Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Lake Mead Recreation Area - Boulder City, Nevada

Lake Meade is a huge lake, over 115 miles long.  Of course, since the water level is low, it's probably not that long anymore.  But, it's very impressive.  From up on the hills, it's a deep blue, a stark contrast with the multicolored hills and mountains surrounding it.  The National Recreation Area surrounding the lake is extensive, obviously, containing 7 campgrounds with over 1,000 sites.  There are a couple marinas with all sorts of boats, from sailboats to small boats with outboards and then lots of houseboats.
The lake was formed when the Hoover Dam was built in the 1930s.  In order to get supplies to the dam site, a railroad was built connecting Boulder City to the construction site, about 30 miles long.  In order to get the train through the mountains, tunnels were blasted through.  These tunnels and the trail through them are on the Register of Historic Places.  None of the tracks exist, but the trail is a nice wide dirt path snaking around the mountains and through the tunnels.

While the dam was being built, the train hauled equipment and supplies to the dam site.  The tunnels were made extra wide to allow for huge equipment to be carried on the trains.  Most of the tunnels have been reinforced with huge wooden beams inside the tunnels and some have been sprayed with a concrete mix. 

The trail was easy walking and afforded great views of the lake and surrounding mountains.  I went in the early morning and there was a nice breeze, so it was a pleasant hike that wasn't strenuous.

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