• Sunset at Lake Mead's Boulder Basin

    Lake Mead

    National Recreation Area AZ,NV

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  • 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 »

  • Goldstrike Canyon, Arizona Hot Spring Trails Temporarily Closed

    A temporary emergency closure is in place for Goldstrike Canyon and Arizona Hot Spring trails within Lake Mead National Recreation Area, beginning Aug. 1. This closure includes National Park Service and Bureau of Reclamation lands. 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 »

Fortification Hill

Fortification Hill

About 18 million years ago a tectonic upheaval began that profoundly marked the present Lake Mead NRA landscape.

Thirteen million years ago, the crust around the Lake Mead area was stretched and thinned so iron and magnesium-rich magma and basalt, poured out of the ground and covered the landscape. The darker lava produced many of the black volcanic flow-capped mesas, such as Fortification Hill and Callville Mesa, seen in many parts of Lake Mead National Recreation Area.

Mineral-rich fluids trapped in older rock were mobilized when hot magma was injected into them. These hot, hydrothermal fluids percolated up through some of the igneous rock formations, including the Paint Pots pluton at the base of Fortification Hill, imparting their beautiful coloration!

Area Map


Fortification-Hill-Small-Combined-Map

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Did You Know?

Lake Mead Exotic Plant Management Team

In order to manage invasive plants on park lands, 16 Exotic Plant Management Teams (EPMT's) have been deployed throughout the country. The teams are a new weapon to combat exotic plants. The first test of the EPMT concept was made in 1996 at Lake Mead National Recreation Area. More...