In 1948, a B-29 Superfortress crashed into a lake minutes away from Las Vegas.
Five crew members were on board, and they all survived, but the plane couldn’t be located.
It happened to crash into the largest man-made lake in America — Lake Mead. The plane was lost in the water and wasn’t found until 2001 by local divers, according to the National Park Service.
Lake Mead is the country’s largest reservoir with 200,000 acres of water and depths surpassing 500 feet, said Christie Vanover, spokeswoman with Lake Mead National Recreation Area.
The water level at the lake is down by about 100 feet now because the water levels can fluctuate, Vanover said.
But “we still remain the largest reservoir in the United States,” she added.
Lake Mead was established in 1936 when the Hoover Dam was built, Vanover said.
Half of the lake is in Nevada with the other half in Arizona.
To provide more recreational opportunities, Congress signed a bill in 1964 that established the Lake Mead National Recreation Area as the first recreation area, Vanover said.
Today, Lake Mead National Recreation Area is one of the most- visited units of the National Park System. In 2012, it welcomed between 6 and 7 million visitors, Vanover said.
What attracts so many visitors to the area?
“We are in the middle of the desert,” Vanover said. “They (people) don’t expect to see a beautiful lake in the middle of the desert. Plus, we are located between so many large communities.”
About 13 percent of the recreation area is water while the remaining 87 percent is land, Vanover said.
Boating, cycling and hiking are among the many outdoor activities available to visitors.