Camping and Fishing in the Lake Mead National Recreational Area

Board certified by the American Board of Family Medicine, Kevin Buckwalter, MD, treats patients at his office in Henderson, Nevada. When not attending to his patients, Dr. Kevin Buckwalter enjoys hiking, camping, and fishing at nearby Lake Meade.

The lake is impounded behind Hoover Dam, once known as Boulder Dam, and regarded as one of the greatest engineering feats of the 20th century. Built over a period of five years in the early 1930s, it accomplished three main objectives: it controlled the often deadly flooding of the Colorado River, it provided much-needed irrigation for crops throughout the Southwest, and it supplied hydroelectric power. In addition, when the government created Lake Mead, the largest reservoir by volume in the United States, it also established what is now known as the Lake Mead National Recreational Area, a park of unparalleled beauty and numerous recreational opportunities.

Visitors can stay at several campgrounds operated by the U.S. Park Service within the park’s borders, as well as several others operated by concessionaires. They accommodate both tents and recreational vehicles. In addition, backcountry camping is available throughout the park in areas accessible by car, horseback, boat, or backpacking. Vehicle camping is limited to designated areas, and vehicles are not permitted to leave the roadways. Horseback and backpack camping is permitted throughout the park except in ecologically sensitive and developed areas.

Boating and fishing are favorite forms of recreation on Lake Mead, which straddles the border between Arizona and Nevada, and on Lake Mohave, which is downstream from Hoover Dam and inside the park’s boundaries. The necessary licenses and stamps are available at marinas in the park. Both lakes are home to numerous species of fish, many of them introduced, including large-mouth and striped bass, channel catfish, crappies, and bluegills.

Combat and Reconciliation at Gettysburg

Kevin Buckwalter, MD, earned his medical degree from the Ross University School of Medicine. Board certified in family medicine, he practices in Henderson, Nevada, where he treats patients of all ages. When he is not attending to his professional responsibilities, Dr. Kevin Buckwalter enjoys several recreational activities; among other interests, he is an avid student of the American Civil War.

One of the most well-known battles of the Civil War took place in the first three days of July 1863 at the southern Pennsylvania town of Gettysburg. Confederate General Robert E. Lee led the Army of Northern Virginia into southern Pennsylvania, where he hoped to secure fresh provisions and threaten northern cities like Harrisburg, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C. Union General George G. Meade, leading the Army of the Potomac, kept his forces between Lee and Washington and advanced to confront Lee, who consolidated his forces around Gettysburg. The battle featured some of the most brutal episodes of the war, as well as some of the most human.

Much of the original battlefield has been preserved or restored, and the entire town is a very popular tourist destination. Of the many individual attractions on the battlefield, Devil’s Den and Spangler’s Spring are always among the most popular.

Devil’s Den was one of the areas of fiercest fighting. A small ridge about 500 yards west of Little Round Top, it contains numerous large boulders and rock formations. On the second day of the battle, Devil’s Den was the site of several clashes involving thousands of troops. By day’s end, the area had been captured by the Confederates, but at a great cost; they suffered about 1,800 casualties to the Union’s 800.

A gentler story arising from the Battle of Gettysburg is the legend of Spangler’s Spring, another scene of ferocious combat. Control of the spring passed back and forth during the battle, but legend has it that during the night of July 2, troops from both sides observed a temporary and informal truce while they refilled their canteens.