I spent two weeks here at Lake Mead National Park in the Lake Mead RV Village. This is one of several camping choices you can make while touring the national park. RV Village at Boulder Beach, with full hookups, is $28 a day. If you want full hook ups with an unobstructed lake view (one row up against the edge of the park but no lake access), it’s $38 a day. If you want a more rustic experience, there is a campground just adjacent with more trees but no hookups at all for $20 a day. There is also camping at Echo Bay, farther down the road.
Something I wasn’t aware of until I came to check in, even if you have reservations and already paid, you still have to pay to get into the park. I ended up buying a national park pass good for the whole US for a whole year for $80. Otherwise, it’s $25 a week for just this park or $45 for 2 weeks.
Lake Mead National Recreation Area is the first national park in the US and gets over 8 million visitors a year. I was here in March/April when the weather is pleasant but not unbearably too hot yet. We were able to take some nice hikes, including 2.4 miles round trip from the rv park to Boulder Beach. The beach area is not a real “beach” per se as you have to walk over an embankment of dirt/weeds and then there’s the water. Probably more suited for water vessels than for people but I’m sure it’s full of swimmers and kids playing during the summer months.
Some of the pull thru spots are very tight and it looks like you could almost reach out and touch your neighbor. But if you can get in the section I’m in it’s fairly spacious. Although I don’t think this section can accommodate larger motorhomes or long trailers. I have an excellent view of the lake and am reluctant to even put up my front curtain. Lake is in front of the orange section.
This park is best explored with a vehicle as there isn’t much you can walk to other than the little store and office. The visitor center is about 2 miles away. The beach is 1.2 miles away. However, you can get picked up here at RV Village for a river raft tour. Black Canyon Raft Tours are $114 for 3 hours, includes box lunch and NPS entry fee. Lake Mead is a recreational area catering to people with boats or jet skis. It’s also popular for hikers. There are a number of popular hiking trails, including the “Historic Railroad Trail” near the entrance.
If you don’t want to go anywhere, there are plenty of walking opportunities here. I enjoyed taking the dogs next door to the campground and walking amongst the trees. This is the campground map, with the lake being at the end of the red section. The RV Village is to the right of this map.
Lake Mead is very peaceful most of the time but you may have to deal with two “noise” issues. No freeway or highway traffic, fairly polite guests, no barking dogs. But there is a hoard of great-tailed grackles that live here and they are very noisy birds. Sometimes I feel like I’m at the zoo, not a recreation area, but they are fun to watch and listen to. Every morning, just after 7:00 a.m., the sightseeing helicopters start up over the lake and I get to listen to that for awhile but it’s not too bad. The Las Vegas airport has a flight path that goes directly overhead as well.
There is no off leash dog area and I never saw anything specific about dogs on leashes. However, this is a national park and all wildlife is protected so walk your dogs with discretion. We have seen quail, rabbits, grackles, and numerous other animals as we walk around. We’ve heard coyotes during the night. No snakes but be careful if you’re walking off the paths. The RV Village, Boulder Beach picnic area, and campground are peppered with dog waste bag stations. No excuses!
There is a laundry room that is open 24/7 and take quarters. I used it 3x and everything worked fine. The bathrooms/showers are in the same building and require a key card, given at registration, to enter. The store is small but has the essentials. I was able to find a coaxial cable fitting I needed, indulged in some ice cream, ice tea, orange juice, and a new shirt. Didn’t find bbq sauce or Starbucks coffee drinks, but I can live with that.
Don’t miss the visitor center when you are here. It’s actually before the pay entrance kiosk so if you’re just driving by and don’t have a National Park Pass, you can still enjoy the visitor center. There’s a short movie that shows throughout the day and many souvenirs, art, books, and clothes. I purchased a nice sweatshirt and a postcard for my collection.