From hiking to cruises, View Neighborhood Newspapers explores activities available at nearby Lake Mead National Recreation Area.
The area offers visitors an abundance of hiking trails, such as the Historic Railroad Trail, according to state ranger intern Daniel Andrei.
“The trail is about 3.5 miles long, and there are five tunnels that are about 25 feet in diameter,” Andrei said. “It runs from the Lake Mead National Recreation Area entrance to the back of the Hoover Dam parking garage.”
In 1931, six western companies banded together to build the 30-mile railroad to connect Boulder City with the facilities needed to build Boulder Dam, later renamed Hoover Dam. About 70 people and nine steam and four gas locomotives operated the system until 1961.
In 1984, the trail was nominated to the National Register of Historic Places. It is the only remaining section of the railroad system that is not disturbed or under water.
“It’s a very popular trail, so there’s always people walking or riding bikes on it,” Andrei said. “The animals are very shy, but depending on the time of day, you might see bats, bighorn sheep or jackrabbits.”
Andrei recommends that visitors wear hats or helmets, sunglasses, sunblock and comfortable shoes. Hikers should also carry water and maps.
Access to the trail is free. Although the area is open 24 hours, a gate near the Hoover Dam parking garage is closed at dusk by security.
The lake’s visitor center is open from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily. Additional activities are available.
For more information, visit nps.gov/lake or call 702-293-8990.
STAND-UP PADDLING AND BIKING
Desert Adventures, 1647 Nevada Highway, Suite A, provides guided cycling and stand-up paddling trips for locals and tourists, according to Joyce Kehoe, director of operations.
“Our biking and stand-up paddling tours are fully outfitted, so the only things people need to bring are personal items,” Kehoe said. “We also provide hotel transportation, shuttle service, lunches and bottled water.”
The bike tour is about 13 miles long and takes about three hours to complete. It follows the River Mountain Trail toward Lake Mead and Hoover Dam, where riders are set to see bighorn sheep and other wildlife.
The stand-up paddling tour launches from Hemenway Harbor at Lake Mead and is about three hours long. Certified instructors teach participants how to paddle and guide them in exploring islands and coves.
“We go over all the rules and instructions over the phone when they call and again when they arrive,” Kehoe said. “The biggest thing that people need to keep in mind is the extreme heat in the summer. They need to be aware of the dangers, but we do keep them well-hydrated.”
Bike tours cost $169 per person, and stand-up paddling tours cost $149 per person. Participants must be at least 14 and 12, respectively. Reservations are required.
Desert Adventures is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. Additional activities are available.
For more information, visit kayaklasvegas.com or call 702-293-5026.
SIGHTSEEING AND MEAL CRUISES
Lake Mead Cruises, 490 Horsepower Cove, offers three cruises: a 90-minute sightseeing cruise, a 90-minute brunch cruise and two-hour dinner cruises.
Passengers board the Desert Princess cruise boat at Hemenway Harbor at Lake Mead and travel through the Boulder Basin and Black Canyon, according to Jennifer Ebarb, administrative assistant.
“We get as close to the Hoover Dam as security will let us,” Ebarb said. “It’s a great photo opportunity because you don’t get to see that side of the dam from the road. Passengers can also see the Mike O’Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge from the boat.”
The Desert Princess is a three-story boat with two indoor decks. Ebarb recommends that passengers bring cameras, sunscreen and a light jacket.
“It’s a unique way to experience the lake and dam,” Ebarb said. “Unless you have a boat, you’re not getting the same views. You’re also surrounded by nature, so it’s a relaxing getaway.”
Sightseeing cruises cost $26 for adults and $13 for ages 3 to 11. Meal cruises start at $45 for adults and $19.50 for ages 3 to 11. Children 2 or younger are free. Reservations are required.
The Lake Mead National Recreation Area also charges $10 per car to enter the park.
For more information, visit lakemeadcruises.com or call 702-293-6180.
Contact Henderson View reporter Caitlyn Belcher at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-0403.