Out for a walk beside the Ottawa River in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada!
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Heading to Nova Scotia around August 1st.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Lake Mead and the Hoover Dam

Yesterday, we took a break from the glitz and lights of Vegas. Our couchsurfing hosts Mick and Sandy have a motorhome and Mick wanted to go camping! So we took the motorhome to Lake Mead National Recreation Area, only about 18 miles (30 kms) away.

The plan was that we would go with Mick and the 3 of us would go for a hike on the old railway trail. Then we would take the motorhome to the campground and Sandy would meet us there with the car.

Lake Mead and the marina, taken from the Old Railway Trail.

The marina at Lake Mead.

Lake Mead was created by the construction of the Hoover Dam between 1931 and 1936. It was in a very remote area and they had to build a railway line to the site to get all the building materials there. There are five tunnels through the hills to the area and the railway line has now been made into a hiking and biking trail. We only did about 2 miles (3.3 kms) each way, but the trail does go about 7 miles (11 kms) return all the way to the Hoover Dam.

Hiking the Old Railway Trail.

You can see the "bathtub ring" on Lake Mead.

The "bathtub ring" exists because of the mineral content of the water, and when the water level was high it left a residue on the shoreline. The water peaked about 20 years ago and is now coming back from lower levels.

Mick and Sandy's motorhome.

After the hike, we went with Mick over to the campground. It's a nice spot, with $10 dry camping. Got the motorhome set up and had some lunch and a cold beer. Sandy then met us there with the car, and we drove the five miles or so to the Hoover Dam.

The Hoover Dam.

The road going over the dam used to be the main highway heading south from this point. But a new bridge was opened a year and a half ago and now traffic on the dam is just for tourists. The picture above was taken from the new bridge.

Pic of the bridge, taken from the top of the Hoover Dam.

We took Mick and Sandy out for dinner, and thanked them for being such great couchsurfing hosts. They are well traveled and interesting to talk to about their experiences and plans for future travel. We leave here this morning, and we're going to drive down to Primm, Nevada and through California for a bit before returning to North Las Vegas this evening to meet our new couchsurfing hosts Mike and Carol.

Sandy, Mick, and Ruth


  1. Nice that you got to Lake Mead and the Hoover Dam. Such great couch surging hosts that you meet along the way. Enjoy your travelling.

  2. Look like real nice people. Great pics, as usual.

  3. That is a neat hike. Great photos, too. Really liked those tunnels, didn't realize they were there. We haven't been there since they built the bridge, so that was a few years back! We took delivery of our new motorhome in Primm last February. Didn't stay long. Have a good trip. Thanks for sharing.

  4. How funny that you left Sherman in Mexico to come RV camping in Nevada!!

  5. We stayed two free nights at the Oasis in LV on our way to Phoenix. Nice RV park. We got 2 nights for listening to a pitch on RV lots. Supposed to receive a small computer in the mail...twt..time will tell. The Oasis gave us a coupon book for the Southpoint Casino. It had a $20 free play coupon. Nice local Casino y hotel. Anyway..Lucky Herb put his first $5 in a Wizard of Oz game, hit the .40 minimum bet and won $420. First big win of our stay in the area and great for our trip to the big Jamboree in Phoenix. I also won $180 but, invested a little more. We are crazy freebie hunters. Did you visit the gardens at the Mirage? My favorite inside odor. Tucson now, to fly to OK to close our house. Keep sending the fun travel news. Cindy y Herb Garvin

  6. We will be visiting the dam also. I like looking at the bridge but am going to be scared to death when Paul drives over it! ~wheresweaver

  7. Hi guys,

    One of my favorite things about RVing is the people you meet and you two seem to have it down to a science! I keep telling myself I will never return to the U.S. but your stories make me reconsider. Thanks!

  8. Having family visiting I have been away from the blogging world for awhile so was surprised to see that you were north of the border. Hope you had a good time at Lake Mead.

  9. Well I just went back to day one to read your adventure in LV :)....I've been off the grid for a bit...and busy running the roads and visiting..you are sure having a blast....way to go guys

  10. Nice to see Lake Mead is coming back up again. It was pretty low when we were there for New Year's of 03/04.
    They hadn't finished the new bridge yet.
    I had no clue about the hiking trails on the old railway lines. This is where local knowledge can really be a big help.
    Not that it needs to be said but, Have fun!

  11. The Hoover Dam is quite amazing. Enjoy the rest of your time seeing the sights of Nevada!

  12. Ohhh had to look twice at that pic of their motorhome! We had a Coachmen Santara before our diesel rig just about like that. The door is in a different place, but same paint scheme and it was a 1994.

    Karen and Steve
    (Our Blog) RVing: Small House... BIG Backyard


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