For year-round outdoor adventure, the Lake Mead National Recreation Area in southern Nevada can’t be beat. Both water and land lovers will find things to do and places to visit in the 1.5 million acre recreation area, which is the first of its kind to be established by a congressional act. Both Lake Mead, which is formed by Hoover Dam, and Lake Mohave, formed by Davis Dam, can be found at Lake Mead National Recreation Area. The vast lakes are ideal for boating and water sports, kayaking, canoeing, swimming, sunbathing and some of the nation’s best sports fishing, while the nine developed areas on the lakes offer visitors a range of accommodations and services. With 163,000 surface acres and more than 700 miles of fishable shore, anglers can cast their hooks in search of several species of fish, including striped bass, largemouth and smallmouth bass, channel catfish, bluegill, crappie, green sunfish and rainbow trout. In most cases, all you need is a license and/or a trout stamp.
The vast surrounding desert is bisected by several paved roads that offer access to all kinds of recreational pursuits. Visitors will find deep canyons, steep cliffs, colorful rock formations, an assortment of native vegetation, dry washes and more. The magnificent scenery begs to be explored, hiked, biked and photographed. The unique landscape is also home to the junction of three of the country’s four desert ecosystems, including the Mojave, the Great Basin and the Sonoran Deserts, which means the Lake Mead National Recreation Area is home to a variety of plants and animals that can’t be found anywhere else in the world. And the views in this dramatic desert landscape are second to none, filled with distant mountains, desert basins and plateaus and more. The recreation area also offers shaded picnic areas that include tables, fire grills, water and restrooms.