Lake Mead is part of the United States National Park System and has a number of attractions, including its proximity to Las Vegas, as well as, boating and fishing. Lake Mead is the largest man-made lake, (a.k.a. reservoir,) in the United States, and is the 16th largest man-made lake in the world. Lake Mead is approximately 247 square miles, and it is located on the Colorado River approximately 30 miles (48 km) southeast of Las Vegas, Nevada, in the states of both Nevada and Arizona.
Before you go, prepare for a fun and safe trip by reviewing all of the rules and regulations of Lake Mead at http://www.desertusa.com/colorado/lm_nra/lake_mead/du_meadboat.html.
Lake Mead Fees
Lake Mead National Recreation Area has both entrance and lake use fees, whether you are in the Nevada or Arizona part of Lake Mead. Entrance fees begin at $5 per vehicle, or $3 per person if you travel solo, such as on a bicycle or motorcycle.
Additionally, all motorized water vessels entering the park will be assessed a lake use fee charge, starting at $10 for the first vessel, and $5 for each additional vessel. Prices are subject to change and should be confirmed in advance at the National Park System website. Annual and other passes, as well as, senior discounts may be available to cover both entrance fees and lake use fees. For more information call the park fee management office at (702) 293-8906.
Lake Mead Marinas
When you are through gambling in Las Vegas, make the short drive to Lake Mead in Nevada, or hop over to the Arizona part of Lake Mead. At Lake Mead, one can enjoy any of its 5 Marinas:
– Callville Bay
– Echo Bay
– Lake Mead Marina
– Overton Beach
– Willow Beach Harbor
For boating, the most elaborate boating facility is at Lake Mead Marina on Boulder Bay. Conveniently located approximately 30 minutes from Las Vegas, Nevada, Lake Mead Marina has a restaurant; cocktail lounge; a well stocked store; and boat rentals. Lake Mead Marina is considered more of a tourist spot. However, Lake Mead Marina is great for first time visitors who are apprehensive about Lake Mead’s vast wilderness.
On the road leading to Boulder Bay lies transplanted Las Vegas Bay Marina, not to be confused with Las Vegas Bay itself, which is a campground, five miles north. Las Vegas Bay Marina is a great place for boating, featuring a café and a lounge. Notably, Las Vegas Bay Marina is only 7 Miles from Henderson, Nevada, one of the fastest growing cities in the country. Henderson, Nevada is famous for its 1 million square foot mall, “The Galleria.”
At the east end of Boulder Basin, lies Callville Bay Marina, known as the base for a fleet of immense, modern houseboats. If you are interested in enjoying your Lake Mead vacation on a houseboat, then Callville Bay Marina is the place to go. Prices change with the seasons, but include everything except food. Rates for a houseboat can start as low as $1,000 for a three-day, off-season weekend in a 56 foot houseboat. For posh vacationers, a 70 foot premium houseboat, (with four private sleeping cabins; two full baths; full kitchen; hot tub; TV-VCR; and waterslide,) can run as much as $6,500 a week. For more information, call Forever Resorts at 1-800-255-5561.
Overton Arm, a 20-mile-long extension of the lake, runs north and south and has two more marinas. One is Overton Beach Marina, with the standard boating facilities; a nearby motel; and access to miles of hiking trails. The other is Echo Bay Marina, with an RV park; a restaurant; and more houseboat rentals.
One of the best ways to enjoy Lake Mead is to rent a houseboat. During the busiest times, rates for a 50 foot houseboat for three days, start at $1350. Be prepared to put down at least a $500 deposit.
Canoeing & Kayaking
Canoeing and kayaking are also popular water sports on Lake Mead. One of the most popular places to explore by canoe or kayak, is Black Canyon. Canoes and kayaks may be rented at the Willow Beach Marina. For reservations please call Willow Beach Marina at (928) 767-4747.
To fish within the states of Nevada or Arizona, you must carry with you a valid fishing license, which is around $20 a day. If you intend to catch trout, a trout stamp is also required. In Lake Mead, one can find largemouth bass, striped bass, channel catfish, crappie, and bluegill. For more information on fishing licenses contact the following:
Nevada Division of Wildlife (702) 486-5127
Arizona Game & Fish Dept. (928) 692-7700.
The best place to catch big trout is Willow Beach, while Cottonwood Cove and Katherine offer great bass fishing. Fishing for striped and largemouth bass is good throughout Lake Mead, with crappie, blue gill, green sunfish, and catfish being more prevalent in the upper Overton Arm of Lake Mead.
For a flat rate of $300 for one to two persons, all you have to do is bring yourself for a full day of fishing on Lake Mead. The boat, equipment, and everything else will be supplied by a real U.S. Coast Guard. Captain R.W. “Bob” Wood can be contacted at http://www.americanangler.net/. Among other tour packages, he offers 1/2 day, (4 to 5 hour,) guided fishing trips for stripers or largemouth bass on beautiful Lake Mead.
Invasive Mussel Found at Lake Mead
Live quagga mussels (a nuisance invasive species closely related to, and commonly referred to as zebra mussels) were discovered in Lake Mead on January 6, 2007 at the Las Vegas Boat Harbor marina. In order to not spread the mussel to Lake Mohave and other bodies of water, please follow the National Park System’s suggestions at http://www.nps.gov/lake/planyourvisit/fishing.htm, which include extra cleaning precautions, as well as, draining water from one’s boat. Additional information can be found at www.protectyourwaters.net and www.100thMeridian.org.
Have a Las Vegas Good Time on Lake Mead
Lake Mead can provide just as much, if not more, fun and excitement as the casinos in Las Vegas. Remember, Dr. Leigh-Davis wishes you the best.
If you would like Dr. Leigh-Davis to write about your favorite vacation place, please leave a comment; tweet to DrLeighDavis; or send an email to Dr@DrLeigh-Daviis.com.
The following websites were researched to complete this article: