As Las Vegas locals, here at Ed Bernstein and Associates, we know how easy it is to take our man-made lake for granted. With California beaches to our south and Lake Havasu to our east, it can be easy to overlook the water in our own backyard.

What many people don’t know, however, is that Lake Mead is America’s most diverse national recreation area! With activities that include boating, hiking, cycling, hunting, camping, and fishing, there is a little something for everyone.

  1. The Lake Mead National Recreation Area is much larger than you think! With striking landscapes and brilliant blue waters, this year-round playground spreads across 1.5 million acres of mountains, canyons, valleys and two vast lakes.
  2. Horseback riding is allowed. There are many trails and marked backcountry roads perfect for riding with only a few limitations.
  3. Lake Mead is often highlighted as one of the top freshwater lakes in the world for scuba diving. The lakes offer a range of depths and submerged sites for divers. Popular dive locations include Kingman Wash, Black Canyon in Boulder Basin, Scuba Beach (North Boulder Beach), Gypsum Reefs, Cathedral Cove and the B-29 Superfortress Bomber (may only be accessed through a guided dive provided by Scuba Training and Technology).
  4. There are several locations around Lake Mead to eat. They can be found at the Las Vegas Boat Harbor, Temple Bar Marina, and the Lake Mohave Resort.
  5. Hunting is allowed in some portions of the park. Detailed information about where to hunt can be found here (INSERT LINK
  6. There are many hidden coves to discover on canoe or kayak. There are no launch fees for paddle craft. While there are many places to rent canoes and kayaks, a favorite is Black Canyon. Some companies even offer lessons and guided tours.
  7. There is a formerly underwater town to explore. In 1865, pioneers settled into a land called St. Thomas. The town was abandoned by 1938 and was eventually submerged in the rising waters of Lake Mead. The water is now dried up and curious explorers can take a tour of the once underwater town.
  8. You can cruise on a Mississippi-style paddle wheeler. The “Desert Princess” is Lake Mead’s cruise boat. It services a variety of cruises, including a champagne brunch, a midday sightseeing cruise, a dinner cruise and can be booked for private events.

Thank you to our sources: