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|The west side of Boulder Basin is called Boulder Beach.
You can see our close up map of Boulder Beach
to get more acquainted with it's location and rules. It's important
to note that shoreline dry camping IS NOT ALLOWED at Boulder Beach, it's
only a day use area. Camping is allowed nearby in the national park
campground (no hookups) and the Lake Mead RV Village (hookups available).
Shoreline dry camping IS ALLOWED on other parts of Lake Mead, just not at Boulder Beach.
WARNING.... Boulder Beach can
be dangerous with the present low water conditions. As the water level
goes down the shoreline moves out. This means the lake bottom that use to
be hundreds of feet offshore is now the current shoreline where kids play.
As a result bottles that were thrown overboard from boats moored offshore years
ago are now at shoreline, some of them broken. Make your kids aware of the
danger and wear water socks.
1. Everyone should wear water socks,
preferably the more expensive type that tie on, not the slip on kind.
2. With little kids, use the swim beach to the north end of Boulder Beach
where boats have not been allowed to come to shore for years. There are
less broken bottles in that area.
3. Train your kids not to kneel down
when playing in the water at shore.
This picture above was taken at Boulder Beach. This
area usually allows RV day-use parking right down at the shoreline too, but not
always. See our map of
LOW WATER SITUATION
Dec 2011 Lake Mead is 102' below
full pool at 1127. Full pool is 1229 elevation. Over the last 8yrs the lake has experienced some of the lowest water
levels in probably 30yrs. The low water condition has closed some launch ramps, so
ask the national park service
about ramp closures if you're not sure. At 102ft down, Callville Bay,
Lake Mead Marina, Echo Bay, Temple Bar, South Cove, and Hemenway ramps are still open.
Marina, Las Vegas Marina, Government Wash Launch,
and Pearce Ferry are closed. Las Vegas Marina and docks relocated to
the Hemenway ramp and has been renamed Las Vegas Boat Harbor. To see the latest water level info
WET SILK CONDITION
You may think that water socks will protect you from
broken glass, right? Not true all the time. If you have ever experienced Lake
Mead silt with the current low water levels you know how you can sink at the water's edge. It's almost
like quicksand, sucking you in, down to your ankles, sometimes up to your knees.
What happens next is your shoes are sucked right off your feet when you pull
your feet up from this muck. The next steps you take are typically
struggling steps, wild and off balance steps, angry steps (because you just lost
your shoes), and forceful steps with bare feet in your last ditch attempt to
keep from embarrassing yourself by falling. Yes, this is the receipt for
injury, so be careful. If you plan to be on the beach at Lake Mead we recommend buying
water socks that tie on with laces, not slip-ons. If you wear
slip-ons, bring spares.
|NATIONAL PARK SERVICE GLASS BOTTLE RESTRICTIONS
The national park service has posted signs at the
entrance to beaches, saying no glass bottled drinks are allowed. Although this
"no-bottle" restriction is a great idea, unfortunately the NPS implementation
will only put a dent in this critical problem. Here's why:
1. Most visitors don't know about his rule until
they have entered the park and arrived at the beach. So who's going to
throw away the contents of their ice chest, return to town (miles away) to buy
canned drinks, just to comply with such a rule that has no consequences if
NOBODY, that's who. Most will just hide the drinks and keep on the lookout
for the NPS. Others just don't care. This small sign is
wishful thinking. Although the NPS recognizes the problem it clearly
doesn't even come close to fixing it.
2. This "no bottles" safety rule is not publicized nearly enough by the NPS. Have
you ever heard of the rule before reading it here? Shouldn't this be a nationwide policy?
3. The NPS doesn't interrogate visitors about glass bottled drinks when you pay
your entrance fee to enter the park (their focus is to collect your entrance money
and keep the line moving).
4. The NPS can't police this rule with all their other duties. And
you know what they say about laws/rules you can't enforce.... they're they're
pretty much worthless.
5. The NPS doesn't organize enough cleanup events to minimize the broken
glass hazard. (I found 3
very old beer bottles myself all within 50ft. of the water's
6. Boulder Beach is VERY rocky (see picture above), which is high risk for bottles getting broken
The NPS should haul in pea-gravel for the swim beach (sand doesn't work, it
gets blown away with the wind).
as an example, I visited Boulder Beach and drove around for 5 minutes on
March 22, 2009. This timeframe is the low season with few visitors. During the short drive
I found fresh examples of broken glass, as shown here in this picture to
the right. Just a short distance were kids playing in the water.
Just imagine how it gets when thousands of visitors come to the lake.
It's clear to me the NPS isn't taking the glass bottle issue serious
OK..... IN OUR OPINION
The NPS should be doing the following
to fix this problem:
1. Change the
entrance sign to Lake Mead National park to read $250 fine for bringing
bottled drinks in the National Park. These signs should be LARGE, and
posted in BIG FONT SIZE at every entrance gate, beach, marina, and lakeshore
2. Rangers should enforce it. With the added revenue the money
should be used to buy pea-gravel for the beach to make the beach less risk of
injury to feet and knees when kids are playing.
3. Make it illegal to have glass bottled drinks anywhere within the
national park, not just the beach areas. Is that really a big deal?
4. Post a sign 500ft before entering park entrance gate stating any bottled
drinks found will be taken before entry is allowed.
5. EVERY visitor who pays their entrance fee should be VERBALLY warned
about the glass bottle rule and fine, and handed a flyer showing statistics of
injuries and helpful hints on prevention.
6. Monthly cleanup events should be organized by the NPS, awarding season
passes to those who help (worth $20).
7. The low water level is ideal to clean up and fix Boulder Beach.
They should remove all the big rocks and haul in pea-gravel to minimize exposure
to broken glass already in the ground. Yes, sand would be nice, but the
NPS has tried this and said the wind blows it away over time. So second
best would be pea-gravel. Pea-gravel would also be less painful
walking versus all the rocks presently on the ground.
If you feel the same, email the
National Park Service and give them your 2 cents worth. Thank you
for your support on this subject. I think we would all like our families
to be safe while on vacation at Lake Mead.