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A drop-by-drop look at Lake Mead vs. Lake Las Vegas

Updated June 20, 2021 - 11:15 am

After having spent last summer cooped up indoors, many of you no doubt are itching to feel the sun on your skin. But, since this is Nevada and most of the “outdoors” is a scorched-earth nightmare every summer, being in or near a lake is probably your best bet. We’re not exactly Minnesota here, so this is a look at how Lake Mead, one of the largest manmade lakes in the world, and Lake Las Vegas, one of the largest manmade lakes in Southern Nevada, compare.

Purpose

Lake Mead: Water and electricity for about 25 million people

Lake Las Vegas: Tourism and development

Size

Lake Mead: 158,500 acres

Lake Las Vegas: 320 acres

Shoreline

Lake Mead: 550 miles

Lake Las Vegas: 10 miles

Dam

Lake Mead: Hoover Dam is 726 feet tall, 1,244 feet across at the top

Lake Las Vegas: Lake Las Vegas Dam is 192 feet tall, 4,200 feet long

Cruises

Desert Princess (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Desert Princess (Las Vegas Review-Journal)

Lake Mead: Desert Princess, paddle wheeler for sightseeing, dinners or Champagne brunches; private charters for up to 200 guests

La Contessa yacht (Benjamin Hager)
La Contessa yacht (Benjamin Hager)

Lake Las Vegas: La Contessa, the 84-foot luxury yacht available for private charters for up to 130 guests

Water activities

Lake Mead: Boating, water skiing, kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, wakeboarding, tubing, HydroBike tours

Lake Las Vegas: Kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, electric boats, Flyboard Water Jetpack, Aqua Park floating obstacle course

Celebrities

Getty Images
Getty Images

Lake Mead: Sultan, a bighorn sheep who roamed an island for nearly a year before he was shot and killed in 1936

Celine Dion (The Associated Press)
Celine Dion (The Associated Press)

Lake Las Vegas: Longtime resident Celine Dion

Pop culture

Lake Mead: Surviving damage to Hoover Dam in movies including “Superman,” “Transformers,” “San Andreas,” “Vegas Vacation”

Lake Las Vegas: Surviving a turbulent press junket as the main setting for “America’s Sweethearts,” the rom-com starring Julia Roberts, Billy Crystal and Catherine Zeta-Jones; surviving the latest season of “Jersey Shore Family Vacation”

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