01 Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Nevada, Overview

Lake Mead National Recreation Area in Nevada and Arizona offers multiple recreational opportunities from climbing desert mountains and hills, canyons, ridges and plateaus with spectacular views to hiking, biking, boating, kayaking and swimming to picnicking and camping and much more. Don’t miss the great interpretive center at the Southshore Road Park entrance. We’re systematically exploring both popular and largely unknown adventure destinations and adding these to LasVegasAreaTrails.com. Best time of year for adventures here: Mid-Fall to Mid-Spring. When temperatures in the Las Vegas Valley rise above 75-80 degrees these destinations can become uncomfortable and even dangerous. However, during the Winter months expect comfortable mid-day temperatures around 60-70 degrees. Follow thumbnail images to view the details you will need to plan your adventures here. Follow thumbnail images to view the details you will need to plan your adventures here. Click image or title above for more…

Arizona Hot Spring | Liberty Bell Arch | Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Arizona

Arizona Hot Spring | Liberty Bell Arch | Lake Mead National Recreation Area | Arizona

Arizona Hot Spring is a natural hot spring nestled in a narrow slot canyon about 1/4th mile above the banks of the Colorado River. It’s a popular hang out for many fans of the hot spring who make it a day adventure. Liberty Bell Arch is a pretty impressive natural arch spanning an open area beneath that actually has taken on the shape of the Liberty Bell. Route details: 8-10mi | 1,536 > 661ft; **Mostly Good Trail** Click image or title above for more…

Black Mesa, Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Nevada

Black Mesa in Lake Mead National Recreation Area has a huge relatively flat summit over a mile in length from North to South. From the Southern Summit one can see one of the best views of Lake Mead to be had from any point in the area (except Fortification Hill). Black Mesa has no real marked and established trailhead. However, the route I took started at a pull-out about mile 10.5 on Northshore Road in Lake Mead National Recreation Area just a few hundred feet before the crossing of the major wash that skirts the West side of Black Mesa. Route details: 4mi | 1,538 > 2,198ft; ** Wilderness, No Trail** Click image or title above for more…

Callville Summit Trail, Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Nevada

Callville Summit Trail is a great way to experience the area around the Lake Mead shoreline in a brief 1-2-mile excursion. You’ll get an idea of hiking conditions in desert terrain without committing yourself to a more extensive remote adventure. Hiking conditions include navigating loose rock, sudden drop-offs, high desert heat and other conditions unique to low desert adventures in the Southwestern U.S. Route description: 2-3mi | 1,229 > 1,500ft; ** Rabbit Trails – Take Your Pick** Click image or title above for more…

Fortification Hill | Lake Mead National Recreation Area | Arizona

Fortification Hill | Lake Mead National Recreation Area | Arizona

Fortification Hill on the Arizona side of Lake Mead, like Black Mesa across Lake Mead on the Nevada side has the most incredible view of Lake Mead to be found anywhere. From the flag-topped summit you can see the full panorama of Lake Mead minus the Overton Arm stretching below, the Mt. Charleston Wilderness including Griffith Peak, Charleston Peak, Fletcher Peak and Mummy Mountain, the Rainbow Mountains on the West side of Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, Potosi Mountain, Hoover Dam, Mt. Wilson, the Muddy Mountains and many other features in Nevada and Arizona. However, getting there involves 4WD roads. Route details: 4mi | 2,313 > 3,717ft; **Mostly Trail – Sometimes Faint** Click image or title above for more…

Hamblin Mountain, Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Nevada

Hamblin Mountain | Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Nevada

Though Hamblin Mountain in the Lake Mead National Recreation Area of Nevada is only 3312ft in elevation, it is positioned in a location that provides an incredible view hard to match anywhere else in Southern Nevada. This is in part due to it having 849ft prominence and being the highest point within 2.72 miles. The summit affords one of the best views of Lake Mead down to the Hoover Dam area and up towards the Overton arm. Route Details: 7mi | 1,965 > 3,291ft; **Some Trail, Some Wilderness** Click image or title above for more…

Historic Railroad Trail | Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Nevada

Historic Railroad Trail | Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Nevada

The Historic Railroad Trail is about a 10-mile out and back adventure in the Lake Mead National Recreation Area in Nevada. This trail is a side trail branching off from the 31-mile River Mountains Loop Trail and spans the distance from the Lake Mead Visitor Center to Hoover Dam. You could combine this trail with a tour of Hoover Dam and a walk across the old memorial bridge. The well-graded path, with it’s very gradual inclines and descents makes for an easy hike or run. Route details: 5 mi RT | 200ft Elevation Gain/loss; **Wide, Graded Railroad Bed** Click image or title above for more…

Horse Thief Canyon Loop | Mt. Wilson | Black Mountains | Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Arizona

This adventure has got to win an award for variety of terrain including 6 miles of unpaved roads, traversing a few miles up the entire length of a rugged mountain canyon with beautiful springs, an 800 foot scramble up the avalanche slope side of the canyon, a short class 3 rock climb and a descent down a 2-mile ridge with incredible views of Lake Mead, Potosi Mountain, the Rainbow Mountains, La Madre Mountains Wilderness, Mt Charleston Wilderness, Gass Peak, the Sheep Range, Frenchman Mountain, Fortification Hill, the Hoover Dam area, and additional points to the South and to the East. Route Details: 16mi | 1,536 > 5,446ft; ** Some Road, Mostly Wilderness** Click image or title above for more…

Kingman Wash Access Road | Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Arizona

Kingman Wash Access Road | Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Arizona

This section of Kingman Wash Access Road is about 4 miles in length. It’s an unpaved road that leads down to the shore of Lake Mead at Temple Bar Marina where there is boating, fishing and hiking. I traveled it by mountain bike. There are 3 additional unpaved roads splitting off to the right. The first is South Mine Access Road; second is North Mine Access Road which later connects with South Mine Access Road and continues on as South Mine Access Road. The third road splitting off from Kingman Wash Road near its end and to the right of a restroom structure is the unpaved Fortification Hill Road which leads to Fortification Hill Trailhead. Route Details: 7 Miles | 1,197 > 1,465; ** Good Unpaved Road** Click image or title above for more…

Lava Butte | Volcanic Cone Between Las Vegas and Lake Mead, Nevada

Lave Butte, Between Las Vegas & Lake Mead | Las Vegas Metro & Surrounding Areas, Nevada

Lava Butte is a distinctive stand-alone volcanic cone below Frenchman Mountain and to the East. It can be seen from many high points in and around the Lake Mead National Recreation Area including Fortification Hill, Mt. Wilson, Frenchman Mountain and others. It’s a fun, challenging climb to go up one side and down the other, weaving around huge volcanic boulders. Route description: 7mi | 1,835 > 2,871ft; ** Service Road / Lava Ridge** Click image or title above for more…