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Lake Mead National Recreation Area

Nature & Adventure

Our most recommended Lake Mead National Recreation Area Nature & Adventure

Willow Beach: Emerald Cave and Lake Mead Kayaking Tour

1. Willow Beach: Emerald Cave and Lake Mead Kayaking Tour

Discover a kayaker’s dream destination – the Emerald Cave and Willow Beach – on this kayaking tour from Las Vegas with a guide and unlimited snacks and drinks. Swim in the cave’s enchanting green water and keep an eye out for wildlife. After meeting your guide, start with a quick kayaking lesson before gearing up and getting on your kayak. When paddling toward Emerald Cave, take a break from kayaking and explore breathtaking views of the entire canyon. Get your cameras ready for the desert bighorn sheep, blue heron, and bald eagles. Marvel at the canyon walls lining Emerald Cave that are 5,000 to 7,000 feet high. During the tour, get the chance to swim in the mystical green water of the Colorado River. When the sun shines at the right angle, reflections off the sediment on the cave walls make the river water look bright green. The outdoor adventure Sherpa shares that the cave's green waters shine the brightest during the spring and summer months. 

From Las Vegas: Hoover Dam Tour Experience

2. From Las Vegas: Hoover Dam Tour Experience

Take an excursion from Las Vegas to the Hoover Dam, which has long been known as one of the engineering wonders of the world. When the Hoover Dam was completed in 1935 it was both the world's largest electric power-producing facility and the world's largest concrete structure. Currently it ranks as the world's 34th-largest hydroelectric generating station. During the half-day tour you’ll be able to view the 17 main turbines that generate a maximum of 2,074 megawatts of hydroelectric power. You’ll also take in views of the Dam and Lake Mead from the Arizona Lookout Point, the best viewing spot in the area. You also get an up-close look at the newly opened Hoover Dam bypass bridge, which is modern feat of engineering, soaring 900 feet above the Colorado River. This bridge is the longest and tallest arch bridge in the western hemisphere. Later, enjoy a spectacular vista of the Mike O'Callahan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge, which opened in 2010 and stretches nearly 2,000 feet in length. There is a paddle wheeler cruise on Lake Mead available as an option with this tour. Please note that this is not the Hard Hat Tour of the Hoover Dam.

Grand Canyon Helicopter Air Tour

3. Grand Canyon Helicopter Air Tour

This 70 to 75-minute air-only (non-landing) tour is a memorable helicopter experience to the Hualapai Nation on the West Rim of the Grand Canyon. The experience is enhanced by narrations in your language of choice coupled with an excellent selection of music that complements the beautiful sights; Lake Mead, the Hoover Dam, the great expanse of the Mojave Desert, and the Grand Wash Cliffs on the Hualapai Reservation. On arrival to the West Rim, you will be treated to the visual wonders of the Grand Canyon; a truly inspiring work of nature that most visitors consider breathtaking. Arrive at the terminal and receive your safety briefing before boarding one of our state-of-the-art EcoStar helicopters for your air journey to the Grand Canyon. Fly over Lake Mead and the Hoover Dam then enjoy spectacular views of the volcanic Black Mountains, Grapevine Mesa, the Mojave Desert, and then across the Grand Wash Cliffs as you enter Grand Canyon West. Fly below the rim of the Canyon for incredible views of the world-famous Skywalk and the Colorado River.

Las Vegas: Grand Canyon Helicopter Tour with Champagne

4. Las Vegas: Grand Canyon Helicopter Tour with Champagne

Marvel at the Grand Canyon from above on this popular helicopter tour from Las Vegas, with transfers included. Land on the canyon floor 3,500 feet below the rim to enjoy it up-close. Treat yourself to some champagne and refreshments while overlooking the Colorado River. After your Las Vegas pickup, experience a breathtaking helicopter flight over the Hoover Dam, Lake Mead, and Fortification Hill—an extinct volcano—along with many other awe-inspiring views. After descending 3,500 feet inside the Grand Canyon and Hualapai Indian Reservation, make sure to snap some photos after landing for some unforgettable souvenirs.  Take in the breathtaking views of the canyon and river in front of you. Then, enjoy a cool beverage, light snack, and champagne toast while sitting 300 feet above the impressive Colorado River.  Continue your journey through the beautiful Black Canyon as your return to the South Las Vegas terminal, then enjoy your transfer back to Las Vegas.  Upgrade your tour to include a flight over the bright lights of the Las Vegas Strip and the city’s downtown area before heading home. This option includes the standard tour plus an additional flight over the world-famous Vegas Strip.

From Las Vegas: Grand Canyon West Rim Airplane Tour

5. From Las Vegas: Grand Canyon West Rim Airplane Tour

Get ready for a bird’s-eye view of one of the country’s most memorable natural wonders on this scenic airplane tour over the Grand Canyon. Benefit from hotel pickup and drop-off in Las Vegas and admire the canyon’s West Rim from above. Get picked up from your hotel in Las Vegas and head on down to Boulder Terminal for your check-in. Board the air-conditioned passenger aircraft, and prepare for take-off. Fly towards the West Rim of the Grand Canyon, passing over Lake Mead — the largest man-made lake in the US — and the Hoover Dam. Soar above the Colorado River and soak in the scenery as you cross into Arizona. Arrive at the Grand Canyon — a stunning natural phenomenon. Gaze out of the plane's large windows for panoramic views of the swirling colors and rock formations as you benefit from expert commentary in 1 of 16 languages. Enjoy the views on the way back to Boulder Terminal and be dropped off back to your hotel in Las Vegas, where your tour will end. You can request a commemorative flight certificate, and personalized photos are available to purchase.

Las Vegas: Small Group 3-Hour Hoover Dam Mini Tour

6. Las Vegas: Small Group 3-Hour Hoover Dam Mini Tour

Enjoy a compact guided tour of the Hoover Dam from Las Vegas, and take the chance to see this man-made wonder up close. Admire views of the dam and Lake Mead — America’s largest reservoir. Benefit from pickup and drop-off at selected hotels. Get picked up in Las Vegas and relax in air-conditioned comfort on the 40-minute drive to the Hoover Dam. Arrive at the dam and cross the Mike O'Callaghan–Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge, where your guide will park.  Head up to the Hoover Dam Bypass Bridge Walkway on foot and take in the spectacular bird’s-eye view over the dam and the nearby Colorado River. Stop at Hemenway Park, where you’ll notice some desert bighorn sheep often hang out. Continue onto the Lake Mead Lookout for panoramic views of the man-made aquatic wonder. After this, drive across the dam to various lookout points and stop to take photos at the most picturesque spots, guaranteed.  At the end of your activity, you’ll head back to Las Vegas, where you’ll be dropped off at your hotel or your preferred location on the Las Vegas Strip.

From Las Vegas: Eldorado Canyon ATV Tour & Gold Mine Visit

7. From Las Vegas: Eldorado Canyon ATV Tour & Gold Mine Visit

Experience the Wild West on this full-day ATV tour. Enjoy views of the beautiful desert landscape and sneak peeks of the Colorado River. Explore silver and gold mines from the 1800s, and recreate the Old West experience in a preserved mining town. This tour also includes a 2-seater option. Your guide will take you along old paths carved out of the mountainside that were originally used by mules pulling carts of minerals out of the mines. The scenic mountain path is surrounded by towering rock formations and cactus forests. Break for lunch with a visit to a restored mining town featuring sections of original mining camps from the 1800s. As you rest under a pavilion to enjoy your lunch, you can listen to the relaxing babble of a natural spring. The spring attracts a variety of local wildlife, and you can watch for bighorn sheep and desert foxes. After lunch, your guide will take you to the Techatticup Gold Mine. There you'll explore 3 different mineshafts to learn how men labored in search of gold. At its peak, Techatticup was Nevada’s largest producing mine, and the population of Eldorado Canyon exceeded that of modern-day Las Vegas.

From Las Vegas: Hoover Dam Half-Day Tour

8. From Las Vegas: Hoover Dam Half-Day Tour

Travel in style and comfort to the most popular sightseeing attraction in Nevada. The Hoover Dam is a feat of modern engineering and is one of the Seven Man-Made Wonders of the Modern World. Your professional guide will personally escort you throughout your tour to help you make the most of your Hoover Dam experience. Several areas of interest along the way include the historic city of Boulder, originally a Federal town built to house the workers building Hoover Dam, and the beautiful Lake Mead – the largest man-made body of water in the western hemisphere – and dramatic views of the Colorado River. At the dam, you’ll see a live presentation on the Dam’s construction and history, and walk through the exhibition galleries and picturesque observation deck. Finally, venture down to the power plant to view the massive generators. The Hoover Dam Discovery Tour offers ample time for thoroughly exploring this National Historic Landmark and engineering wonder of the world. Enjoy this half-day trip in a custom luxury bus, allowing you a more personalized experience.

From Las Vegas: Hoover Dam Express Shuttle Tour

9. From Las Vegas: Hoover Dam Express Shuttle Tour

Escape the city for a while with a guided visit to the Hoover Dam on a day trip from Las Vegas. Take a guided tour in a shared group, and benefit from hotel pickup and drop-off in Las Vegas. Select the full-day option to enjoy a buffet lunch, and visit the Ethel M Chocolates Factory and Cactus Garden. Get picked up at your hotel and drive to the Hoover Dam, 1 of the 7 man-made Wonders of the World. Travel by air-conditioned bus with deliberately large windows, so you won't miss a thing as you cruise by. As you pass Boulder City, admire the magnificent view of Lake Mead, one of the world’s largest man-made lakes. Learn all about the dam’s history from your expert guide’s commentary. See the giant intake towers that bring water inside the dam to generate power for millions of people. Soak up the views from on top of this unforgettable slice of US history and make sure to snap some photos of one of the world’s greatest engineering feats. If you choose the full-day option, you’ll enjoy a buffet lunch before heading to the Ethel M Chocolates Factory and Cactus Garden. See the production line to discover how these chocolates are produced. Then, stroll through the gardens and admire over 300 species of cactuses. At the end of your guided tour, enjoy the Nevada scenery on the way back. You’ll be dropped off back at your hotel in Las Vegas.

Las Vegas: Hoover Dam Walk-on-the-Top Tour with Lunch

10. Las Vegas: Hoover Dam Walk-on-the-Top Tour with Lunch

Join this fully guided VIP tour and experience the Walk On The Top tour, the Nevada Power Plant Tour, the Boulder Dam Museum, lunch at the Omelet House right on the outskirts of Las Vegas, and a visit to the Hoover Dam bypass bridge. Enjoy a fully guided walk over Hoover Dam and learn about the concrete, high scalers, depression, earthquakes, cableways, spillways, intake towers, outlet works, drought, wages, and tragic deaths. Once you leave Boulder City, head for lunch at the Omelet House on the outskirts of Las Vegas. Stop at the Las Vegas welcome sign and take some photos of the landmark, without having to wait in line. This tour also includes a special bonus - Complimentary tickets to the LA Comedy Club at the Strat! (a $45 value per ticket). All this and you'll be back in Las Vegas in the early afternoon.

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What people are saying about Lake Mead National Recreation Area

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 1,177 reviews

My family and I absolutely loved this activity. The scenery was amazing. Kayaking was very relaxing. Robert, our guide, was friendly, easy to talk to, respectful at all times, and always watching over the group making sure we were safe. Such an easy going guy. I will recommend to family and friends.

An awesome experience filled with fun and exhilaration. Our Pilot, David, was skilled, professional and informative and had us all relaxed and enjoying the flight to the Grand Canyon. We will certainly recommend this experience to friends and family in Australia.

Had a fantastic trip, pilot was great, really enjoyed and would recommend it to anyone, pick up, drop off on the bus perfect, like to thank everyone for the experience i will never forget, thank you.

Sam was a great tour guide. Very social and informative of Vegas activities too.

Gary was awesome. Very knowledgeable and friendly. He made the tour wonderful.