• Sunset at Lake Mead's Boulder Basin

    Lake Mead

    National Recreation Area AZ,NV

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    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 »


Paint splatters on a petroglyph panel in Grapevine Canyon
NPS Photo

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News Release Date: March 24, 2010
Contact: Andrew S. Munoz, (702) 293-8691

HD Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gpqAVmq91ek
Photos: http://www.flickr.com/lakemeadnra

LAUGHLIN, Nev. – A 20-year-old Bullhead City, Ariz. man suspected of vandalizing petroglyphs at Grapevine Canyon in Lake Mead National Recreation Area was cited by park rangers on Friday, Mar. 19. He and a 13-year-old boy were reportedly shooting paintballs in the area.

At least four petroglyph panels and numerous rock faces were defaced with paint. This week, the National Park Service is coordinating the clean up with area tribes.

“This area in particular is incredibly sensitive and sacred to the Native American tribes of the Lower Colorado River. It’s unimaginable to think of someone having a paintball fight in the Sistine Chapel; however from the perspective of local tribal members that’s what happened here,” said Rosie Pepito, chief of cultural resource management for Lake Mead National Recreation Area.

A caller to Bullhead City 911 reported that there were kids in the canyon shooting paintballs. Park rangers responded and contacted the man at the Grapevine Canyon trailhead parking lot. A preliminary investigation lead rangers to suspect that the man was responsible for the red and green paint splatters in the canyon.

The man was cited for defacing/disturbing an archeological resource, using and discharging a weapon, littering and vandalism.

He was cited and released but will be required to appear before a federal magistrate. His name is being withheld pending filing of formal charges.

Lake Mead National Recreation Area’s archeological resources are protected by federal law and regulation. On lands administered by the National Park Service, it is unlawful to excavate, remove, disturb, deface or destroy any historic or prehistoric building, structure, ruin, site, or in-place exhibit, artifact or object, or to collect, appropriate, excavate, damage, disturb or destroy artifacts, pictographs, petroglyphs, objects of antiquity, fossils or scientific specimens.

Criminal penalties can include a year in jail and/or a $100,000 fine. Violators may also be responsible for restitution and reimbursement of costs associated with mitigation and restoration.


Did You Know?

A Bighorn Sheep

Desert Bighorn sheep live in matriarchal societies. A dominant female leads a herd, which for much of the year consists primarily of ewes and their lambs. The rams tend to stay together in bachelor groups until the summer breeding season.