In accordance with regulations and the delegated authority provided in Title 36, Code of Federal Regulations (“36 CFR”), Chapter 1, Parts 1-7, authorized by Title 54 United States Code, Section 100751, the following provisions apply to all lands and waters administered by the National Park Service, within the boundaries of Lake Mead National Recreation Area. Unless otherwise stated, these regulatory provisions apply in addition to the requirements contained in 36 CFR, Chapter 1, Parts 1-7.
Written determinations, which explain the reasoning behind the Superintendent’s use of discretionary authority, as required by 36 CFR, Section 1.5(c), appear in this document identified by italicized print.
Please send any written comments to:
Lake Mead National Recreation Area
601 Nevada Way
Boulder City, Nevada 89005
ATTN: Chief Ranger
Table of contents
The Lake Mead National Recreation Area’s (NRA) Superintendent’s Compendium is the summary of park specific rules implemented under the discretionary authority of the park Superintendent. It serves as public notice with an opportunity for public comment, identifies areas closed for public use, provides a list of activities requiring either a special use permit or reservation, and elaborates on those public use and resources protection regulations that pertain to the specific administration of the park. It does not contain those regulations found in 36 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) and other United States Codes (U.S.C.) and CFR Titles which are enforced without further elaboration at the park level.
The regulations contained in 36 CFR Parts 1-7 are the basic mechanism used by the National Park Service (NPS) to preserve and protect the natural and cultural resources of the park and to protect visitors and property within the park. Parts 1 through 6 are general regulations applicable to all areas of the National Park System, and Part 7 contains special regulations specific to individual parks. Each of these Parts has many sections and subsections articulating specific provisions. Within some of these Part 1-7 sections and subsections, the Superintendent is granted discretionary authority to develop local rules to be responsive to the needs of a specific park resource or activity, park plan, program, and/or special needs of the general public.
As an example; 36 CFR 1.5(a) Closures and Public Use Limits provides the Superintendent certain discretion in allowing or disallowing certain activities. The authority granted by this Section, however, requires the superintendent to comply with the Administrative Procedures Act (5 USC §551) which requires public notice on actions with major impact on visitor use patterns, park resources or those that are highly controversial in nature.
Another example is 36 CFR 1.6 Permits, which allows the Superintendent to require a permit for certain uses and activities in the park. This Section, however, requires that a list of activities needing a permit (and a fee schedule for the various types of permits) be maintained by the park.
This compendium should be used in conjunction with 36 CFR, Sections 1-7 to more fully understand the regulations governing the use and enjoyment of all the areas of the National Park System.
A copy of 36 CFR can be purchased from the U.S. Government Printing Office at:
U.S. Government Printing Office
PO Box 979050
St. Louis, MO 63197-9000
Or by calling: 866-512-1800
The Code of Federal Regulations is also available on the internet at:
The NPS is granted broad statutory authority in 54 U.S.C. Section 100101(a) et.seq. (National Park Service Organic Act of 1916, as amended) to “…regulate the use of the Federal areas known as national parks, monuments, and reservations…by such means and measures as conform to the fundamental purposes of the said parks…which purpose is to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wildlife therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment for future generations” (54 U.S.C. Section 100101). In addition, the Organic Act allows the NPS, through the Secretary of the Interior, to “make and publish such rules and regulations as he may deem necessary or proper for the use and management of the parks, monuments, and reservations under the jurisdiction of the National Park Service” ( 54 U.S.C. Section 100751).
In 1970, Congress amended the NPS Organic Act to clarify its intentions as to the overall mission of the NPS. Through the General Authorities Act of 1970 (54 U.S.C. Section 100101-101301), congress brought all areas administered by the NPS into one National Park System and directed the NPS to manage all areas under its administration consistent with the Organic Act of 1916.
In 1978, Congress amended the General Authorities Act of 1970 and reasserted system wide the high standard of protection defined in the original Organic Act by stating “Congress further reaffirms, declares, and directs that the promotion and regulations of the various areas of the National Park System, as defined by 54 U.S.C. Section 100101., shall be consistent with and founded in the purpose established by 54 U.S.C. Section 100101, to the common benefit of all people of the United States.”
54 U.S.C. Section 100501 defines the National Park System as “…any areas of land and water now or hereafter administered by the Secretary of the Interior through the National Park Service for park, monument, historic, parkway, recreational, or other purposes.” 36 CFR Section 1.7(b) requires the Superintendent to compile in writing all the designations, closures, permit requirement, and other restrictions imposed under discretionary authority. This compilation, called the Superintendent’s Compendium, shall be updated annually and made available to the public upon request.
In addition to the above statutory authority, the Superintendent is also guided by established NPS policy as found in the NPS Management Policies (2006). As stated in this policy document, the primary responsibility of the NPS is to protect and preserve our national natural and cultural resources while providing for the enjoyment of these resources by visitors and other users, as long as use does not impair specific park resources or overall visitor experience. The appropriateness of any particular visitor use or recreational experience is resource based and will vary from park to park; therefore, a use of activity that is appropriate in one park area may not be appropriate in another. Each park Superintendent is directed to analyze overall park use and determine if any particular use is appropriate. Where conflict arises between use and resource protection, where the Superintendent has a basis to believe a resource is or would become impaired, then that Superintendent is obliged to place limitations on public use.
The Superintendent’s Compendium is not considered a significant rule requiring review by the Office of Management and Budget under Executive Order 12866.
As outlined above, the NPS has broad authority and responsibility to determine what types of uses and activities are appropriate in any particular National Park System area. The requirements of the Superintendent’s Compendium are developed through an analysis and determination process for that particular NPS area. The decision criteria used during this process are:
The regulations contained in this Compendium apply to all persons entering, using, visiting or otherwise within the boundaries of federally owned lands and waters administered by the NPS as part of the Lake Mead National Recreation Area. This includes all water subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, including all navigable waters and areas within their ordinary reach (up to the ordinary high water mark) without regard to the ownership of the submerged lands or lowlands.
You can find this information on the park map, available at any park office or visitor contact station.
Only NPS Law Enforcement Park Rangers or a crossed designated Law Enforcement Officer can enforce the requirements of the United States Code, CFR Titles, and this Superintendent’s Compendium. However, many Federal laws and regulations have similar statutes found in state and local laws. Many of the requirements of this Compendium complement existing state and local laws and regulations which are also in effect within the park and enforced by State and local law enforcement officers.
A person who violates any provision of the regulations found in 36 CFR Parts 1-7, along with this Compendium, is subject to a fine as provided by law (18 U.S.C. 3571) up to $5,000 for individuals and $10,000 for organizations, or by imprisonment not exceeding six months (18 U.S.C. 3559), or both, and shall be adjudged to pay all court costs associated with any court proceedings. You may receive a list of fines associated with any particular provision by contacting the Lake Mead Court Officer at the park address found below.
The park welcomes comments about its programs and activities at any time. Comments specific to the Superintendent’s Compendium will be accepted anytime. Any changes to this Compendium recommended by the public or others, and accepted by the Superintendent, will be incorporated into this Compendium without further public comment and review.
Lake Mead National Recreation Area
601 Nevada Way
Boulder City, NV 89005
ATTN: Chief Ranger
The 2019 Lake Mead National Recreation Area’s Superintendent’s Compendium will become effective on the date signed and remain in effect until superseded.
Some of the terms used in this Compendium may be unclear to you. If you are unsure about a specific term please consult 36 1.4 Definitions. Terms that may be unique to this Compendium will be defined. You may access the 36 Code Federal Regulations at:
Part 1 General Provisions
1. Lake Mead National Recreation Area is open 24-hours-per-day, with the following exceptions:
2. Rogers Spring (located near Echo Bay, Nevada) is open sunrise until 10 p.m.
Determination: The Rogers Spring area is not an authorized camping area. This closure is necessary to prevent unauthorized camping, litter, and contamination of spring waters.
3. Boulder Beach is open to motor vehicles from 6 a.m. to dusk year round. It is open to pedestrian use 24 hours a day.
Determination: Nighttime activities on the beach, such as music from car stereos and the noise of vehicle engines, create unreasonable noise for campers in Boulder Campground. This closure is necessary to maintain acceptable conditions for campers, to prevent camping in unauthorized areas, and to prevent other common violations (such as underage alcohol consumption, litter, and vehicle travel off of established routes).
1. All designated fishing piers in Lake Mead and Lake Mohave are closed to mooring of vessels, diving, jumping or otherwise entering the water.
Determination: Piers were constructed and installed for the purpose of providing an accessible fishing location for persons of all abilities.
2. The following areas are closed to the consumption of alcoholic beverages and/or to the possession of a bottle, can or other receptacle containing an alcoholic beverage that is open, or that has been opened, or whose seal is broken or the contents of which have been partially removed. (Closure enacted under the authority 36 C.F.R. §2.35 (3)(i) This closure imposed does not apply to an open container of an alcoholic beverage that is stored in compliance with the provisions of 36 C.F.R. §4.14)
3. Closure of Glass containers and Styrofoam™ - The Lake Mead National Recreation Area is closed to glass beverage containers and Styrofoam™, the possession of glass beverage containers and Styrofoam™ is prohibited except:
4. Pearce Ferry Take-Out/Harbor - Launching of vessels and watercraft from Pearce Ferry Take-Out/Harbor Area by the public is prohibited. This area is designated only for permitted rafting trips. The river running take-out and re-rigging area is closed to swimming, fishing, camping and shoreline fires to prevent conflict with the river runner operations. The exception will be administrative government vessels and those commercial vessels authorized by the Superintendent’s Office.
Determination: The Pearce Ferry launch ramp is closed due to low water. The Pearce Ferry Take-Out is located in an area of swift water that makes the ramp conditions change daily and often is not safe. River operators are trained to deal with the swift water and ramp conditions.
5. Overton Beach Marina and associated facilities to include the boat launch is closed.
Determination: The closure to Overton Beach marina is due to low water levels such that the marina is closed and all other facilities for public use are no longer available. These facilities have not been maintained for some time and are not safe for public access. All launching of vessels at Overton Beach is no longer possible.
6. Overton Beach Access Road is closed to motor vehicles.
Determination: The Overton Beach developed area no longer provides visitor services as all facilities are closed. The road is no longer maintained. Accessing Overton Beach area by non-motorized means is allowed.
7. Echo Bay Marina is closed.
8. Government Dock at Las Vegas Boat Harbor is closed to the public.
Determination: This area is under Administrative closure and accessed by authorized personnel only.
9. The SNWA’s Third Intake Tunnel on Lake Mead is closed to the public.
Determination: This area is under Administrative closure and accessed by authorized personnel only.
10. Designated picnic areas throughout the park will observe Quiet Hours which begin at 10:00 p.m. and end at 6:00 a.m.
Determination: Designated picnic areas are adjacent to the developed campgrounds. Quiet hours at the designated picnic areas ensure peaceful atmosphere for the visitors in the campgrounds. Please see Section 2.11 Picnicking, page 20 for list of designated picnic areas.
11. A permanent seasonal closure is in effect from May 15 to September 30 for the areas of Gold Strike Canyon in Nevada, and White Rock Canyon in Arizona. The hot springs in both areas are still accessible from the river and remain open to the public.
Determination: These areas are closed in the interest of public and employee safety. Temperatures can reach well over 100 degrees within the canyons during the closure period. The high temperatures cause a significant health risk to visitors, and employees of the National Park Service who are often called upon to respond to emergency situations in this area. The permanent seasonal closure underwent civic review in 2016.
12. Approved Road 75(A) has been closed to vehicle traffic from the intersection with Approved Road 75 to the end of Approved Road 75(A).
Determination: Approved Road 75(A) is approximately 1/4 mile long and dead ends at the Gold Strike Canyon Trail Head. This road has been closed due to erosion. The recent construction of Interstate 11 changed the flow of water drainage in the area which has caused erosion, making it more difficult to drive. Traditionally vehicles have parked along this roadway because there is no formal parking area. This has caused traffic issues and blocked vehicle egress from the area in the past. A redesign project is being done to provide formal parking areas and a pedestrian trail leading to the traditional Trail Head to access Gold Strike Canyon.
13. The Katherine Mine and Mill site at Katherine Landing are closed to the public.
Determination: The closure to the Katherine Mine and Mill site is in the interest of public safety. The ground around this area is unstable and poses a risk of falling or being trapped in a confined space. This area is currently fenced off.
14. Saddle Island:
The Alfred Merritt Smith Water Treatment Facility at Saddle Island near Boulder Beach, Lake Mead, is closed to all fishing, hiking, and other land-based uses. The closed area extends from the southernmost tip of Saddle Island to approximately 4-1/2 miles north on each side of the island. The closed area includes the interior portion of the island, the water areas surrounding the intake systems, all pumping facilities, and the Alfred Merritt Smith Water Treatment Facility immediately west of Saddle Island.
The Basic Water Company intake tower on the southwest side of Saddle Island is closed to all non-authorized personnel and vessels. This closure includes the tower and all waters within 100 feet of it. Vessels and people are prohibited from fastening to buoys that designate this closure area.
Determination: These lands, structures and facilities are ordered closed in the interest of public safety and security.
15. Recreational Diving of any kind is prohibited at or around the submerged B-29 aircraft unless authorized by Commercial Use Authorization.
Determination: Due to the historical significance of the submerged B-29, recreational diving is prohibited in the interest of protection of the resource.
There are nine designated wilderness areas within Lake Mead NRA.
1. Muddy Mountains
2. Pinto Valley
4. Black Canyon
6. Ireteba Peaks
7. Nellis Wash
8. Spirit Mountain
9. Bridge Canyon
1. Use of wilderness within the Lake Mead National Recreation Area is governed by the 2014 Wilderness Management Plan. The Muddy Mountains Wilderness shall be governed by the Muddy Mountains Wilderness Management Plan.
2. Group size is limited to 12 people.
3. Use of the backcountry within Lake Mead National Recreation Area shall be governed by the stipulations set forth in the Backcountry Management Plan, copies of which are on file at the Headquarters Office located at 601 Nevada Way, Boulder City, Nevada 89005.
Determination: See the 2014 Wilderness Management Plan/Environmental Impact Statement. Available for review in NPS Headquarters.
The term “unmanned aircraft” means a device that is used or intended to be used for flight in the air without the possibility of direct human intervention from within or on the device, and the associated operational elements and components that are required for the pilot or system operator in command to operate or control the device (such as cameras, sensors, communication links). This term includes all types of devices that meet this definition (e.g. model airplanes, quadcopters, drones) that are used for any purpose, including for recreation or commerce.
The launching, landing or operating of an unmanned aircraft from or on lands and waters administered by the National Park Service within the boundaries of Lake Mead National Recreation Area is prohibited except as approved in writing by the Superintendent.
Since 1992, a historical establishment of the use of model aircrafts (aka Radio Controlled Model Aircrafts (RCMA)) was authorized at Lake Mead National Recreation Area. Only the use of RCMA at the designated area will continue to be allowed. The designated area is signed as “Radio Control Model Aircraft Field” and is located on the Frontage Road approximately .60 miles from Hemenway Drive in the Boulder Beach area. The radio control model aircraft field is approximately .36 square miles. This area is used by hobbyist and recreational users. All flights will be below 400 feet Above Ground Level (AGL), and line-of-sight control. Historic use of RCMA has had minimal impact to the general public and park resources and values. The radio controlled model aircraft is restricted within the designated field. Flying over the adjacent campground, trailer park and lake users is prohibited.
Determination: This closure is to prevent possible conflicts, maintain public health and safety, and prevent any unacceptable impacts on park resources and values.
(f) The following is a compilation of those activities for which a permit from the Superintendent is required:
§2.4(e) Carry or possess a weapon, trap, or net.
§2.10(a) The following camping activities:
(a)(2) Operating a chainsaw in developed areas
(a)(3) Operation of any type of portable motor or engine, or device powered by a portable motor or engine in non-developed areas
(a)(4) Operation of a public address system in connection with a public gathering or special event for which a permit has been issued pursuant to §2.50 or §2.51
§2.17 Aircraft & Air Delivery:
(a)(3) Delivery or retrieval of a person or object by parachute, helicopter or other airborne means
(c)(1) Removal of a downed aircraft
§2.23(b) The following special recreation activities (per 36 CFR Part 71.10):
(a) Use, possess, store, transport explosives, blasting agents
(b) Use of and/or possession of fireworks
§2.50(a) Conduct a sports event, pageant, regatta, public spectator attraction, entertainment, ceremony, and similar events
§2.51(a) Public assemblies, meetings, gatherings, demonstrations, parades and other public expressions of views
§2.52(c) Sale or distribution of printed matter
§2.60(b) Livestock use
§2.61(a) Residing on federal lands
(a)Erection of monuments (Requires approval from the Director)
(b) Scattering ashes from human cremation (Only if the request does not follow the established terms and conditions for this activity)
§3.3 Vessel use permit (vessel Lake Use Pass)
§3.12(b) Towing a person using a parasail, hang-glider or other airborne device (see Part 3 Boating and Water Use Activities,
§3.19 The use of manned or unmanned submersibles.
§4.11(a) Vehicles exceeding load, weight and size limits (see Part 4 Vehicles and Traffic Safety, §4.10 Travel on Park Roads and Routes).
§5.1 Advertisements - (Display, posting or distribution).
§5.3 Engaging in or soliciting any business
§5.5 Commercial Photography
(a)(2) Filming Activities
The organizer of any other type of filming activity must provide written notice to the Superintendent at least 10 days prior to the start of the proposed activity. Based upon the information provided, the Superintendent may require the organizer to apply for and obtain a permit if necessary to maintain public health and safety; protect environmental or scenic values; protect natural or cultural resources; allow for equitable allocation and use of facilities; or avoid conflict among visitor use activities. If the Superintendent determines that the terms and conditions of a permit could not mitigate the concerns identified above in an acceptable manner, the Superintendent may deny a filming request without issuing a permit. The Superintendent will provide the basis for denial in writing upon request.
Part 2 – Resource Protection, Public Use and Recreation
(a)(4) Dead wood on the ground, including driftwood, may be collected for use as fuel for campfires in the park where allowed. This activity is prohibited when a Fire Closure is issued.
Dead wood on the ground may be collected for use as fuel for campfires within the park in the following areas:
(b)(2) Hunting closures - The following areas are closed to all shooting, public hunting, and trapping for reasons of public safety:
b) Township 20 South, Range 64 East
c) Township 20 South, Range 65 East
d) Township 21 South, Range 66 East, Section 6, 7 & 18
e) Township 21 South, Range 63 East
f) Township 21 South, Range 63 1/2 East
g) Township 21 South, Range 64 East
h) Township 21 South, Range 65 East
i) Township 22 South, Range 64 East
j) Township 22 South, Range 65 East
a) Reduced to one-fourth mile north and south of Arizona Hot Spring.
b) Willow Beach closure is modified (see Backcountry Management Plan) on the south side to accommodate hunters on the slopes of Big Nasty.
c) Water closure remains in effect.
b) Township 21 North, Range 22 West, Sections 1, 12, and 13.
c) Township 22 North, Range 22 West, Sections 25, 36, and 24, that portion lying south of the 500-kV power line.
(e) All park areas are closed to viewing of wildlife with artificial light.
Determination: Prevent impact to wildlife in its natural settings. Night vision devices are not artificial lights; however, infrared lighting/beams are considered artificial lights and are included in the prohibition.
(a) Designated fishing areas or closures as follows:
Docks designated for fishing access are primarily to accommodate physically challenged fishermen. All other fishermen are prohibited from interfering with the use of fishing docks by physically challenged fishermen.
Determination: Visitors with a disability have difficulty fishing from shore. Visitors with a disability have very few areas that they can access safely without assistance from others. Docks provide visitors with disabilities a safe and secure access to the water for fishing. This order grants visitors with disabilities priority of use over fishermen who have no physical limitations.
Bow fishing is defined as fishing or taking of any fish by the means of archery tackle from a boat or from the shore.
Spear and bow fishing requirements:
(a)(2)(i) Weapons, traps, or nets may only be used at the following designated times and locations:
(a)(2)(ii) Target practice is prohibited throughout the park property of land and water, including but not limited to employee residences within the park or other facilities within the park.
Park visitors who can legally possess and carry firearms under federal, state, and local law are allowed to carry them in the park. The role of the responsible gun owner is to know and obey the federal, state, and local laws appropriate to the park they are visiting
18 U.S.C. § 930 prohibits the possession of firearms in “federal facilities,” which are defined as “buildings or parts thereof owned or leased by the federal government, where federal employees are regularly present for the purpose of performing their official duties.” These places are marked with signs at public entrances.
Camping within Lake Mead National Recreation Area is limited to 90 days within a consecutive twelve (12) month period. Camping in excess of 90 days is considered to be residency, except in marinas and long-term trailer villages.
(a) DEVELOPED CAMPGROUNDS are permitted as follows:
The sites and areas listed below have been designated for camping activities (tents or RV sites) as noted. A reservation system has been established for group campground sites:
BACKCOUNTRY CAMPING is permitted in accordance with the provisions of the Backcountry Management Plan as modified in this document as follows:
The following areas are added to the list of designated backcountry campsites:
A map showing the designated camping areas can be found at the attached link; https://www.nps.gov/lake/planyourvisit/backcountry.htm
MARINA / VESSEL OVERNIGHT
VISITOR TRAILER VILLAGES
Designated picnic areas throughout the park will observe quiet hours, which begin at 10 p.m. and end at 6 a.m.
All developed picnic areas are available to the public on a first-come first-served basis. The following are developed picnic areas:
(a)(1) The lighting or maintaining of fires is generally prohibited, except as established in the following designated areas and/or receptacles and under the conditions as noted:
Determination: Fires are generally safe except during high-fire danger. Fire restrictions may be issued by the Superintendent.
(b) Conditions for the disposal, containerization, or carryout of human body waste have been established as follows:
Use of a plastic or paper bag as a receptacle for solid human waste and/or for disposal of solid human waste is prohibited.
The use of disposable bags or containers, which package human waste and render it safe for disposal as a solid waste, and which meet applicable state and federal regulations, are permitted.
Disposal of solid human waste within one-quarter (1/4) mile of the shore of Lake Mead and Lake Mohave in any manner other than into a human waste container as described above, a toilet or human waste disposal facility designed for that purpose is prohibited.
Human waste from containers shall be disposed of only in designated pump-out or dump station facilities. Disposing of human waste from containers into restroom facility toilets, trash receptacles or in any other manner than into designated facilities within the recreation area is prohibited. The disposal of bags or containers which package human waste and render it safe for disposal as a solid waste, and which meet applicable state and federal regulations, are exempted from this prohibition, and may be disposed of in trash receptacles.
Overboard discharge of human waste, treated or untreated, from any vessel into or upon park lands or waters is prohibited.
Determination: Existing regulations for disposal of solid human waste do not adequately protect the shoreline recreational setting or the water quality of Lake Mead and Lake Mohave because of visitor use patterns and fluctuating lake levels. Disposal of solid human waste as required above is necessary to protect human health and the environment, including water quality.
The use of plastic or paper bags is prohibited because, when they are put into human waste facilities, they may clog the system or cause damage to equipment. Human waste disposal facilities utilize a vacuum process that cannot work properly if plastic or paper bags are disposed of into them.
Scavenging; removing material from trash or garbage containers is prohibited.
Determination: While the National Park Service lauds and encourages individual recycling efforts, rummaging through trash containers for the purpose of salvaging any materials deemed useful, either for personal use or monetary reward, constitutes economic gain and is not a legitimate recreational activity for which the area was established. Further, such efforts result in the scattering of trash, disruption to other visitors, and unsanitary conditions.
(a)(1) Pets are prohibited at the designated swim areas.
(b) Horses and pack animals may be ridden or used throughout the recreation area except in picnic areas, campgrounds, and in these areas;
(a)(1) Areas designated as airstrip:
The following areas are open to the use of skates, rollerblades, skateboards, non-motorized scooters and similar devices:
1. All NPS and concession residential areas.
(a) The following buildings and facilities are closed to smoking which includes electronic cigarettes commonly known as “e-cigarettes” or “vapes”:
(a)(2) Property may be left unattended for periods longer than 24 hours in the following areas and under the following conditions: Pursuant to 36 CFR §7.48(c);
(b) In accordance with 36 CFR part 71 and the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act, Lake Mead National Recreation Area is a designated recreation fee area. Recreation fees, inclusive of camping fees, entrance fees and lake use fees are collected at the following locations:
(a)(3)(i) The following public use areas, portions of public use areas, and/or public facilities within the park are closed to consumption of alcoholic beverages, and/or to the possession of a bottle, can or other receptacle containing an alcoholic beverage that is open, or has been opened, or whose seal has been broken or the contents of which have been partially removed:
On the beach and/or parking area at the end of Approved Road 47, and within a one-mile radius of Placer Cove, Nevada (Link to Map)
Determination: Easy access to the lake has made this location popular for a variety of different uses. High cliffs (commonly used for cliff jumping) also make this an attractive location. Late-night parties, alcohol consumption, and underage drinking have contributed to visitor conflicts and safety concerns in this area. Alcohol use is a factor in falling/jumping injuries and fatalities, and in drowning. Incidents of aberrant behavior related to the consumption of alcohol at this location have been of such magnitude that the diligent application of authorities in this section and § 2.34 of this chapter over a reasonable time period have not alleviated the problem.
(a)(1) Only under the terms and conditions of a permit, shall the use of electric golf carts be authorized on the Historic Railroad Tunnel Trail and the River Mountains Loop Trail to transport supplies and equipment during set-up and breakdown of the event.
Determination: To prevent injury or damage to park resources and visitors as these trails do not allow vehicles on the trails.
(a)(3) Special use permits for special events or film/photography permits will not be issued during the holiday weekends in the summer. Holiday weekends begin the Friday before and end on the Tuesday following the holiday as listed below. July 4th is a floating holiday so this applies to the designated July 4th holiday weekend:
See Appendix B for the fee schedule.
Determination: During the summer months, and on weekends throughout the year, the park receives high visitation. Not issuing permits during the holiday weekends in the summer will prevent unreasonable interference with visitor services, park operations and park administrative activities.
(b) Demonstrations of 25 people or less are allowed within the park areas designated as available under paragraph (c)(2). Demonstrations of more than 25 people are allowed within designated areas when the Superintendent has issued a permit for the activity.
(c)(2) The following locations are designated as available for demonstrations:
In accordance with and consistent with 36 CFR §2.51 and §2.52, the Superintendent will issue permits for the exercise of First Amendment activities with the following exceptions:
(b) The scattering of ashes from cremated human remains are allowed throughout the recreation area, without a permit, in accordance with the following terms and conditions:
Part 3 – Boating and Water Use Activities
1. All occupants of hand-propelled craft operating between Hoover Dam and Mile 43 on Lake Mohave are required to wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved personal flotation device (PFD) when underway.
Determination: The area indicated in this restriction is popular for the use of hand-powered watercraft. The waterway in this area can change quickly from flat, calm water to a strong river current with rapids. Water temperatures are cold (in the low 50s° F) year-round. The occupants of hand-powered craft are typically not prepared for strong currents and cold water temperatures, nor are they prepared for immersion and re-boarding their craft, or swimming to shore. In addition, vessel traffic can be congested in narrow canyons. Due to these hazards, this restriction is necessary to ensure the safety of all vessel occupants.
2. The use of inflatable and non-inflatable devices used for recreating in pools and commonly referred to as “pool toys” is prohibited. This prohibition includes small pool toys such as inflatable arm bands (also known as water wings), beach balls and pool noodles. The use of water-based recreation items used for attaching to or towing behind a vessel are not included in this prohibition.
Determination: Inflatable pool toys are not United States Coast Guard (USCG) approved floatation devices. These items can give visitors a false sense of security, and often have explicit warnings that they are not intended for use in lakes or open bodies of water. The use of pool toys has led to numerous drownings and “near misses” on both Lake Mead and Mohave. Visitors with pool toys often do not wear life jacket, believing that their inflatable toy will keep them safe.
1. Operation of a vessel above flat wake speed is prohibited in designated semi-primitive areas on Lake Mead, as defined in the Lake Management Plan, and indicated as follows:
2. The operation of any vessel using an internal combustion engine as a source of propulsion is prohibited in the following Primitive areas:
Determination: Primitive areas on Lake Mead are managed for solitude and limited evidence of human impact on the landscape. Low watercraft speeds will preserve the areas’ tranquil qualities. Noise levels will be low. Prohibiting internal combustion engines and allowing electric trolling motors are necessary to achieve this setting while providing some motorized access.
3. Operation of a vessel using an internal combustion engine in excess of 65-horsepower is prohibited in Black Canyon, from the Willow Beach harbor to Hoover Dam, during the designated semi-primitive period from the first Tuesday following Labor Day weekend through Friday of Memorial Day weekend. (Link to Map)
Determination: Semi-primitive areas are managed for a sense of peace and quiet, with some expectation of solitude. Noise levels will be low. High-speed watercraft recreation is not consistent with these management goals. A 65-horsepower maximum is necessary to achieve this recreational setting, while allowing for adequate power to maintain headway and provide for safe steerage in river currents.
4. All motorized vessels are prohibited in Black Canyon, from the Willow Beach Harbor to Hoover Dam, during the designated primitive period of Sundays and Mondays year-round except as approved by an administrative agreement.
Determination: Primitive areas on Lake Mohave are managed for solitude and limited evidence of human impact on the landscape. Low watercraft speeds will preserve the areas’ tranquil qualities. Noise levels will be low. Prohibiting all motorized vessels is necessary to achieve this setting.
5. Use of temporary buoys for waterski “slalom” courses or personal watercraft courses, uniform sailing regattas, or similar uses, is permitted subject to the following conditions:
Determination: The use of Lake Mead National Recreation Area for waterski “slalom” courses, personal watercraft courses, uniform sailing regattas, or similar uses is appropriate. These conditions are necessary to provide for the protection of environmental values and avoid conflict among other visitor uses.
6. Personal Watercrafts (PWC) are prohibited from the Pearce Ferry Harbor Area to the Grand Canyon boundary.
Determination: The prohibition of Personal Watercrafts (PWC) from the Pearce Ferry Harbor Area to the Grand Canyon Boundary is in the interest of public safety as it is a constricted and at times congested area. These activities are also not allowed in the Grand Canyon National Park.
For the purposes of this paragraph vessel length and/or width is measured according to the simplified criteria established in 46 CFR chapter I or 33 CFR chapter I; which is explained below.
Private vessels over 75 feet in total length and/or 22 feet total beam are prohibited. For purposes of this section, total length and beam include all temporary and permanent appurtenances. Manually operated gangplanks designed for passenger boarding that retracts flush with the hull when the vessel is underway will be exempted from the appurtenance clause. Total length will be determined by a straight line measurement from the foremost part of the vessel to the aft most part of the vessel, measured end to end over the deck, and measured parallel to the centerline, with all appurtenances, (excluding gangplanks) in a fully extended position. Total beam will be determined by a straight-line measurement from the outer most sides of the vessel at its widest point with all appurtenances in a fully extended position.
Private vessels will not be allowed to be constructed on site at any location in Lake Mead National Recreation Area. Construction includes but is not limited to welding together hull parts, adding any permanent appurtenances, or expanding the width or length as described above. Exemptions will be provided on a case-by-case basis only for commercial operations with valid concession contracts.
Exceptions: Any boats registered and on the waters of Lake Mead National Recreation Area prior to September 1, 2000, that exceed the described conditions will be permitted with the stipulation that no other modifications to total length or total beam may be made. Sailboat booms may exceed this standard when underway outside the harbor areas; however, must meet this standard when not under sail.
As of December 31, 2012, no one may operate a personal watercraft that does not meet the 2006 emission standards set by Environmental Protection Agency for the manufacturing of two-stroke engines. A person operating a vessel that meets the EPA 2006 emission standards through the use of direct-injection two-stroke or four-stroke engines, or the equivalent thereof, is not subject to this prohibition.
Determination: Carburetor two-stroke engines have been shown to discharge as much as 30% of their fuel directly into lake waters. These emissions have the potential to adversely affect water quality, the health of people and aquatic organisms.
(a) The towing of persons by vessels is allowed in the following areas under the terms and conditions noted:
(b) Towing a person using a parasail, hang glider or other airborne device to include Kite Boards and Jet Pack type vessels may be allowed only in accordance with a permit issued by the Superintendent.
(a)(1) Sunken or grounded vessels should be removed as soon as possible by the owner of the vessel and must not exceed 3 days from the date of the accident without written authorization from the superintendent.
(a)(3) The Superintendent may establish conditions in which the vessel must be removed. This will be established upon meeting the required within 24 hours reporting of the vessel accident.
(b) The Superintendent may prohibit the removal of a vessel upon a written determination that the removal would constitute an unacceptable risk to human life, cause extensive resource damage, or is impractical or impossible.
Determination: The responsibility for the removal of sunken or grounded vessels lies with the owner of the vessel, however the NPS often has interest in the means by which the vessels are removed, and how long those operations take. Often there are concerns with the spilling of hazardous materials into the lake, and frequently recovery operations can significantly impact visitor uses in the area.
Swimming and/or wading is allowed in waters, subject to closures or restrictions designated by the Superintendent. The following areas are closed to swimming and wading:
1. Lake Mead area designated SCUBA Dive Area, Scuba Beach (Boulder):
2. Scuba Diving and Towing (water skiing/tubing) is prohibited from Pearce Ferry Harbor Area to the Grand Canyon boundary.
3. Recreational Diving of any kind is prohibited at or around the submerged B-29 aircraft unless authorized by Commercial Use Authorization.
Determination: The closure of Scuba Diving and Towing (water skiing/tubing) from the Pearce Ferry Harbor Area to the Grand Canyon Boundary is in the interest of public safety as it is a constricted and at times congested area. These activities are also not allowed in the Grand Canyon National Park. Due to the historical significance of the submerged B-29 recreational diving is prohibited in the interest of protection of the resource.
Part 4 – Vehicles and Traffic Safety
(a) Park roads open for travel by motor vehicle are those indicated below, and/or as indicated in the following publication or document:
Hoover Dam area map
Lake Mohave South area map
Temple Bar area map
The following pertains to the private use of low-speed vehicles and golf carts with in the Lake Mead NRA. The use of low-speed vehicles and golf carts by government authorities, contractors, or concessioners is addressed with permits or contracts.
Golf carts meeting applicable state and federal standards are considered motor vehicles, and may be operated in limited areas within each developed area by licensed drivers. A golf cart is defined as a motor vehicle that has not less than three wheels in contact with the ground, has an unloaded weight of less than 1,800 pounds, is designed to be and is operated at not more than 25 miles per hour, is designed to carry not more than four persons including the driver.
Operating a golf cart not in accordance with state and federal motor vehicle laws is prohibited:
Operating a permitted golf cart outside of designated areas is prohibited. It is the responsibility of the golf cart owner/operator to know what roads are designated as permissible for the operation of golf carts. Maps of designated areas are available in all developed areas.
Neighborhood Electric Vehicles that conform to Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards in 49 CFR 571.500, and which are licensed and insured, may be operated on park roads with a speed limit of 35 miles-per-hour or less. Operation of a Neighborhood Electric Vehicle on roadways with posted speed limits in excess of 35 MPH is prohibited, except to cross such a roadway at an intersection.
The use of motorized skateboards, mini motorcycles (pocket rockets and other such motorized devices) and go-carts are prohibited within Lake Mead National Recreation Area.
The use of a Segway®, or similar devices, within Lake Mead NRA by persons with disabilities is considered the same as if the person was utilizing a motorized wheelchair. Therefore, a Segway®, or similar devices will be granted the same consideration as a motorized wheelchair. The use of a Segway®, or similar devices, within Lake Mead NRA by all other persons will be controlled by the respective state law where it is being used.
Determination: Idling diesel engines produce noise and noxious fumes, which adversely affect visitor health and visitor experience. These restrictions protect and enhance visitor experience, promote better air quality, and yet enable bus operators to heat and cool bus interiors for passenger comfort.
The Willow Beach Access Road has a speed reduction to 35 miles per hour imposed by the Superintendent.
Determination: Willow Beach is a developed area with a marina, campground, commercial facility and other visitor services. The access road has not yet been upgraded to the standards of the other developed areas. Annual flooding has also deteriorated the roadway and therefore in the interest of visitor safety the speed limit has been reduced from the standard.
The Six Mile Cove Access Road has a speed reduction to 35 miles per hour imposed by the Superintendent.
Determination: Approved Road 31 which is an unpaved access road to Six Mile Cove receives a high level of traffic traveling to 6 mile Cove and has a history of significant vehicle accidents due to loss of traction on the roadway from speed and the combination of loose dirt and the wash boarding effect that occurs.
Part 5 – Commercial and Private Operations
Commercial notices or advertisements shall not be displayed, posted, or distributed on federally owned or controlled lands within the park area unless written permission has been given by the Superintendent.
Engaging in or soliciting any business in park areas, except in accordance with the provisions of a permit, contract, or other written agreement with the United States, is prohibited. Business operations within Lake Mead National Recreation Area must be authorized under a contract or permit. All authorized businesses are listed online at https://www.nps.gov/lake/getinvolved/cua-directory.htm.
The exceptions to the written authorization for all commercial visitor service operations requirement are as follows:
Recreation Fee Schedule
*These passes are valid until December 31 of the year they were purchased.
Daily Campground Use Fee Areas
Commercial Tour Category
Entry is valid for five (7) days, only for the same vehicle and the same group. Fees will be levied on vehicle capacity and are not pro-rated for those passengers who may be exempt from fees, such as, Interagency Passport, Golden Access, and Golden Age, Golden Eagle passport holders or those under the age of 16. This was calculated into the fees coordinated with the National Transportation Association and the National Bus Association in conjunction with national tour meetings. Commercial tour rates:
Local Shuttle Service Category
Local shuttle services are any service originating and terminating, during the same day, in either Clark County, Nevada, or Mohave County, Arizona, and staying within Clark or Mohave Counties during the entire day or service. Local shuttle service will be required to obtain a Commercial Use Authorization, recognizing their qualification and classification as a local shuttle service. Only those services that complete the CUA process will be charged at the per-person rate, all others will be assessed the per-vehicle commercial tour rate.
Special Park Use/Special Events
Special Park Use Cost Recovery Charges (Such as but not limited to, group activities, recreation events, and the use of motorized recreation vehicles)
Film/Still Photography - Commercial and Non-Commercial Filming Application and Permit Fees
*Plus applicable Location Fee **Does not include cost recovery charges ***If applicable
Commercial Filming Location Fees
(not required for non-commercial filming permits)
Still Photography Application and Permit Fees
*Plus applicable Location Fee **Does not include cost recovery charges
Still Photography Location Fees
In accordance with National Park Service Law Enforcement Reference Manual 9 (RM-9), notice is hereby given that Lake Mead National Recreation Area uses Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) security camera monitoring.
The park’s use of Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) for law enforcement and security purposes will only be to visually monitor public park areas and public activities where no constitutionally protected reasonable expectation of privacy exists. Such CCTV use – which will have adequate privacy and First Amendment safeguards – will be to help ensure public safety and security; facilitate the detection, investigation, prevention, and deterrence of terrorist attack and crime; help ensure the safety of citizens and officers; help assist in the proper allocation and deployment of law enforcement and public safety resources; and help facilitate the protection of the innocent and the apprehension and prosecution of criminals. (RM-9, 26.1)
This policy does not restrict the official use of CCTV in government administrative areas, including administrative buildings, jail holding facilities (RM-9, 26.3.7), revenue collection sites, etc., where the government may record/monitor its facilities. For example, the government may perform unrestricted video/audio recording at revenue collection points (entrance stations, visitor center counters, etc.). This policy does not restrict the use of an Audio/Visual Recording Device (AVRD) in patrol vehicles or officer-worn recording devices used by commissioned rangers. (RM-9, 26.1).
Operation of CCTV cameras, maintenance of recorded images and use of recorded images will be in accordance with NPS and Department policy and applicable laws and regulations. (RM-9, 26.1-26.4) No person will be targeted or monitored merely because of race, religion, gender, sex, disability, national origin, or political affiliation or views. (RM-9, 26.4.2)
Nothing in this policy statement is intended to create any rights, privileges, or benefits not otherwise recognized by law.
Closure Order # 18-003 - EMERGENCY CLOSURE ORDER
EFFECTIVE March 8, 2018
Closures, restrictions and public use limits:
Closure Order – Portion of a Park Area: Pursuant to the authority vested to the Superintendent of Lake Mead National Recreation Area, the area known as the Cottonwood Cove Upper Campground (all campsites) shall be immediately closed to overnight camping to the public due vulnerable flood hazards found by a recent study.
Upon completion of a major flood control project, the area will be re-evaluated.
Further, the upper campground's upper loop will remain open for overflow parking. The dump station will also remain open. The Cottonwood Cove Lower Campground will remain open to the public.
Authority: 36 CFR 1.5
Closure Order # 20-008 - RESCINDED
EFFECTIVE September 24, 2020
Rescinding Closures, restrictions and public use limits:
Rescinding Closure Order – Portion of a Park Area: Pursuant to the authority vested to the Superintendent in 36 CFR 1.5, the following park areas and facilities closures have been rescinded:
These areas remain CLOSED until further notice:
Authority: 36 CFR 1.5(a)(1)
EFFECTIVE May 8, 2020 at Midnight PDT
Closure Order – High Danger Fire Restrictions: Under the authority provided to the Superintendent in 36 CFR 2.13 (c), the following park areas within Lake Mead National Recreation Area are under a Fire Prevention, High Fire Danger Fire Restriction Order, effective immediately, until further notice. This Fire Prevention Order does not apply to lands within the Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument.
The following acts are prohibited or modified:
Notice: This administrative order applies to all individuals subject to the regulatory authority of the National Park Service (NPS) within the boundaries of Lake Mead National Recreation Area, including park visitors, government employees, concession employees, park residents and stakeholders, except as follows: Persons with a permit authorizing the activity and any Federal, State, or local officer or member of an organized fire fighting force in the performance of an official duty.
Finding: The restrictions in this Fire Prevention, High Fire Danger Closure Order are necessary to prevent wildfire during this period of extended drought and increased potential for wildland fires in Arizona and Nevada.
Administrative Order # 21-001
Updated: /s/ Sarah Creachbaum, Superintendent (Acting)
June 11, 2021
Closures, restrictions and public use limits:
Restrictions and Public Use Limits: Under the authority provided to the Superintendent in 36 CFR
1.5(a)(2) the following activities are restricted in Lake Mead National Recreation Area, effective
immediately, until further notice:
(a)(2) Masks – Wearing Requirements
All individuals over the age of two who are not yet fully vaccinated must wear masks, except when
actively eating or drinking, in the following locations:
1. All common areas and shared workspaces in buildings owned, rented or leased by the National Park
Service, including, but not limited to, park visitor centers, administrative offices, lodges, gift
shops and restaurants.
2. The following outdoor areas, when others are present, where the superintendent has determined
that physical distancing (staying at least six feet apart) cannot reasonably be maintained:
• outdoor areas adjacent to visitor centers
• parking lots and common areas in campgrounds
• crowded trails, viewpoints, and other areas of interest
Masks must cover the nose and mouth and fit snugly around the nose and chin with no large gaps
around the sides of the face. Masks not designed to be protective, masks with ventilation valves,
and face shields do not meet the requirement.
Regardless of vaccination status, all individuals must comply with all orders regarding masks
issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
CDC prevention measures continue to apply to all travelers on public transit, regardless of
vaccination status. Masks remain required on all forms of public transit that operate within parks,
including busses, trains, and boats/ferries, and in transportation hubs.
Masks must cover the nose and mouth and fit snugly around the nose and chin with no large gaps
around the sides of the face. Masks not designed to be protective, masks with ventilation valves,
and face shields do not meet the requirement.
Authority: 36 CFR 1.5(a)(2)
Notice: This administrative order applies to all individuals subject to the regulatory authority of
the National Park Service (NPS) within the boundaries of the Lake Mead National Recreation Area,
including park visitors, government employees, concession employees, park residents and
Finding: The NPS issues this administrative order for the purposes of maintaining public health
and safety during the COVID-19 pandemic emergency. This order is consistent with Executive Order
13991, Protecting the Federal Workforce and Requiring Mask-Wearing.
These directives require the NPS to take the actions identified, as appropriate and consistent with
applicable law, to require compliance with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines
with respect to wearing masks, maintaining physical distance, and other public health measures by:
on-duty or on-site Federal employees; on-site Federal contractors; and all persons in Federal
buildings or on Federal lands.
In addition to physical distancing and hand washing, masks are a critical step to help prevent
people from getting and spreading COVID-19. When you wear a mask, you protect others as well as
• COVID-19 spreads mainly from person to person through respiratory droplets. Masks
are a simple barrier to help prevent respiratory droplets from reaching others.
• Masks can prevent the spread of the disease even when the wearer is not sick. This
is because several studies have found that people with COVID-19 who never develop symptoms
(asymptomatic) and those who are not yet showing symptoms (pre-symptomatic) can still spread the
virus to other people.
• Masks may not be necessary when you are outside by yourself away from others, or
with other people who live in your household.
• It is especially important to wear a mask indoors with people you do not live with
and when you are unable to stay at least 6 feet apart because COVID-19 spreads mainly among people
who are in close contact with one another.
This order is effective immediately and will remain in effect until further notice. The
effectiveness of this order will be assessed on an ongoing basis, and the order will be modified or rescinded when conditions warrant.Body Text
Last updated: April 20, 2022