Lake Mead National Recreation Area is big, it's diverse, and it's extreme. Temperatures can be harsh, from 120º Fahrenheit in the desert in summer to well below freezing in winter on the high plateaus.
From the mouth of the Grand Canyon, the park follows the Arizona-Nevada border along what was formerly 140 miles of the Colorado River. The two big lakes-Mead and Mohave- are the big draw here.
Lake Mead is impressive: It's 1.5 million acres, 110 miles long when the lake is full, 550 miles of shoreline, around 500 feet at greatest depth, 255 square miles of surface, and when filled to capacity, 28 million acre-feet of water, about two years' flow of the Colorado River. Sixty-seven-mile-long Lake Mohave, formed by Davis Dam, still retains in its upper reaches some of the character of the old Colorado River.
Although much of Lake Mead must be experienced by boat, the various campgrounds, marinas, lodges, and other facilities clustered around the lake make it possible for non-boaters to enjoy it as well. Literally millions of people use the park each year, and many of these visitors return again and again to find that special cove or campground, or just to sit on the shore and enjoy solitude of a quality that only nature can supply.