Lake Mead to Las Vegas: 5 Top Things To See or Do Along the Way
If you’re making the trip from Lake Mead to Las Vegas, you may want to plan a few stops along the way. It’s not a difficult trip, often taking under 40 minutes along I-515, but if you want to make a day of it or even a weekend, there are a few things to stop and check out along the way. Let’s get started!
Visit the Hoover Dam
One of the top things to do on your way to or from Las Vegas is to take a tour of the Hoover Dam. It is one of the most breathtaking experiences you’ll have when checking out this region of the country. Not only will you get to see this historical landmark in person, but you’ll also get to learn about the history of the dam, including how and why it was built.
Tickets to see the dam range from $30 to $100, depending on where you visit and what you want to see. Plan to spend the whole day or at least a few hours to take it all in. You can also check out Spillway House, which is a LEED Certified multi-use building with gorgeous panoramic views that is used to host special events.
Visit Lake Mead National Recreational Area
The Lake Mead to Las Vegas trip will take you through the Lake Mead National Recreational Area. We highly recommend spending the weekend, at least, to take it all in. It’s the ideal place to swim, hike, or bike. If you love the outdoors and the remoteness of Nevada and Arizona, this is an excellent choice. There’s also hunting available during various times of the year.
One of the best ways to experience it is to rent a houseboat or watercraft at Callville Bay Resort & Marina. This full-service marina gets you right onto the water with plenty to see and do. Bring some friends and spend a few days enjoying the great outdoors.
Explore Valley of Fire State Park
Valley of Fire State Park in Nevada spans more than 46,000 acres. Quite impressive, its name comes from the massive red sandstone formations called the Aztec Sandstone, which formed naturally over 150 million years ago. You’ll certainly want to bring your camera, a good pair of boots for climbing, and a packed lunch (or more, depending on how long you plan to stay.)
There’s plenty to do at this state park. Many come to rock climb, which is allowable in various areas of the park. There are also campsites and RV locations throughout. It’s a good idea to stop at the Visitor Center before you head out on your hikes to get some insight and support. That’s especially true for those who may not have a lot of experience in this more challenging terrain. The park closes at sunset unless you’re staying overnight, and it’s well worth staying all day to catch the sun setting off the dunes.
Explore the Sites in Boulder City
Make a stop in Boulder City, which is right on your route from Lake Mead to Las Vegas. The city is home to under 15,000 people, but there’s plenty to do and see. Here are some fantastic recommendations, no matter what you’re interested in.
- Art: Check out the Boulder City Art Guide and Gallery. It’s the perfect place to see local artists’ work and take in the true Southern Nevada style. You’ll find it all on the second floor inside the Boulder Dam Hotel.
- Trail: Walk the Historic Railroad Trail. Bring your dog along for the walk. It’s about 7.5 miles round trip and is a fairly easy-rated hike. It’s a stunning experience as you walk through the tunnels that used to be the path for a rail line. You can find the trailhead at Alan Bible Visitor Center.
- Tour: If you want something fun and perhaps a bit spooky to experience, take the Haunted Boulder City Ghost and UFO tour. Yes, it may be a bit unique, but it is quite interesting. It takes about 60 minutes to go through, and you may learn a few things along the way. It’s located downtown.
- Shop: If you love finding the perfect antiques, you’ll find several locations in Boulder City to find some ancient treasures of the Southwest. Sherman’s House of Antiques is one of the most sought-after locations because of its large assortment of toys and vintage clothing.
- Dine: There are dozens of restaurants in the area, but for a special meal, check out DeSimone’s Steakhouse. It’s a casual experience, but the food is fantastic. It’s only open for dinner Thursday through Sunday, so you may want to call ahead to book your time.
Boulder City also has a number of parks, golfing, shops, and some fantastic coffee shops, too. It’s easy to have some fun here, especially when it’s too hot to travel to Las Vegas just yet.
Golf at Cascata
Make a stop at Casacata Golf Course while you’re in the city. It’s more than just a golf course. With the mountains in the backdrop, it offers a cool reprieve from the intense heat and stunning backdrops to all of your shots. It also offers a Tuscan-style clubhouse perfect for an enjoyable meal and a cigar lounge for the end of the day.
For golf lovers, Casacat offers a par-72 Rees Jones golf course with lush fairways and beautiful streams. There’s wildlife at every turn. Once you’re here, you’ll also want to check out the 418-foot waterfall. Even if you don’t like the game, this stunning location is perfect for a lunch stop on your way to Las Vegas.
No matter how far you are coming from or what you like to do, there’s plenty to explore on the path from Lake Mead to Las Vegas. From tours of the Hoover Dam to enjoying the long hiking trails throughout the region’s many parks, plan to spend some time connecting with the outdoors. For a few days, you may just find the beauty of nature to be the perfect way to unwind.