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Lake Mead National Recreation Area is a startling contrast of desert and water, mountains and canyons, primitive backcountry and busy marinas. Here, the Colorado River flows along the Arizona-Nevada border through one of the hottest, driest regions on Earth. The Hoover Dam helped create this beautiful oasis while also providing energy to the western U.S.

Established as the USA's first national recreation area, Lake Mead draws millions of visitors who flock to the desert for boating, fishing, swimming and water-skiing. While the lake is certainly the main attraction, you’ll also find plenty of opportunities to enjoy the quiet, stark beauty of the surrounding Mojave Desert. Numerous hiking trails offer a look at the park’s dramatically exposed geology and the surprising abundance of specially adapted plants and animals.

Hot Air Balloon over Asheville, North Carolina
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Experience Lake Mead National Recreation Area

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Snow-capped mountains behind the downtown Boise skyline
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Destination

Boise

Reconstructed barracks at the 1865 Fort Casper, now a museum
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Destination

Casper

Hazy skies over Mt. Lemmon
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Destination

Tucson