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 »
Summer Fire Rules in Effect
Lake Mead NRA is now enforcing summer fire restrictions. Please click 'more' to learn about the rules for fire during our hot, dry season. More »
Overton Beach History
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.
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.
Mountains of salt
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.
Did You Know?
"There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered." -- Nelson Mandela