Current Conditions at Lake Mead National Recreation Area

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Date: June 14, 2006
Contact: Roxxane Dey, (702) 293-8947

Lake Mead has more than 500 miles of shoreline and the current lake elevation is 1,129 vertical feet. The current water temperature is a warm 80 degrees. Lake Mohave has 250 miles of shoreline and the water elevation is 642 vertical feet. There are a wide range of recreational activities available to visitors on both lakes. Personal watercraft are allowed on 95 percent of Lakes Mead and Mohave.

All nine marinas in the park are open and have a variety of services to offer visitors. If you don’t own a boat or don’t wish to rent one, you can still enjoy getting out on the water by taking a boat tour or raft trip. Additional information on services like boat rentals, boat tours, kayak and river rafting trips can be found on our website: www.nps/gov/lame and also on:

The Colorado River system is experiencing what could be the worst drought on record. However, even with lowering water levels on Lake Mead, it is still our nation’s largest man-made reservoir. During this current drought condition, recreational opportunities on Lakes Mead and Mohave have not changed. All the recreational activities enjoyed at a lake level of 1,180 feet, can be enjoyed at the current lake level. However, boaters need to be careful when launching and while operating their vessels, because varying water levels can create emerging reefs and other hazards. Most importantly, boaters need to educate themselves about navigational aids on the lake (buoys, reef markers, etc.), the National Park Service can’t mark every hazard on the lake so boaters need to use caution. Boating education information and boater safety courses are available on

According to the June 2006 Bureau of Reclamation 24-month forecast for reservoir levels, all the current working launch ramps on Lake Mead will remain operational throughout the summer 2006 season (Government Wash and Pearce Ferry launch ramps remain closed due to lower water levels). The Bureau updates the 24-month forecast once a month. You can access their site at:

Launch Ramp Update

Lake Mead

The launch ramps at Overton Beach, Echo Bay, Callville Bay, and Boulder Harbor (next to Lake Mead Marina) can all accommodate larger vessels and have several launching lanes available at each of those sites.

Hemenway Harbor
Currently, we are recommending Hemenway Harbor as shallow launching only (smaller, flat vessels and personal watercraft). If you have a larger vessel with a “deep v” hull, please use the Boulder Harbor launch ramp next to Lake Mead Marina.

Temple Bar
At least one to two launch lanes are open and suitable for deep water launching (vessels up to 35 feet in length) on the west side of the ramp. Please note: all vessels 35 feet or more than five tons need to coordinate launching with the District Ranger at 928.767.3401. Please call to schedule at least 30 days before the proposed launch date

South Cove
South Cove has numerous underwater hazards; please be patient and use caution when launching your boat. Please pay attention to reef markers. The south side of the ramp is open with one to two lanes available. The north side of the ramp is not available for launching. At this time, based on the Bureau of Reclamation’s projections, we anticipate being able to keep the courtesy dock at South Cove; however, we are considering removing about 40 feet of the courtesy dock after the July 4th holiday weekend. We believe this will allow continued launching with the convenience of the courtesy dock through the summer. If plans or conditions change, a news release will be issued.

Government Wash and Pearce Ferry launch ramps remain closed.

Lake Mohave
The launch ramps and marinas on Lake Mohave, (Cottonwood Cove, Willow Beach, and Katherine Landing), are all open and fully operational.

Lake Mead National Recreation Area is a unit of the National Park Service.

Last updated: February 28, 2015

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601 Nevada Way
Boulder City, NV 89005


(702) 293-8990

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