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Welcome to the US, you know we love you guys, eh? 

If you're traveling from Canada you may already know the best way to get to Lake Mead is via Las Vegas McCarran Airport, just 25mi west of Lake Mead National Park.  And... the best we to get to McCarran is with WestJet.  They have the best selection of direct flights for many Canadian cities to and from Las Vegas.

Car Rentals are available at the airport as well as shuttle services to almost anywhere in the Las Vegas area.  If you're planning to stay in Vegas and to drive to Lake Mead for a day, that's a good plan because the selection of accommodations in the National Park is dismal.  Driving out to the lake in a rental car gives you the mobility to see all kinds of things that will fill up a day visit from 8am to 7pm.

Here's a list of recommendations, in order:

8am:  Leave Vegas, stop by a supermarket to pickup some of the essentials for a day at Lake Mead (see below).

9am: Arrive at the Alan Bible visitor center near Hemenway launch ramp.  See the free movie about how the dam was built.

10am:  Hike to the abandoned train tunnels, very close to the Alan Bible visitor center.  You'll learn about those at the visitor center.

11am:  Drive to Hoover dam and take a tour.  This is a MUST DO visit, the highlight of the day.  You'll get a charge out of (pun intended) seeing the huge generators.  Check out the new bridge they're building about 1/3mi downriver from the dam.  It's due to be open for traffic in November 2010.

1pm:  Drive to Lake Mead Marina and have lunch on the marina patio.  It's nothing fancy, just unique, and the only food for miles in this area. Check out the sailboats.  You may want to rent a SeaDoo here, lots of fun.

2pm:  Drive north along Lakeshore Road, 45mi to Echo Bay Marina.  Have an afternoon margarita overlooking the marina dock from the lodge.

4pm:  Continue north on Lakeshore Road to Overton Marina.  There isn't much to see at Overton but you can rent PWC there also.  It's on the way to Valley of Fire so you might was well stop by and see this marina.  Check out the cool looking small rocks on the ground about 150ft west of the RV camp ground.  Don't take any.

5pm:  Drive through Valley of Fire, not far from Overton Marina.  Take HiWay 169 West through the Valley of Fire all the way to Interstate 15.  Then take Interstate 15 south to Las Vegas, about 35mi away.

7pm:  Arrive Vegas, have dinner at any of hundreds of restaurants and reminisce the day's adventures. 

Yes, this is full day outing.  Starting earlier than 8am is advised because there will be things you'll want to stop and look at during your tour of Lake Mead on Lakeshore drive which skirts the West side of the lake.  If they aren't all rented out, you can opt to rent a SeaDoo at Lake Mead Marina for an hour and buzz around the lake.  If you do that, go southeast and check out Hoover Dam from the water side.

Equipment needed for the day include:

Camera, Sunscreen, water, sunglasses, hat, map, flash light (for train tunnels), binoculars, water socks, swim suit, and an ice chest full of drinks in case you need a cold one.  You can buy one of those cheap Styrofoam ice chests for few dollars most anywhere at a supermarket.  There's a Walmart in Henderson, right before you arrive Lake Mead National Park entrance.  That's a good place to buy some of these essentials.

Have a great time visiting the Lake Mead National Park.  It's an experience you'll remember for years.  

Keep it safe too.  Cheers!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Cheap Flights at westjet.com

Generators at Hoover Dam

Hoover Dam from lake side

Hoover Dam Aerial shot

Lake Mead marina patio area

Valley of Fire Arch

Valley of Fire Cave