Lake Mead was formed following the building of the Hoover Dam, originally called Boulder Dam. If full, Lake Mead would be 112 miles long and have 247 square miles of surface. Of course, it is far from full, the lake is approximately 30% below the level that would be considered full. Nearby Boulder City, Nevada, was home to many of the workers during the construction of the dam.
We stayed at Lake Mead RV Village at Boulder Beach on Lake Mead. This part of the lake is located about 25 miles southeast of Las Vegas.
While here we took a river tour with Black Canyon/Willow Beach River Adventures. They are the only tour company allowed to utilize a secured roadway that leads down to the Colorado River at a point just below the Hoover Dam. At this point you have a unique view of the dam and of the Mike O’Callaghan-Pat Tillman Bridge. On a previous trip to Las Vegas, we toured the Hoover Dam and took a walk out onto the O’Callaghan-Tillman Bridge. This bridge, the second tallest in the United States at approximately 890 feet above the Colorado River, joins our visits to other “tallest” bridges, the New River Gorge Bridge in West Virginia and the Rio Grande River Gorge Bridge near Taos, New Mexico.
From this point on the river just below the dam, we boarded a raft which took us down the river about 12 miles to Willow Beach, AZ. This portion of the river flows through Black Canyon with Arizona on the east bank and Nevada along the west bank. Along the way our guide pointed out many features that were left over from the Hoover Dam construction.
Next stop: Barstow, CA