• River: Colorado River
• Length: 550 Miles
• Surface Area: 164,000 Acres
• Volume: 28,537,000 Acre Feet
• Drainage Area: 171,700 Square Miles
• Average Depth: 225 Feet
Lake Mead is the largest reservoir in the United States in maximum water capacity. It is located on the Colorado River about 24 mi from the Strip southeast of Las Vegas, Nevada, in the states of Nevada and Arizona. Formed by the Hoover Dam, Lake Mead is 112 miles long when the lake is full, has 759 miles of shoreline, is 532 feet at greatest depth, with a surface elevation of 1,221.4 feet above sea level, and has 247 square miles of surface, and when filled to capacity, 28 million acre-feet of water. However, the lake has not reached this capacity since 1983 due to increasing droughts.
There are nine main access points to the lake. On the west are three roads from the Las Vegas metropolitan area. Access from the northwest from Interstate 15 is through Valley of Fire State Park and the Moapa River Indian Reservation to the Overton arm of the lake.
The lake is divided into several bodies. The large body closest to the Hoover Dam is Boulder Basin. The narrow channel, which was once known as Boulder Canyon and is now known as The Narrows, connects Boulder Basin to Virgin Basin to the east. The Virgin River and Muddy River empty into the Overton Arm, which is connected to the northern part of the Virgin Basin. The next basin to the east is Temple Basin, and following that is Gregg Basin, which is connected to the Temple Basin by the Virgin Canyon. When the lake levels are high enough, a section of the lake farther upstream from the Gregg Basin is flooded, which includes Grand Wash Bay and the Pearce Ferry Bay and launch ramp. In addition, there are two tiny basins, the Muddy River Inlet and the Virgin River Basin, that are flooded when the lake is high enough where these two rivers flow into the lake. As of now, however, these basins remain dry.
Lake Mead offers many types of recreation to locals and visitors. Boating is the most popular. Additional activities include fishing, water skiing, swimming and sunbathing. There are five marinas on the lake: Forever Resorts at Callville Bay, Echo Bay, and Temple Bar Marina; and Las Vegas Boat Harbor along with Lake Mead Marina in Hemenway Harbor which are family owned and operated. The area also has many coves with rocky cliffs and sandy beaches. There are several small to medium-sized islands in the lake area depending on the water level.