Tuesday, May 28, 2013

LAKE MEAD NEVADA –Something for Everyone!

Written by Tiffany Milligan – A Vegas Local

Love nature? Water activities? Are you the outdoorsy type or do you just appreciate beautiful scenery? Lake Mead, Nevada might just be the place for you! Boating, camping, hiking, Hoover Dam… this is more than just a day trip if you want to decompress from city life, breath in the fresh air, and leave all of your worries behind. From the party goers to the tree huggers, this oasis of all-encompassing beauty welcomes all walks of life. Endless opportunities at some summer fun exist at Lake Mead!

Photo by Don Barrett

The 247 square miles of gorgeous lake, tied into the Colorado River just 24 miles from the Las Vegas Strip, was named after Elwood Mead (January 16, 1858 – January 26, 1936). Elwood was the commissioner of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation during the planning and construction of the Boulder Canyon Project; this is the project that created both the lake and the dam. Equally as fascinating as the creation of such a MONSTER of a lake (yes, it is the 16th largest manmade lake in the WORLD) is the history of the land before the development of Lake Mead, Nevada.

The River Mountains and the Muddy Mountains are nothing less than jaw dropping when paired with the vastness of Lake Mead in the foreground (talk about a great photo op for photographers)! If you do love photography and want to get some good shots AND a little workout, the historic railroad tunnel trail is 4.4 miles of old railroad bed turned trail, that tunnel through volcanic rock, reaching all the way to Hoover Dam… should you choose to go that far! It’s a great walk for the family, but if you have TEENY TINY ones like I do, make sure that your stroller has shocks ☺

Playing on Lake Mead can mean many things including Lake Mead Boat Rentals. Rent a pontoon patio boat and enjoy cruising and exploring the 550 miles of shoreline, stopping for a picnic to bask under a tree (believe it or not, there are a few). If you’re wanting to burn off a little energy, rent an open bow boat and some wake-boards  and zip through the water creating an unforgettable experience… life is all about experiences don’t you know ;) If you’re wanting to take it all in, a helicopter tour of Hoover Dam and Lake Mead will keep you out of the heat and let you see the majestic lake from an angle you never thought possible! Dream BIG at Lake Mead, Nevada!

Lake Mead Nevada is the home to Hoover Dam (can anyone guess who the damn is named after)?! It took six companies, five years of working 24 hours around the clock to complete this feat! Can you imagine being able to do that with the technology of that time?! What a grueling task! It is absolutely amazing to descend down the shaft and get a look at the interior workings of such an architectural anomaly. I’m not a history buff, nor would I ever claim to like history, however, the tour and history of the Hoover Dam, in Lake Mead, Nevada, is fascinating. Claustrophobic? You might want to sit this one out (since you’ll have tons upon tons of concrete above you when you go down below the damn on the tour… in a tiny elevator shaft…surrounded by water logged, dripping walls, which you are assured by the tour guide, is no big deal) and enjoy Hoover Dam from the recently completed Hoover Damn walking bridge! Scared of heights? Well, then the bridge idea might be an issue too! You might just want to stay on the lake and play and meet up with your party later ;)

Boulder City is a quaint town, just minutes from Lake Mead, Nevada. It has all the modern amenities you need (fast food, gas, shops, lodging) PLUS a great variety of mom and pop restaurants; you can sit on a patio, alongside the road, and people watch while sipping on a refreshing iced tea and nibbling on an oversized club sandwich. Play a round of golf before heading out for an afternoon of kayaking…Boulder City is a great pit stop before heading out to your final destination, Lake Mead!

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