Lake Mead is one of the country’s largest fresh water bodies. However the lake is only part of the hydrological lifeblood of Lake Mead National Recreation Area. Springs located throughout the park allow wildlife and plants to thrive in an otherwise inhospitable environment.
Lake Mead has over 300 springs of which eighty-nine have been surveyed. Most of these springs are below 1,000 ft in elevation and have very low flow rates, less than two gallons per minute.
Several springs at Lake Mead also provide visitors with a unique experience. Springs come in several varieties from hot springs that can get up to 140 degrees F., to seeps of water that trickle out of crevices in the rocks of Black Canyon.
The springs you can see all year round are called perennial. They have a source that comes from an aquifer located underground. The other type of spring is called ephemeral. Ephemeral springs have a source closer to the surface and usually only flow when the ground becomes saturated after it rains. Once the water source runs dry, so does the spring.