lost City, also called Pueblo Grande de Nevada, on the Muddy River near the Virgin River probably before 500 A.D. Pueblo Grande de Nevada, or Lost City, is an unfortunate choice of names, since it applies to the whole complex of villages scattered along the Virgin and Muddy Valleys.

The Indians built pit houses and, later, two and three story houses. The earlier tribes hunted and gathered their food, while later people farmed extensively.

"Mesa House" is the term used for the last occupational period in the area. The people were living in a number of villages during the Mesa House period ca A.D. 1100-1150.

Surveys and excavations of Lost City began in 1924 under the Southwestern Museum, most of the work being done from 1935-1938. Many artifacts and reconstructed pueblo houses are now at the Lost City Museum in Overton.

St. Thomas

In 1865, the Mormons established St. Thomas, at the junction of the Muddy and Virgin Rivers. The colonists farmed, raised cotton, and worked with the Southern Paiutes.

In 1912, there was enough business to have a railroad branch built to St. Thomas. The town became the halfway stopping point on the Old Arrowhead Trail, having a hotel, good meals, and a reliable garage.

But then the Hoover Dam project was started. Evacuation notices were posted on everything for five years, however no one left until rising water was spotted in the Virgin Canyon. Many of the buildings were moved to towns on higher ground.

Sometimes, when the lake gets low enough, buildings, dead trees, and rusted machinery can be seen.

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Mountains of salt

Located three miles south of St. Thomas, on the west side of the Virgin, was the famous mountain of salt. This necessity, also found in many caves in the area, was probably the reason for the site of the Lost City.

Over the years, it has grown in peoples imagination to fantastic proportions - 3 miles long, all salt, and that as clear as glass. Its names include Big Salt Cliff, Salvation Salt, Salt Point, and Salt Mountain.

Lake Mead waters now cover this huge salt deposit, as well as most of the caves.

Overton Beach

In 1939, Overton Beach was one of the three National Park Service areas of the Boulder Dam National Recreation Area to have facilities.

Did You Know?

Scenic view over looking Lake Mohave

With more than 700 miles of shoreline, Lake Mead offers countless opportunities for exploration. One can return to Lake Mead National Recreation Area again and again to a favorite cove or hideaway in which to enjoy the special solitude, where water and desert contrast and complement each other.