• 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 »

Things To Know Before You Come

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Before You Come Page Header
Lake Mead National Recreation Area is a startling contrast of desert and water, mountains and canyons, primitive backcountry and modern technology. Two powerful and uncompromising forces created this fantastic place. Nature, working slowly over millions of years, built the foundation.

Humans have worked feverishly over the last century to remodel and build a landscape that better suited their modern needs and desires. These efforts created two lakes in one of the hottest, driest regions on Earth.

Lake Mead and Lake Mohave emerged as the center of the country's first national recreation area. People flocked to the desert for boating, fishing, swimming and wateskiing. Today, thousands of visitors enjoy the cool, refreshing lakes. Attracted at first by the water, visitors find other unexpected rewards.

There is the quiet and stark beauty of the desert. There are imposing scenes of the ancient, twisted mountains of the Basin and Range province and the colorful vertical walls and high plateaus of the Grand Canyon. There is unspoiled backcountry, and there is Hoover Dam - a towering symbol of what human genius can achieve. The range of experiences is as broad as the lakes and as big as the land.

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Did You Know?

Jimbilnan Wilderness - taken by Brian Beffort

"In a country where nature has been so lavish and where we have been so spendthrift of indigenous beauty, to set aside a few rivers in their natural state should be considered an obligation." -- Senator Frank Church