Wedged between massive Lake Mead National Recreation Area and hugely popular Valley of Fire State Park, Moapa Valley is a rural, agrarian gem in the southern Nevada desert. Moapa Valley is made up of several scenic communities—Overton, Logandale, Glendale, and Moapa. It’s also home to the Muddy River, a tributary of the Colorado River system, which empties into the expansive Lake Mead National Recreation Area, and one of Nevada’s most distinctive museums.
Moapa Valley: Vibrant Vistas in Southern Nevada
It’s only an hour’s drive from Moapa Valley to Las Vegas, which makes it an ideal base of operations for venturing out to some of southern Nevada’s most spectacular outdoor destinations, with Valley of Fire at its doorstep, and the wider watery wilderness of Lake Mead lying just beyond. This collection of small towns is also where you’ll find the fascinating Lost City Museum, plus plenty of places to eat, sleep, and relax.
Moapa Valley History
Moapa Valley has been inhabited for thousands of years and was home to some of Nevada’s first permanent residents, who arrived between AD 200 to AD 1200. Visit Lost City Museum to learn about the ancestral Puebloan people through spectacular artifacts recovered on-site, as well as beautiful basketry and contemporary art that celebrates Nevada’s incredible Native cultural history.
Starting in the mid- to late 1800s, Mormon farmers planted roots in Logandale, Overton, and Moapa. When Hoover Dam was completed in the 1930s, the filling of Lake Mead swallowed up the pioneer town of St. Thomas for generations. However, the water’s recent retreat has allowed many of its structures to re-emerge, presenting a rare and intriguing opportunity to explore a formerly flooded ghost town.
Things to Do in and Around Moapa Valley
Moapa Valley is an outdoor adventurer’s paradise. Nearby Valley of Fire—Nevada’s first and most famous state park—is a 40,000-acre geological wonderland of towering red sandstone outcroppings set among tan and gray limestone. It’s hard to get closer to actual time-travel than meandering trails among 2,000-year-old petroglyphs, petrified trees, and prehistoric sandstorms frozen in time.
Travel Nevada Pro Tip
The Logandale Trails System contains more than 200 miles of recreational trails that are most popular with off-road enthusiasts, but also attract equestrians, mountain bikers, and hikers. Navigate a maze of tracks and trails lined with unique rock formations, rare desert plants, and abundant wildlife, such as desert bighorn sheep—Nevada’s majestic state animal.
If water’s your jam, head to Moapa Valley National Wildlife Refuge, a 106-acre refuge established in the late 1970s to protect the endangered Moapa dace, a small fish that exists right here and only here. Or make the short drive to mighty Lake Mead, the largest man-made reservoir in the U.S. This jewel of the Southwest is a haven for boating, kayaking, paddleboarding, sport fishing, and beyond.
Moapa Valley Restaurants
If all your Moapa Valley exploring works up your appetite, head straight for CABLP. The name is kind of a mouthful and so is the fare at the casual family joint, whose name is an acronym of sorts for Criss Angel’s Breakfast Lunch & Pizza. Yep, that Criss Angel. The larger-than-life Las Vegas illusionist purchased his favorite mom-and-pop eatery in Overton in early 2021.
Sweatin’ for sweets? Grab the kiddos and cruise into The Inside Scoop in Overton, an old-fashioned ice cream parlor that also serves tasty sandwiches, hot dogs, and burgers. For huge, cheesy pizza, pop into Pirates Landing in Logandale. For hearty Mexican classics, look no further than La Fonda Mexican Restaurant in Overton.
Pomegranate Arts & Culture Festival
The Moapa Valley’s premier special event is the Pomegranate Arts & Crafts Festival, held each year at the Clark County Fairgrounds in Logandale. The festival celebrating this unique fruit that flourishes in the temperate Southern Nevada climate includes a full lineup of singers, dancers and other entertainers, along with hosts of artists and crafters from throughout the Moapa Valley and surrounding areas. And, of course, more ways to taste pomegranates than you ever thought possible.
Moapa Valley Hotels
It’s easy to fill big days here. To save you from burning that candle at both ends with trips to and from Las Vegas, Moapa Valley offers a handful of comfortable options where you can rest and recharge. Our favorite indoor option is the North Shore Inn at Lake Mead in Overton for its central location and nice, big swimming pool.
For those towing their own room (or packing it in a tent bag), the Palm Creek RV Resort & Picnic Grounds in Moapa is a desert oasis full of shade trees, lush lawns, and a warm water spring where you can splash around every month of the year. Meanwhile, the Fun-N-Sun Trailer Park is a 55-and-over resort in Overton with a pool, hot tub, and staging area for OHV pursuits.