Lake Mead Sunrise
Photograph - Photo
Lake Mead is the largest reservoir in the United States in maximum water capacity. It is located on the Colorado River about 24 mi (39 km) from the Strip southeast of Las Vegas, Nevada, in the states of Nevada and Arizona. Formed by the Hoover Dam, Lake Mead is 112 miles (180 km) long when the lake is full, has 550 miles (890 km) of shoreline, is around 500 feet at greatest depth, has 247 square miles (640 km2) of surface, and when filled to capacity, 28 million acre-feet of water. However, the lake has not reached this capacity in more than a decade, due to increasing droughts.
Lake Mead draws a majority of its water from snow melt in the Colorado, Wyoming, and Utah Rocky Mountains. Since 2000 the water level has been dropping at a fairly steady rate due to less than average snowfall. As a result, marinas and boat launch ramps have either needed to be moved to another part of the lake or have closed down completely. The Las Vegas Bay Marina and the Lake Mead Marinas were relocated a few years ago to Hemenway Harbor. Overton Marina has been closed due to low levels in the northern part of the Overton Arm, Government Wash, Las Vegas Bay, and Pearce Ferry boat launch ramps have also been closed. The marinas that remain open include Las Vegas Boat Harbor and Lake Mead Marina all sharing Hemenway Harbor/Horsepower Cove, Callville Bay Marina, Echo Bay Marina, and Temple Bar Marina, along with the Boulder Launch Area (former location of the Lake Mead Marina) and the South Cove launch ramp.
The national park service offers a nice primitive campground about 1.5mi south of Lake Mead Marina and launch ramp. There are no hook-ups, but water faucets are scattered around the park. This is a beautiful campground full of large Eucalyptus and Dollar Eucalyptus trees providing lots of shade. Most of the sites will accept RV's up to about 28', but there are a few you can "shoe-horn" larger rigs if needed. Some sites have BBQ's or fire pits, most have tables. Bathrooms are also provided. From Oct through May this is definitely the place to camp. In other months it may be too hot to survive at night without electricity for the A/C, assuming you have an RV with A/C.
April 21st, 2013
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