Lake Mead National Recreation Area – Northshore Road


What? :

America’s first (1936) and largest national recreation area follows the Colorado River from the Grand Canyon National Park into Lake Mead that was created by Hoover Dam, down to the Colorado River as well as the smaller Lake Mohave created by Davis Dam.


Most of the park visitors are coming here to enjoy the lakes activities, if this is boating, fishing, swimming, and water-skiing. Hoover Dam and its surrounding is also a major attraction within the recreation area.

This Blog is not about that.

In this blog I will cover the park Northshore Road also marked at the map as highway 167.


The road starts from Northshore/Lake Mead Parkway Park entrance all the way to the park north entrance (near Valley of the Fire State Park), 51 miles long road.



This 51-mile-long road is serving several Lake Med access points and Marinas, but you can also drive along it and enjoy the beauty of the Mojave Desert views from the road and stop at the attractions/hikes along the way.


Where? :

Lake Mead National Recreation Area located in southeastern Nevada and northwestern Arizona.

Map link to:

Northshore/Lake Mead Parkway Park southwest entrance

North exist south of Overton, Nevada.


Google Map Link



When? :

The park is open year-round.

The best season for hiking is November through March when the desert temperatures are cooler. Hiking in the summer months is not recommended, temperatures can reach 120 degrees F in the shade.

Some hiking trails can be close during summer month, please follow instructions about hiking seasons.

The hot summer month are excellent for water activity.



Nearby Attraction blogs:



Due note 1: Lake Mead National Recreation Area is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.


Due note 2: Admission fees for Lake Mead National Recreation Area are $15 per person, $16 for daily boating vessels, $20 for motorcycles, and $25 for vehicles. These passes are good for up to seven days. Campgrounds are $20 per night. You can use here the National Park Year Permit .


Due note 3: Only electronic card payments are now accepted for entrance, lake use, and campground fees. Entrance stations will continue to sell passes but will no longer accept cash for payment.


Due note 4: you can find in the park over 900 camping and RV sites, there is a variety of desert and lakeside views.


Due note 5: Backcountry hiking is not recommended in the summer. Temperatures can get as high as 120 degrees F. Always carry plenty of water, wear a hat and

sunscreen, share your itinerary, know your limits. Plan ahead. Stay safe.


Due note 6: When hiking carry plenty of water; at least one gallon of water per person.


Due note 7: Lake Mead is the largest manmade reservoir in the United States, spanning more than 110 miles in Nevada and Arizona. On top of the developed recreation sites this park also have nine wilderness areas.


Due note 8: I will not cover in this blog the visit in Hoover Dam, lake activities or other places/hikes in this large park.


Due note 9: you can find service, gas and food at Overton and Moapa Valley, just north of the park on highway 169.



My thoughts:

We did not plan to visit here; our destination was Valley of Fire State Park but because we where in the south section of Las Vegas metropolitan google map gave this road as a second option. I always prefer to drive through a National Park than on the highway.




Lake Mead National Recreation Area is a unique combination of very hot desert and large lake, mountains, and canyons.

The Colorado River (Arizona-Nevada border) fill lake Med that is created behind the large Hoover Dam.


In 1935, Hoover Dam was completed, and Lake Mead formed behind it.

Lake Mead NRA offer water recreation activities like boating, swimming, and fishing. It also features hiking trails and views of the surrounding desert landscape.

It is interesting to know that three of the four desert ecosystems found in the United States, the Mojave Desert, the Great Basin Desert, and the Sonoran Desert, meet in Lake Mead NRA.



Visitor Center:

The Park Visitor Center is located on old Highway 93, few miles north of the Hoover Dam, just to the east of Boulder City, Nevada.

The visitor center and park store is open seven-days a week from 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.




The Northshore Road Drive:


I will try to share with you our experience driving along the park Northshore Road.

The road is following the Overton Arm north passing through the landscape of Mojave Desert.

The road is about 51 miles long and takes of 1 hour without a lot of stops.

We enter the road from the city of Henderson, taking highway 564 but you can also get by driving E. Lake Mead Blvd, highway 147.

If you are coming from the south or Hover Dam you can start your drive north from the main park entrance near the Visitor Center at Lakeshore Rd, near Boulder City, NV.



The road start heading east in this section, and it passes through many large dry washes in a flat landscape.

Along the drive you can find several unpaved dirt roads leading in the direction of the lake (Government wash, Boxcar Cove).



Callville Bay:

Keep driving and you will reach Callville Bay Junction, here the 5 mile long road is leading to Callville area.

You can find there a large Campground and RV park, Bay Resort & Marina and also Boat Rental Office.



Keep driving and after 4.8 mile you will see on your left the entrance to a 4x4 Bowl of Fire Rd. This road can take you to the direction of Bowl of Fire that as it name indicate it is a large area with a lot of read sandstone rocks, and hills.

There is the Lower and Upper Bowl of Fire section, and you need to hike into them.

The Upper Bowl of Fire (the north section) is outside the Lake Mead NRA on BLM land.

Keep driving and you will pass (on your left) the Northshore Summit Trailhead parking lot.



Redstone Park Area:

The next stop on your drive can be at Redstone Park Area.

This is about 15.7-mile northeast of Callville Bay Junction or 18.8-mile south from the junction with Valley of Fire Road (and park north exit).

Here you can find a small parking lot (also for RVs), restrooms as well as shade structures picnic tables available.

This is the best place to have a short stop on your ride and have a short walk nearby.

Please note that there is no water available at Redstone.

Dogs are allowed but must be on a leash.


This stop is in Pinto Valley Wilderness cover interesting geology, washes, towering cliffs, and narrow canyons, red sandstone outcroppings and lava flows.

This is relatively high section along the drive elevations range from 2,700 feet along the southeast side to a 4,700 foot ridge on the northern end ridgetop.

The spectacular red sandstone outcroppings are ancient sand dunes that pop up throughout the Pinto Valley.


From the picnic area follow the 0.5-mile loop trail that cross the red rocks area in the Pinto Valley, the easy flat loop walk takes approximately 15 minutes to walk.

You can also do here a lot longer hike into the wilderness and red stone mountains.



Echo Bay:

the road continues north and after 8.3 miles from Redstone Park Area you will reach the junction of the road leading to Echo Bay, this is another 4 miles leading down to Echo Bay.

In Echo Bay you can find 2 large campgrounds, RV parks and Marina as well as gas and a store and a boat-ramp.

Echo Bay Hotel is close, and it does not look that there is a boat renting in this location.



Rogers Spring and Slim Creek Oasis:

Keep driving north and you will see on the left side of the road, first you will see Rogers Spring and soon after Slim Creek Oasis, both have small Parking Lots.

Rogers Spring has a small pool of warm water.

When we visit Slim Creek Oasis, it had some running water but no pools.

Not a lot of things to do here, you can have a shaded picnic tables and also dumpsters but not a lot more, a short stop on your drive.

Just north of Slim Creek Oasis you can see the road leading down to Stewarts Point.



From here a short drive north will bring you to the north end of Lake Mead National Recreation Area and the Northshore Road drive.



St. Thomas ghost town:

The location was a prime farming spot at the confluence of the Muddy and Virgin Rivers.

The filling of Lake Mead started in 1935. As the waters rose, slowly the town was overtaken by Lake Mead in 1938. When the lake reached it’s high water mark, St. Thomas was sixty feet below the surface.

With the lowering of the lake water levels (as result of intensive water usage and severe drought conditions), St. Thomas has arisen from the depths and today the town is still exposed, and visitors can roam the roads and trails that were once a thriving wild west town.

From the road take the three-mile dirt road down. There is a trail leading to the town site from the parking area.

I did not visit here and I’m not sure there is a lot to see here but it is an old town site you can visit.



At the north park exit you can turn left and visit the Valley of Fire State Park (highly recommended) or keep driving north to the small town of Overton and Moapa Valley.



Few Hiking Suggestion in Lake Mead National Recreation Area:

  • Owl Canyon
  • Arizona Hot Springs
  • Railroad Hiking Trail
  • Gold Strike Hot Springs Trail
  • Grapevine Canyon Trail.