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“Don't miss the visitor's center”

Lake Mead National Recreation Area
Book In Advance
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$109.99*
and up
Lake Mead Dinner Cruise
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$250.99*
and up
ATV Tour of Lake Mead and Colorado River from Las Vegas
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$412.30*
and up
Shooting and ATV Tour from Las Vegas with Optional Helicopter Flight
Ranked #64 of 990 things to do in Nevada
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: A year-round recreational area for boaters, swimmers, fishermen, hikers, photographers, campers, and sightseers. Lake Mead is a huge reservoir impounded by the Hoover Dam. Approximately 30 miles from Las Vegas. Entrance fees charged.
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Activities for older children
Edmonton, Canada
Level 6 Contributor
124 reviews
62 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 91 helpful votes
“Don't miss the visitor's center”
Reviewed January 26, 2014

We drove along the lake on our way from Vegas to the Hoover Dam and the Grand Canyon in mid-January. Their is a $10 fee which buys a National Parks Service 7 day pass which does not cover Nevada Sate Parks (like Valley of Fire) or the Grand Canyon, but was worth it anyways. We did not have to pay extra when we went into the Hoover Dam site, so perhaps this fee covered that, though there was no gate for the entrance off the Interstate. The vistas and road were good with ample opportunities for pics at roadside turnouts and picnic areas. They have tried to keep the area in its natural state, but the fact that it exists because of an unnatural lake is sort of unavoidable. Watch for birds as there are eagles and water fowl aplenty. There are designated beach areas which when we visited were largely deserted despite the blue skies and calm weather and 60 degree plus temperatures. My guess is that this whole place get a lot busier between March and October.

The visitor's center is located at the Boulder City end of the Parkway just before you exit the park. It was pretty low key with a reception area and classroom sized display area which includes a large plaster map of Lake Mead, as well as displays related to the history and geology of the area. There is also a 10 minute movie in a dedicated theater which probably seats 100. The staff were locals who seemed to know a lot about their corner of the world directly, but little about it in terms of the larger picture (world, content). This may have been because some of them were volunteers, but I hope not. They did seem interested in what they were doing. If I scored the entire park based on the visitor's center it would have been 3 (average) because the presentations and displays are dated and getting tired (10-15 years old). Adding interactivity with iPod and Android devices would go a long way in improving the currency of this place, especially with up and coming environmental stewards. I ended up scoring it at 4 because it is a clean and protected area close to a large city in a time when such things are getting harder to find.

Visited January 2014
Helpful?
5 Thank Bruce_Raynor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Las Vegas, Nevada
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“This is Amazing!”
Reviewed January 8, 2014

When you get the working blues take a break from it all. Jump in the car and drive 45 minutes to an awesome lake. Where you can do boating, Lake mead cruise for dinner or just put your feet in the water.

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
Thank Cherlyn33
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gloucester, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
262 reviews
48 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 79 helpful votes
“Time Out”
Reviewed January 1, 2014

If your in Vegas for more than a few days have a nice quiet day at lake mead give you eyes and ears a rest in this beautiful national park nb.there are charges for entering the park.

Visited December 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank stucalinz56
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Maryland
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Hiking in Lake Mead”
Reviewed December 23, 2013

Most people think of Lake Mead for its boating, but we spent two great days hiking in the southern part of Lake Mead, around Boulder City. There is some great scenery, canyons, hot springs, great geological features. We did a 4 mile hike up Fortification Hill - requiring a high clearance vehicle to make a 5 mile dirt road drive. But it was worth it...amazing views. The only draw-back was the constant noise from helicopter sight seeing trips, for both days. If you are looking for QUIET, go elsewhere! Once you enter the official Recreation Area there is a fee, but not for the hikes that we did.

Visited December 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank guitargalMaryland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tczew, Poland
Level 6 Contributor
283 reviews
203 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 140 helpful votes
“heaven on earth!”
Reviewed December 23, 2013

although it was amazingly boiling hot, we enjoyed every second of the time spent there! We hired two boats and spent the night on the lake! We had a bath, a swim, a picnic and a ride! It was so thrilling! We even saw some deer and sheep gazing around and drinking water from the lake!

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
8 Thank christiano_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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