Yes, it is possible to navigate through the narrows into the Virgin Basin! Yes, recreational boating, water skiing and jet skiing are alive and well! Yes, you can catch a helicopter ride, or a Black Canyon Willow Beach River Raft Adventure at our nearby Hacienda Hotel! If you haven’t experienced a raft trip, don’t let another season go by; their river raft guides are the best! Feeling adventurous? Try wind surfing and scuba diving or spend a weekend camping. Approved backcountry roads are designated with a yellow arrow that has a black road number in the middle, and maps may be found on the National Park Service website under the tab “plan your visit”. The website is www.nps.gov/lame, a great resource for activities, special events such as the recent Silverman Triathlon, launch ramp updates, and general LMNRA information. Prefer getting the information face to face? The Alan Bible Visitor’s Center just off Hwy 93 on Lakeshore Road is another valuable resource for locals and visitors, or call 702-293-8990.
Besides driving your own boat or jet ski, there are oodles of additional options for enjoying the Lake Mead National Recreation Area. Whether boarding the “Desert Princess” Paddlewheeler where you “leave the driving to us” for a relaxing sightseeing or meal cruise with family and friends, or visiting Las Vegas Boat Harbor, Lake Mead Marina, Callville Bay, Echo Bay or Overton Beach, quick get-aways abound along Lakeshore and Northshore Roads. Power boat, patio boat, house boat and jet ski rentals are available at the marinas; you don’t need to own a watercraft to enjoy the fresh desert air, sparkling water and awesome panoramas of our jewel in the high desert.
Is hiking to your liking? Lake Mead NRA offers National Park Service Ranger lead hikes along the Historic Railroad Trail, or hikes through the desert where you learn who really lives out there. It is my privilege to work for a concessioner where observing desert wildlife is a daily occurrence. I see everything from neighborhood coyotes to soaring eagles, pelicans, great blue herons, egrets, double-crested cormorants, western grebes, seagulls, a variety of ducks, lots of mud-hens (coots), and the ever present marina carp always looking for a handout.
Fishing enthusiasts come to enjoy their sport or to participate in numerous bass fishing tournaments. The Hemenway Harbor fishing pier is a popular, close to home location for striped bass or catfish as your catch of the day. Hemenway Point, just north of Hemenway Harbor, is a designated fishing area, no boats allowed. Fishing licenses are available at Lake Mead NRA marinas. Need to hire a fishing guide? Guide services are available at Laker Plaza on Lake Mead Drive.
Don’t know what to do with out of town visitors? Our beautiful high desert lake is a wonderful place to entertain family and friends and show off the other side of Las Vegas right in your own backyard. Marinas offer quaint restaurants and gift shops besides jet ski and boat rentals. Lake Mead Cruises has fully narrated sightseeing excursions daily except Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
Year-round, Lake Mead Concessioners cater and will help you plan Holiday parties, Super Bowl Celebrations, romantic Valentine’s Day dinners, Birthday and Anniversary parties, Family Reunions and Corporate events.
Mark your calendar for this year’s Parade of Lights, sponsored by the Lake Mead Boat Owner’s Association. When the Parade of Lights is over, look skyward; we can actually see the stars out here. The Lake Mead National Recreation Area is a treasure for all of us to appreciate. Come out to visit, create memories, but only take away pictures and your trash!
Visit Lake Mead Cruises at www.lakemeadcruises.com.