You have probably heard of it. After all, Lake Mead is not just a famous body of water, but home to the architectural wonder that is the Hoover Dam. However, how much do you actually know about Lake Mead? If you don’t live in the Southwest, you probably don’t get hit with too many Lake Mead facts, but it is a pretty interesting body of water.
- It is not technically a “lake”. Lake Mead isn’t actually a naturally occurring lake. It is fed by the Colorado River and has the honor of being the biggest man-made lake and reservoir in the United States.
- It sustains the West. The waters of Lake Mead that spill over the Hoover Dam nourishes everything to the west from Nevada to California. The water from the drinking fountain in Disneyland? It likely came from Lake Mead. In fact, 75 percent of San Diego depends on the water from this reservoir.
- There is a treasure on the bottom. Well, it’s not really a treasure in the traditional sense, but in 1948 a four-engine, propeller-driven B-29 Superfortress heavy bomber was on a secret mission to measure solar variation and crashed into the lake. The crew was rescued, but the plane sank completely intact to the bottom of the lake. It’s so deep and the terrain on the bottom is so rough that divers can’t get a good look at it, but it has been found on sonar.
- Cool water, high temperatures. The water in Lake Mead spans between 45 and 81 degrees which make it popular for swimmers. However, many local sunbathers come to Lake Mead because you still get those 110 degree days that are typical of the desert, but you get to cool off in the water. It’s the beach of the Southwest.
- It is suffering from the drought. The entire west coast is suffering from the drought, but none more so than Lake Mead. The water level has been dropping steadily since 1997, but it is currently at a record low in 2016. In fact, it has never been so empty since it was first filled in 1936.
Lake Mead is truly the beach vacation of the desert, but with the ongoing drought, it might not be around forever. You best grab life by the horns and plan your visit now before it is too late. If you are interested in a trip to Lake Mead and the Hoover Dam, contact us today to see what Grayline Tours can offer.