Sunday, March 13, 2011
Backroads Destination--Boulder Beach Campground, Lake Mead, Las Vegas, Nevada
This campground has been on my list to visit for almost 30 years. When I was working at Lake Mead National Recreation Area in the 1970's the Landscape Architect invited me to attend a meeting with the campground designer from the Denver Service Center. The Landscape Architect wanted longer spurs with pull-throughs in most of the campground. The campground designer favored a "more traditional" Park Service approach that is short spurs for tenting.
It appears that the outcome was a draw. There are a few pull-throughs at one edge of the campground, but the spurs are much longer than those typically found at National Park Service campgrounds. So this is one of the few Park Service campgrounds that a longer RV can actually get into a spur!!
I am not sure how those trees got that tall. It seems that meeting was just yesterday.
Boulder Beach Campground is just outside Boulder City and a short drive to Las Vegas. For $10 a night and only $5 with a pass it is a deal. The Park Service was hoping that by constructing the campground they could displace the rowdy folks using Boulder Beach and get a "more" mannered crowd. So help them out by staying at the campground and being on your best behavior.
The campground is starting to fill up with spring weather, but we were able to find a spur to fit all 47 feet of us thanks to the campground host. We were even able to remain connected for a quick getaway the next morning.
The town of Las Vegas is now a big city and it has moved all the way to the boundaries of the Lake Mead National Recreation Area. In another 30 years will the public lands be the only natural landscapes left in the west??
In the southwest, there is the problem of water. When Boulder Beach Campground was designed it was to be a BEACH campground. The water was just below the campground. Well, check out this picture from 2011.
It is a long walk down to the beach. If that lake level keeps dropping the lights might start going out not only in Las Vegas, but Los Angeles and other places as well. Nature has it own plans all we can do is react to them.
Lake Mead National Recreation Area is 1,495,665 acres in size. There are plenty of places to explore. Boulder Beach is one of the more "urban" areas in the National Recreation Area. The Lake Mead National Recreation Area website has more information on the other areas of the NRA. If you are looking for a more backroads experience there are plenty of areas that will meet your needs.
It appears that the Park Service has removed all information on boondocking or dispersed camping at Lake Mead National Recreation Area so you will have to contact them and talk to them in person or on the phone. Remember ask "Where can I disperse camp?". The Park Service does not know the term boondocking.
Posted by Vladimir Steblina at 8:20 AM