There is so much to do in the Lake Mead area that a week just isn’t enough time, especially when a couple of those days are lost to some kind of stomach virus. Call it food poisoning or the flu, it is no fun at all being sick in a 400 square foot trailer. Despite this set back we made the most of it with hiking, boating and sightseeing.
The trip from Salt Lake took about 5 ½ hours and three states. The terrain was ever changing with several mountain summits in Utah followed by a long descent into the absolutely stunning Virgin River area of Arizona before entering Nevada into North Las Vegas and then the Lake Mead National Park from the north entrance.
We had originally planned on staying at Boulder Beach Campground for 2 days and spending the rest of our time at Stewart Point boondocking area but at only $10.00 a night, we just could not leave the Boulder Beach. It is a great campground with a lot of beautifully landscaped, large pull through or back in sites and clean bathrooms.
We met up with our friends, Steve and Joan (FOSJ), who are
work camping in Lake Mead for the winter and we headed into Boulder City for
dinner. Boulder City is located about 20 minutes from Boulder Beach Campground.
I would say it is broken into two sections, the older quaint section with shops
and restaurants and the new section with grocery stores, gas stations and food
chains. If for some reason you don’t find what you are looking for there, it is
just a short 15 minute drive to the Henderson and Las Vegas are where casinos
and restaurants abound. We drove through the area looking at Christmas lights and stopped to visit a cactus garden that was decorated for the holidays.
|Campsite #45 at Boulder Beach|
|I would not want to pay this electric bill!|
We spent the next day hiking and our first hike was to the Anniversary Mines/Lovell Wash Narrows, a beautiful slot canyon hike. In addition to Steve and Joan, we were joined by fellow full-timers Herb and Kristina. We started this adventure parking near the mouth of an old mine. In addition to this historic mine they actively mining Colemanite while we were there. We found several pieces of Colemanite, it is a type of a crystal that is used for many things after mined. One of the more popular uses is in the manufacturing of heat resistant glass. After exploring the mine, we hiked up a winding narrow slot canyon. The canyon was formed by water flowing and eroding the limestone and mudstone layers which created these incredible canyons and surrounding formations. Although totally dry while we were there, there is evidence of the power of the water that occasionally flows through the canyon. Boulders weighing more than a ton are pushed around like pebbles when the water is at full force. As you walk through the canyon you are just in awe of the beauty and force of nature in this area and hope a sudden rain storm does not erupt overhead!
|Barb and Steve in the mine|
|Another smaller mine we found|
|Steve & Joan at Valley of Fire|
|Daisy chill'in on a rock ledge|
No one can come to Lake Mead without a trip to Hoover Dam! Barb and I took a small walk on one of our down days and walked the new bridge as well as the dam itself. Both are amazing structures, you can't help but think about the architecture that went into each.
Prior to coming down to Lake Mead Barb and I had ordered a Sea Eagle 465 ordered from Tim at InflatableBoats4Less. This is a 15’ inflatable boat that we plan to take along on our journeys for adventuring and fishing. One of our goals for this trip was to get it out on the water to test it out. Although we only got out in it for a very short time, we are very pleased with this purchase. It was easy to set up, very stable and easy to paddle. I can’t wait to get out in it for a little longer!
Overall it was a great trip, it was unfortunate we lost a couple days to our illness, it would have been nice to do some biking and get on a few more hikes. It was great to see Joan and Steve again as well as meet a few other fellow fulltimers. We will definitely be back to this area to explore some more but it is time for us to get back to Salt Lake for Christmas!