Hiking Lake Mead: Part 3, Plateau Climb

Yesterday was our final full day of staying in Lake Mead National Recreation Area, and it was our intention to hike one of the established trails that lead to the Hoover dam.  However, upon arriving at the trailhead parking lot and discovering that the lot could easily accommodate 40 cars….and it was full….we decided to look elsewhere.

The trail turned out to not be our preferred type of trail – it was well graded wide sidewalk type path.  Well, that is OK!  I can get creative and find somewhere to hike. Continue reading

Hiking Lake Mead: Part 2 Hamblin Mountain

This trail was born out of looking at a map, finding a peak labeled, and consulting the most comprehensive library of information available to me.  The internet tells me that Hamblin Mountain is an ex-volcano that was sheared in half by plate tectonics, and that its other half (by the name one wonders if its not the better half) Cleopatra Mountain is now 12 miles away.  True?  Perhaps.  Interesting?  Certainly!

More interesting things about Hamblin Mountain:

  • It is unphotographable.  From the parking area you cannot see the mountain.  Perhaps it isn’t impossible to photograph, but one would probably need a boat and a map.
  • From the top one can see 4 states: Nevada, California, Utah and Arizona.

What I did know was that I could expect a little over 3.5 miles one way with over 1000′ of climb along the way.  The various websites I encountered suggested that there may be something of a path…some of the time.  Emboldened by pathless hiking the day prior this sounded like fun to me.

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Hiking Lake Mead: Part 1

Lake Mead National Recreation Area is an interesting place.  The lake is man-made.  It is the body of water resting behind the Hoover Dam.  Also interesting is the fact that it is situated in a fairly mountainous region that feels incredibly remote – even though downtown Las Vegas is only 45 minutes away.  And, in a lot of ways it is remote.  The nearest running water to my campsite is over 6 miles away.  The nearest bathroom?  At least 3, although to be honest I have only seen the bathroom once from a ridge while hiking.

It is this hike I will begin with.

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From one wide open space to another

Yesterday we departed Big Bend of the Colorado State Park (just outside of Laughlin, NV) for Valley of Fire State Park (about an hour north of Las Vegas).  Big Bend of the Colorado was nice, although the park was set up more for big RV’s than our little rig.  We probably could have fit 5 more cars+trailers into the space we had.

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After stopping in Henderson for some lunch at Buddha Belly Deli we took the scenic toll road through Lake Mead National Recreation Area rather than head up I-15 to get to Valley of Fire.

Some advice for any in the area faced with a similar choice:  pay the $10 toll.  This was perhaps the most beautiful 45 miles of sinuous road I have ever driven. Continue reading