Lake Mead Hikes

lake mead hikes

Lake Mead Hikes

11 Lake Mead Hikes for Families

America’s first national recreation area, Lake Mead spans 1.5 million acres and includes two lakes, plenty of hiking, slot canyons, and nine wilderness areas. 

Lake Mead National Recreational Area is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. 

The Visitor’s Center

Enjoy the Alan Bible Visitor Center, located along Lakeshore Drive, near the Boulder Beach entrance. Open 7 days a week from 9am – 430pm. Don’t forget to ask for your Junior Ranger booklet

Park and Hiking Maps
Lake Mead Entrance Fees

Daily entrance is $25 per vehicle or $15 per person. An annual park pass is $45. 

4th grade students get a FREE National Parks Pass with the Every Kids Outdoors program. 

Lake Mead Fee-Free Entrance Days for 2024

Monday, January 15 — Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Saturday, April 20 — First Day of National Park Week

Wednesday, June 19 — Juneteenth

Sunday, August 4 — The Great American Outdoors Act

Saturday, September 28 — National Public Lands Day

Monday, November 11 — Veterans Day

Leave No Trace

The 7 principles of Leave No Trace include disposing of your waste properly, respecting wildlife, leaving what you see behind, and being considerate of others. Please protect our natural spaces and wildlife. 

Lake Mead Hikes - Easy

Historic Railroad Tunnel Trail

Skill Level: Easy
Round-Trip Distance: 7.5 miles
Stroller Friendly
This trail does not require an admission fee to Lake Mead National Recreation Area.
The trail features incredible vistas of Lake Mead and Boulder Basin and five tunnels – each approximately 25 feet wide, 30 feet high, and 300 feet long.

The perfect trail for a family adventure, the Historic Railroad Tunnel Trail goes through 5 former railroad tunnels and offers the most amazing views of Lake Mead. The trail is flat and gravel with benches for resting and of course shade under the tunnels. This trail is great for almost anyone. 

Starting Point: Alan Bible Visitors Center, 10 Lakeshore Road
While you’re at the visitor’s center ask for a Junior Ranger book that your child can complete and then be sworn

River Mountain Loop Trail 


Printable Map for the River Mountain Loop Trail

This trail surrounds the River Mountains and connects Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Hoover Dam, Henderson, Boulder City, and the rest of the Las Vegas Valley.  The entire looped trail system, which includes portions that cut outside the Lake Mead NRA boundaries, is 34 miles.

There are trailheads in Henderson, Boulder City, and Lake Mead National Recreation Area. 

historic railroad tunnel trails

Fisherman’s Trail 

Skill Level: Easy
Roundtrip Distance: 1.9 Round Trip 


This trail includes views of the Avi Kwa Ame National Monument. The trail begins at Katherine Landing Launch ramp and ends on a sandy beach at Sea Cove. 

Redstone Trail 

Skill Level: Easy
Round-Trip Distance: about 1 mile
A (mainly) level loop trail that winds through sandstone. Look for a fun area of rock where the kids can test their climbing skills. Stay on the trail but look for footprints left behind by local widlife. 

Parks Near Lake Mead NRA

If you are looking for adventures near Lake Mead National Recreation Area, but not necessarily a hike, check out these parks. 

Hemenway Valley Park 

401 Ville Drive, Boulder City

Known for its Bighorn Sheep, this park has a beautiful grassy area and a small playground. The Bighorn Sheep have been spotted throughout the day but are most prevalent at dawn and dusk. You will also get breathtaking view of Lake Mead. 

DOGS ARE PROHIBITED. Please keep our wildlife safe. 

Nature Discovery Park and Rock Garden 

This Boulder City Park is located in Bootleg Canyon. Exploring the park is fun for everyone and includes giant animal statues and colorful rock gardens. The trail is paved and offers amazing views.

The statues of desert animals display fun facts about the animal and include a jackrabbit, scorpion, roadrunner, horned lizard, Mojave rattlesnake, Gila monster, and a tortoise. 

 Take Boulder City Parkway and turn on  Yucca and drive up to the Bootleg Canyon Park Entrance. Look for the giant jackrabbit. 

Lake Mead Hikes - Moderate

Owl Canyon Trail 

Skill Level: Moderate (Challenging)
Round-Trip Distance: 2.2 miles
Picnic Shelter, accessible pit toilets at the trailhead, trash/litter receptacles, scenic view/photo spot
Fun Fact: Owl Canyon used to be completely underwater, but as the water levels dropped, Owl Canyon appeared.

This moderate hike can be challenging as you wind through the canyons. The trail is popular so you won’t be alone in your adventures. 

Bluffs Trail

Skill Level: Moderate
Round-Trip Distance: 3.9 miles
Amazing views come with this hike that follows along the bluffs including the overlook of the Las Vegas Wash and the Las Vegas. Wildlife can be seen along the trail including plenty of birds. This makes for a great trail for avid birdwatchers.

Wetlands Trail

Skill Level: Moderate
Round-Trip Distance: 1.5 mi 
Located off Lakeshore Road this is an easy-to-moderate hike on a dirt path that leads to a dry wash and then a creek. This beautiful trail should be on every birdwatchers list. 

Callville Summit

Skill Level: Moderate
Round-Trip Distance: 2.7 miles
This hike passes a jet crash site from the 1950s and amazing views of Calville Bay and Boulder Basin. This is a rocky in-and-out hike but you can do less and still take advantage of the beautiful landscape. 
Bird and Hike has the best details on this Lake Mead Hike.

Northshore Summit

Skill Level: Moderate
Round-Trip Distance: 1 mile
A short, but steep climb gives hikers the best views of the Bowl of Fire. Hikers can choose to take the short, steep route or fork off to a longer route with less intense grades 
Bird and Hike has the best information on Northshore Summit Trail.

St. Thomas Trail 

Skill Leve: Moderate
Round-Trip Distance: 3.9 miles
St. Thomas was a thriving settlement in 1860 but was abandoned due to the rising waters of Lake Mead during the 1930s. Now that water levels have fallen, St. Thomas, once under 70 feet of water,  has surfaced and is available to hike through and visit the remains of this old western town. The trail includes interpretive signs and artifacts, please do not touch or remove anything you see. Leave No Trace and also follow federal law that prohibits you from disturbing archeological sites. 
Bird and Hike has the best and most detailed information on this hike and the ghost town of St. Thomas.