Welcome to the US, you know we love
you guys, eh?
If you're traveling from Canada you may already
know the best way to get to Lake Mead is via Las Vegas McCarran Airport,
just 25mi west of Lake Mead National Park. And... the best we to
get to McCarran is with WestJet. They have the best selection of
direct flights for many Canadian cities to and from Las Vegas.
Car Rentals are
available at the airport as well as shuttle services to almost anywhere
in the Las Vegas area. If you're planning to stay in Vegas and
to drive to Lake Mead for a day, that's a good plan because the
selection of accommodations in the National Park is dismal. Driving out
to the lake in
a rental car gives you the mobility to see all kinds of things that will
fill up a day visit from 8am to 7pm.
Here's a list of recommendations, in order:
Leave Vegas, stop by a supermarket to pickup some of the essentials for
a day at Lake Mead (see below).
9am: Arrive at the
Alan Bible visitor center near
Hemenway launch ramp. See
the free movie about how the dam was built.
10am: Hike to the
abandoned train tunnels, very close
to the Alan Bible visitor center. You'll learn about those at the
Drive to Hoover dam and take a tour. This is a MUST DO visit, the
highlight of the day. You'll get a charge out of (pun intended)
seeing the huge generators. Check out the new bridge they're
building about 1/3mi downriver from the dam. It's due to be open
for traffic in November 2010.
Drive to Lake Mead Marina and have
lunch on the
marina patio. It's nothing fancy, just unique, and the only food
for miles in this area. Check out the sailboats. You may want to
rent a SeaDoo here, lots of fun.
2pm: Drive north
along Lakeshore Road, 45mi to Echo Bay Marina.
Have an afternoon margarita overlooking the marina dock from the lodge.
Continue north on Lakeshore Road to Overton Marina. There isn't
much to see at Overton but you can rent PWC there also. It's on
the way to Valley of Fire so you might was well stop by and see this
marina. Check out the cool looking small rocks on the ground about
150ft west of the RV camp
ground. Don't take any.
5pm: Drive through Valley of Fire, not far
from Overton Marina. Take HiWay 169 West through the Valley of
Fire all the way to Interstate 15. Then take Interstate 15 south
to Las Vegas, about 35mi away.
7pm: Arrive Vegas, have dinner at any of
hundreds of restaurants and reminisce the day's adventures.
Yes, this is
full day outing. Starting
earlier than 8am is advised because there will be things you'll want to
stop and look at during your tour of Lake Mead on Lakeshore drive which
skirts the West side of the lake. If they aren't all rented out,
you can opt to rent a SeaDoo at Lake Mead Marina for an hour and buzz
around the lake. If you do that, go southeast and check out Hoover
Dam from the water side.
Equipment needed for the day include:
Camera, Sunscreen, water, sunglasses, hat, map,
flash light (for train tunnels), binoculars, water socks, swim suit, and an ice chest
full of drinks in case you need a cold one. You can buy one of
those cheap Styrofoam ice chests for few dollars most anywhere at a
supermarket. There's a Walmart in Henderson, right before you
arrive Lake Mead National Park entrance. That's a good place to
buy some of these essentials.
great time visiting the Lake Mead National Park. It's an
experience you'll remember for years.
Keep it safe too.