As I've mentioned before, we've taken a couple of drives around Lake Mead during our trips to Las Vegas. Our first time was a fairly short one, we'd signed up for a tour for driving muscle cars that took us around the lake. You can read more about that here. The most recent time, we extended our drive from the Valley of Fire to include a drive around Lake Mead then on to Boulder City.
We entered the Valley of Fire at the West entrance from I-15 from Vegas, then meandered our way through, exiting on at the East entrance towards Lake Mead National Recreation Area. Essentially, we made a large loop by the time the day was all said and done. This allowed us "more bang for our buck" and no doubling back, meaning more sights seen. The drive through the park is a long one, but it is beautiful! You can also take a fun river boat ride in this man made marvel. We've added that to our list for our next visit! You'll also catch views of lots of planes flying about (you'll notice them in several of the photos, including the one above), as there is a nearby Airforce Base.
There are plenty of photo ops and scenic lookouts along the way around the lake. Though we didn't stop along the way, we still enjoyed the amazing views. The drive around the largest reservoir in the United States was full of lake views, of course, desert, and even mountain views. If you're as lucky as we were, you'll catch a view of a snow capped mountain along the way! At the end of the road, if you will, we reached the Hoover Dam, where we stopped to stretch our legs after the long journey (it takes an hour or two to get from the West entrance of the Valley of Fire to get to the Hoover Dam via Lake Mead). We'd visited there before, so we didn't spend a lot of time here, but it was nice to walk and drive around a bit on our own, as our list trip to the Hoover Dam was with a tour group. We even decided to take a drive across the Mike O'Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge. We talked about taking the stairs for a walk to the top, but nixed that since we both aren't too keen on heights. :) Of course, crossing the bridge takes you right into another state, Arizona. So we had a SUPER, less than 5 minutes, visit to the Grand Canyon State.
Lake Mead is such a beautiful area, full of so much history and vast natural (and man made) beauty. Take a few hours, and steal away from the Vegas Strip to enjoy a whole new Nevada. You won't regret it!
If you are interested in more ideas for things to do in Las Vegas you can contact me here to book your own vacation in Sin City!