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.