News Release

Lake Mead National Recreation Area reminds boaters to plan ahead: Historically low water levels will affect boating access into 2022

Sign reads "Ramp Closed". Lake in background.

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News Release Date: September 24, 2021

BOULDER CITY, Nev. – Lake Mead National Recreation Area (NRA) is reminding boaters to be aware of expected changes to water access points and boat launch areas in 2022 due to historically low water levels.Three launch ramps and three marinas remain open in the park; however, some launch sites will be impacted next spring and summer by continuing decreases in water levels. Boaters can stay informed and plan accordingly by checking the status of their preferred launch destinations through the park’s website: nps.gov/lake  According to the Bureau of Reclamation’s (BOR) September 24-month forecast, Lake Mead water levels will continue to drop, affecting launch ramps at Boulder Harbor, Hemenway Harbor, Temple Bar, Callville Bay, Echo Bay and South Cove.The lake’s current water elevation and BOR predicts the level to continue to drop:
  • BOR water elevation projection for December 2021 is 1,066 feet.
  • BOR water elevation projection for May 2022 is 1,059 feet.
  • BOR water elevation projection for December 2022 is 1,050 feet.
The current and projected status of launch ramps at Lake Mead NRA include:
  • Boulder Harbor: Closed.
  • Hemenway Harbor: Open on one lane of pipe mat.
  • Temple Bar: Closed. The park is evaluating relocating the launch ramp because extending the current ramp down to 1,050 feet would provide only 2 to 3 months of use before it would be abandoned due to the area’s topography.
  • Callville Bay: Open on one lane of pipe mat. The park will permanently close the current ramp when lake levels reach 1,062 feet (expected in May 2022). The park is evaluating relocating the launch ramp because projections of extending the current ramp down to 1,062 feet provide only 3 to 4 months of use before it would be abandoned due to the area’s topography.
  • Echo Bay: Open on one lane of pipe mat.
  • South Cove: Concrete ramp is closed, but primitive launching is available approximately 0.5 mile to the south of the concrete launch ramp.
The elevation of Lake Mead is about 145 feet lower since the onset of the 20-year historic drought in 2000, including ten years of extreme drought reflecting the effects of climate change in the Colorado River Basin. Since 2002, the National Park Service has invested tens of millions of dollars to extend launch ramps, parking facilities, water systems, electrical systems, docking facilities, navigational aids, shoreline access, sanitation facilities, and many other facilities to accommodate lowering lake levels.The park continues to work with BOR and other partners to develop a range of options to address changing lake levels. 
 
- NPS -
 
Lake Mead National Recreation Area is the only national park minutes from Las Vegas that offers Joshua trees, slot canyons and night skies illuminated by the Milky Way. The park’s rocks are as red as fire and the mountains are purple majesties. Lake Mead is the country’s first and largest national recreation area and the fifth most visited national park in the country. Follow us at www.nps.gov/lake or on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.



Last updated: September 24, 2021

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