home Parks, USA Lake Mead National Recreation Area

Lake Mead National Recreation Area

Photo: James Marvin Phelps, Neowise (Some rights reserved)

Lake Mead National Recreation Area, is the USA’s fifth most popular national park unit with more than 7 million visits a year. For the first time since it was created in the 1930s, a federal water shortage has been declared for Lake Mead, including mandatory water cutbacks in 2022 that will affect Arizona, Nevada, and Mexico.

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Key Links
Lake Mead National Recreation Area
Plan your visit
Things to do
Virtual Museum


  • Is the park dog-friendly?
  • Where can a visitor rent a boat?
  • What would locals like others know about Lake Mead?
  • What are the interactions among the park and nearby communities?
  • Are there videos about the park?

With the creation of what would be named Hoover Dam, Lake Mead was first established as the Boulder Dam Recreation Area in 1936, administrated by the National Park Service. The reservoir created by the damming of the Colorado River became Lake Mead, named after Elwood Mead, the Bureau of Reclamation commissioner at the time.

Amenities include campgrounds, hiking and biking paths, and boat rentals.

Beaches and Marinas
We are fans of the beaches and marinas.

Bathtub Ring
A high-water mark or “bathtub ring” is visible around the shoreline of Lake Mead. The bathtub ring is white because of the leaching of minerals on previously submerged surfaces. The bathtub ring generates automatic attention and you’ll notice that many of the restroom facilities are located further from the water’s edge than they used to be.

Water Level


The top of the white ring is about 140 feet above the current lake elevation.

The last time the lake was at full capacity was in 1983.

Albeit artificial, Lake Mead is Nevada’s only lake with an exit to the sea.

Lake Mead National Recreation Area is the size of the state of Delaware.

Human remains found at drought-hit Lake Mead for 4th time since May
Lake Mead’s water levels sink to lowest since 1937
Lake Mead’s decline points to scary water future in West
‘The pie keeps shrinking’: Lake Mead’s low level will trigger water cutbacks for Arizona, Nevada@ByIanJames
7.5 Million People Visited Lake Mead National Recreation Area in 2018

Elsewhere on the Web: Bird and Hike
Bird and Hike@Jlboone
Be Lake Friendly


Historic Railroad Trail
nps.govvirtual tour video

Willow Beach

Kingman Wash
Bird and Hike


Lake Mead



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