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General Information

Lake Mead National Recreation Area
Copyright: - US National Park Service
Lake Mead National Recreation Area
Description - Nevada means "snowcapped" in Spanish. Thanks to its unique geographic history, Nevada has more mountain ranges than any other state in the nation. Nevada has 26 mountain ranges with peaks over 10,000 feet, the highest peak is Boundary Peak (13,140 feet) located in Esmeralda County. Nevada geography consists of the Great Basin and Mojave Desert. The Great Basin encompasses 75 percent of the land in the northern portion of the state. It was named the Great Basin in the mid-nineteenth century because of it's size and the absence of water leaving the area.

Although famed for its deserts and hot dry desert, the Humboldt - Toiyabe National Forest, the largest national Forest outside the State of Alaska, sprawls from eastern California and western Nevada to the northeastern boundary of the state and on down to southern Nevada and takes in the higher elevations of some of Nevada's most spectacular mountain ranges.

In addition, the Humboldt - Toiyabe National Forest contains some of the most unique biological diversity in the nation. Many endemic plant and animal species (that is species found nowhere else in the world) are located here.

Great variations in climate, geology and topography, plants and wildlife, scenery and recreation blend together to provide nature lovers and outdoor recreationists a treasure trove of adventure and discovery.

Attractions - Nevada geography consists of the Great Basin and Mojave Desert. The Great Basin encompasses 75 percent of the land in the northern portion of the state. It was named the Great Basin in the mid-nineteenth century because of it's size and the absence of water leaving the area.

The basin lies at an elevation of 4,000 feet and contains mountains that reach heights of 10,000 feet. Sage thrives throughout the region as does pinyon pine, juniper, aspen, fir and spruce (at higher elevations). Great Basin National Park lies within this region, near the eastern border. The site highlights limestone caves and provides numerous recreation facilities. Also within this basin are Toiyabe and Humboldt National Forests.

The Mojave Desert claims the southern quarter of the state. It lies at a lower elevation and contains the majority of Nevada's population. The Mojave's most prominent plant life is the creosote bush. Yucca and Joshua trees also complete the landscape. Las Vegas and Lake Mead lie within the Mojave Desert as well as a small portion of the Toiyabe National Forest.

Recreation - With the geographic and climatic variety in Nevada, from high alpine peaks and forests to low deserts and massive reservoirs, there are numerous and varied recreation opportunities in this state. Water-related activities are very popular year-round in the hot, desert portions of the state. Lake Mead National Recreation Area attracts more visitors than any other site. The low deserts of southern Nevada also offer excellent winter hiking, camping and sightseeing. The Reno-Tahoe Region as well as the other mountainous portions of the state offer excellent winter recreation opportunities in addition to fantastic summer hiking, backpacking, camping, fishing and more.

Climate - Nevada is characterized by the high desert Great Basin in the northern portion of the state, the low desert in the southern portion of the state and mountain ranges which bisect these desert areas. These elevational differences can create wide ranging climatic differences. In the low deserts of southern Nevada, including the area around Las Vegas, temperatures during the summer months often reach 115 degrees F. Winters are mild with cool nights. Winter, spring and fall are a pleasant time to visit this region.

Because the Great Basin lies at a higher elevation, the area receives cold winter weather with snow that can remain for months. Seven inches of rain falls in the region annually, although run off from the surrounding mountains contributes to the water availability. The mountains receive significantly colder temperatures and precipitation year round. They can be great areas for winter recreation or an escape from the summer heat of the lower elevations.

Location - Nevada is located in the western United States, between California and Utah. We have divided Nevada into five travel regions.

Current Conditions & Trip Reports

Trip Reports:
Add your own trip Report! Newly re-released feature. One of the most popular features on Wildernet, trip reports allow you to share your experiences with others. This is an invaluable resource for determining what to expect on your outdoor adventure, so please participate! To prevent spamming, you must be a registered user of Wildernet in order to submit a trip report

Filed By: ERNEL ARCANGEL FELIX (Santa Cruz-Monterey, CA)
Number of People Encountered: 50+ ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: Many times I have been to the city as many people called the "Sin City" both for business and for fun. The most recent time I was in Las Vegas was in December 29, 2005 on my return back home from my recently concluded Utah trip. A night of stay made my trip with extra fun. Now was all about fun-filled experience due to human creation, technology, and intervention with nature. On the other hand, fun in Utah was all about natural wonders and preservation. Las Vegas came into the scene after driving about 2 hours southwest from Hurricane and St. George, Utah shortly after passing the mountainous side of Arizona. Dec 29 was the best time of the year in Vegas - for one not experience the city's unbearable heat (98s at midnight during summer). It was a very pleasant day and night, as a matter of fact windbreaker and scarves made me not feel the chilly wind during my night stroll along the Strip (Las Vegas Blvd.) Holiday lights and sounds were all over. The graceful dances of the fountain with the holiday music in front of the Bellagio hotel was one of the best part of my night walk. Gambling was not my intention...have no luck anyway. The four star hotel I stayed was reasonable. Room was spacious for myself. Food was superb. Crowd was innumerable that time - as has been always at the Strip. The four- mile night walk (both ways to my hotel) made me enjoy the post holiday spirit in Vegas. If you intend to visit Vegas, come during winter. Pack your camera and do not miss to catch the fun and take short videos of the facinating well-engineered, well-choreographed, and perfectly synchronized fountain. Just a piece of advice: Do not bet a quarter if you know that you do not have the luck! Have fun!

Filed By: aubrey franks (arvada, colorado)
Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Not Recommended

More Information

Contact Information:
Nevada Commission on Tourism, 401 N. Carson Street , Carson City, NV, 89701


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