Friday, April 28, 2017

Lake Mead RV Village and Willow Beach Marina

November, 2016

On the way to Yuma:  Stops Three and Four

After southern Utah, we wanted to spend a few days at Valley of Fire State Park north of Las Vegas.  But it's first-come-first-served and a phone call to the park revealed it was already full -- so we called Lake Mead RV Village about 50 miles south of Vegas and got reservations for three days.

Turned out it was not our kind of place. Especially for three days. It's a big gravel parking lot far from the water, although it was much closer to H2O when Lake Mead was not so low. It did have full hook ups. But if we stop in the area again, next time we'll try Boulder Beach, a campground without hook ups that's right next door. Boulder Beach is also first-come-first served, but had available spots, trees, pretty campsites, and looked much more inviting.  

After Lake Mead RV Village we drove a mere 25 miles south to Willow Beach. Also part of the Lake Mead National Recreation Area, it's between Lake Mead and Lake Mohave and was an amazing find: small, clean, and nestled in a valley with a view of the Colorado River. Beautiful. We kayaked, we hiked, and we loved the view and the modern campground. If we can get a spot we'll definitely go back there again when driving south from Salt Lake. Since it's part of a National Recreation Area -- and not run by a contractor -- we camped for half price with our America the Beautiful Senior Pass.
It must have been a mile walk from Lake Mead RV Village to the actual lake.  Here you can see an anchor with a long, long cable that at one time had enough water above it to secure a boat.
We did see some great views of Lake Mead while exploring by car. Lake Mead is the  largest reservoir in the US and was created by the Hoover Dam. Per Wikipedia (and our own eyes), however, drought and water usage has caused the water level to dip. It's now the number two reservoir in the country as far as water in reserve. Number 1 (again per Wiki) is Lake Sakakawea, in North Dakota (which we've also visited.)
Willow Beach:  Click on the photo to get a better view of the Willow Beach Campground at the lower left of the photo. That's Lake Mohave on the Colorado River to the right.
Jim looking at the sheer canyon walls near Willow Beach. There is a national fish hatchery nearby that stocks the river with rainbow trout.
Jim and Arlo on hike between the Willow Beach campground and the marina.

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