Lake Mead Arizona side, part of the Colorado River sourced lakes, is worth a look. It has everything you normally want for enjoyable activities. But many in Arizona don't seem to think of it as much. They think of Lake Powell all the time, but not so much Lake Mead.
We have some Lake Mead facts for you. To think of getting to it from Arizona. The opposite side is in Nevada. That's where most of its publicity comes from.
Browse down V our Lake Mead Arizona Info or Jump to Your Immediate Interest:
Lake Mead Arizona is along the Colorado River, made from Hoover Dam, at the state line bordering Nevada. In Arizona, Bullhead City and Kingman are the nearest towns. Both of them take you to Lake Mead when you orient yourself to those towns, off Interstate 40. In Arizona, to Lake Mead Directions:
From Kingman, State Highway 93 North brings you to Lake Mead National Recreation Area. Depending on your destination desire, choose various side roads along there:
Lake Mead National Recreation Area has entry fees which vary depending on timing, vehicle, and activity. Some discounts are available.
Lake Mead Arizona Entrance stations are locations to purchase entry when on the road, if you don't already have a pass. Have your ID available to pay your fee, good for seven days:
Camping: Regular sites are only first come/first served
NOTE: If you regularly use Federal Parks for recreation, Passes are a super value. We ourselves purchased a lifetime Senior Pass. Well worth it! See which is Best for You>
If you love lake swimming or camping, lake boating or lakeside beaches, Lake Mead has activities that keep your exuberance at the level you want! Let's find them.
But first be aware of the weather - wherever you're going around Lake Mead National Recreation Area. Knowing about Lake Levels is important too. Keep exploring - we've got it for you!
Lake Mead has the Mojave Desert environment. Deserts have the extremes: very hot in summer, and can get quite cold in winter. The desert climate that influences the weather. Plus the Southwest Climate of the United States adds a certain flavor to that as well.
In particular the possibilities of flash flood dangers from the Summer Monsoon season. That's something to be aware of.
With Lake Mead being primarily in the Mojave Desert, overall, it gets the least rainfall of any desert clime in Arizona. What does arrive, is usually from winter storms off the Pacific. Left-over precipitation, after dumping most over the California Sierras.3
Lakes Mead's summer temperature average range is in the low 100s, Fahrenheit. It can climb as high as 110o, or even more.3 With so much strong sun beating down much of the time, that's another factor to consider - no matter the season. If you come on over in summer - you must keep safety risk factors in mind.
The seasons to consider for your easiest enjoyment are probably Spring and Autumn. Temperatures are milder, and the days are pleasant. Even on warmer days, it cools down at night. Rain can virtually be discounted!
Winter is also nice, if colder. Daytime high temperature hovering in the high 50s to low 60s. The nights will drop to near or at freezing. If you see any rain, this will likely be the time for it.
You've probably heard of Lake Mead waters becoming lower. Actually quite a bit below normal. It's been a secondary effect of the Western States' Drought. Many lakes are feeling the pain from the lack of rainfall. People wonder how the lower levels at Lake Mead may be affecting water sports and other recreation. Could it affect fishing?
Through its history, Mead's water levels haven't gone as low as they are now. The Colorado River, which feeds it, has seen severe cutbacks. It's also drastically affected the levels of Lake Powell, upstream toward the center of Northern Arizona. The Virgin River is also a feeder river to the lake.
You can monitor it in several ways.
1 - Follow the trend in flows from the two combined rivers streaming water Into Lake Mead>
2 - View the water level at Hoover Dam calculation by the Bureau of Reclamation>
3 - Visualize the lake level in Graphic Form Here>
Marinas on Lake Mead have water craft for rent. But more than that, be sure to remember boating safety concerns, and other boating requirements.
First consider that boating Lake Mead inevitably takes you over two state boarders. Thus two different law applications are on you. They include who can actually pilot the craft. Incorporating both states laws:
Pass Nevada's Boater Proficiency Course
If Towing a recreational device like waterskies, minimum age is 16 OR 14 age with adult on-board supervision
Ages 12 & Under must wear life jackets on board unless within a cabin
If Within Arizona Shorelines Only: ages 12 & 13 can pilot boats over 8hp, and don't need Nevada Course (neither does anyone else)
For Arizona's Lake Mead Boat Rental, this is available at marinas. Private business concessions operate the various marinas at Lake Mead Arizona. Craft available are sports, pontoon, & fishing boats. You can arrange a houseboat.
Other fun options are personal watercraft (kayaks, canoes, runabout water scooters), paddlecraft, plus items like tubes, waterskis or wakeboards & other fun water sports items.
Temple Bar Marina serves the south side of Lake Mead. If you rent there, you can breeze into so many hidden coves and sandy beaches you can't get to any other way.
Other marinas are on the Lake Mead's Nevada side:
Lake Mead Cruises - On the Desert Princess Paddle Wheel. A variety of cruise choices with meals if you'd like. Three decks, to view Hoover Dam & other sights.
Boulder Beach Vicinity: at Hemenway Harbor, Las Vegas Bay - 490 Horsepower Cove Rd., Boulder City, NV.
Callville Bay Resort - To reserve call 800-255-5561.
Echo Bay - Reserve at 702-293-2540. Adjacent to RV park.
And check Lake Mead National Recreation Area, below Hoover Dam...
Lake Mead Arizona beaches are really nonexistent. From the Arizona side, with a boating vessel's swim ramp, you could swim from there.
If boating, you might find a lakeside sandy beach, only accessible by boat. But always use caution.
From Arizona, we can recommend Lake Mohave & Black Canyon beaches. There are seven quite nice, even sandy beaches.
Quick Look at Other Colorado River Lake Beaches
If you intend to stick with Lake Mead, cross over to Nevada.
Then locate the four rocky Lake Mead Beaches along the Southwestern shores.
Via AZ State Hwy. 93, cross into Nevada to Interstate 11, shortly Exit 172 onto Business 93. Make right onto Lakeshore Rd. After Entrance Station, all beaches ahead: Canoe/Kayak Beach, PWC Beach, Special Events Beach, & Boulder Beach.
You'll find nice camping spots around Lake Mead National Recreation Area. The National Park Service, or private concessions manage Arizona campsites to choose from.
Backcountry camping is available for those loving the off-the-grid, roughing it type of Lake Mead Arizona experience. Go out amidst the million acres of mountains in this vast area!
The Lake Mead National Park Service campsites are nicely situated, but RVers should know there are no hookups. Most individual sites are first-come/first-served.
Temple Bar Campground - 71 sites, most well-shaded, with picnic tables. No showers. However amenities available nearby at the marina.
More National Park Campsites Below Hoover Dam
And on the Nevada Side of Lake Mead
In Nevada - On Lake Mead.
Below Hoover Dam, on Lake Mohave, Arizona
Danger in parks is often what you yourself make it. Using safety precautions, acting responsibly. The most common dangers in all U.S. National parks are #1-drownings, #2-vehicle accidents, #3-falls.5
Whenever people are in/on the water, there can be danger. Why is that?
Swimming Safety - If you're visiting Lake Mead Arizona specifically for swimming, remember these precautions
Drowning Danger - About 25 drowning deaths/year happen in Lake Mead. Arizona people mourn over such a statistic.
Take into consideration that Lake Mead NRA is 3rd most visited in the U.S.: 7 million visitors/year. In all nationwide parks, it's a continuing problem, as the most life-threatening situation.5
Please know you're on your own, swimming in Lake Mead, there are NO life-guards. Swim there at your own risk, you'll acknowledge this. So you must swim responsibly, taking sensible precautions.
See References For Lake Mead Arizona>
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