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National Park Service
U.S. Department of the Interior
LAKE MEAD NATIONAL RECREATION AREA News Release
For Immediate Release: June 1, 2018
Release No.: 2018-19
THIS NATIONAL TRAILS DAY EXPERIENCE A VIRTUAL HIKE ALONG LAKE MEAD’S HISTORIC RAILROAD TRAIL
BOULDER CITY, Nevada – Lake Mead National Recreation Area is helping people celebrate National Trails Day June 2 without having to brave the summer heat. The park has just released a virtual hike along Southern Nevada’s Historic Railroad Trail.
The trail, located within Lake Mead National Recreation Area, is an easy, accessible, dog-friendly hike along a former railroad grade. It provides panoramic views of Lake Mead, overlooking the Boulder Basin. As hikers travel through five large tunnels, they will experience a portion of the railroad route that ran from Boulder City to Hoover Dam from 1931 to 1961.
“While this is one of the most popular trails at Lake Mead, we realize not everyone is able to visit our beautiful park or they may not wish to hike during the hot summer season, so we’re sharing the trail and its rich history online,” said Lizette Richardson, Lake Mead National Recreation Area superintendent.
The virtual hike video follows the trail, which was built along the only remaining section of the Hoover Dam Railroad system that is not highly disturbed or underwater. It incorporates historic photos to tell the story of the railroad, the engineering challenges and the people who constructed it.
The video, produced in partnership with Get Outdoors Nevada, also tells the story of the natural history of the area, with glimpses into the geology of the landscape, along with the flora and fauna that are seen along the trail. Views of the lake and surrounding desert and mountains are also included.
The Historic Railroad Trail was designated a National Recreation Trail in 2015, joining the park’s previously designated River Mountains Loop Trail and Black Canyon National Water Trail. Its designation as a National Recreation Trail means that the trail will be preserved to promote the enjoyment of the outdoors and encourage public access and citizen involvement.
In 2017, the Historic Railroad Trail was graded and received a new layer of decomposed granite, improving its accessibility and the overall visitor experience. The trail can be accessed near the Lake Mead Visitor Center or via the Hoover Dam Parking Garage.
“The year 2018 marks the 50th anniversary of the National Trails System and the Wild & Scenic Rivers acts. For the 50th, we’re inviting visitors to #FindYourWay to explore America’s national scenic, recreational and historic trails and wild and scenic rivers,” said Richardson.
The complete virtual hike and more information about the trail is available online at https://www.nps.gov/lake/planyourvisit/hikerr.htm.