Top 7 Family-Friendly Hikes at Lake Mead
Visiting Lake Mead allows you to embrace nature in a new way. This is the type of experience that is ideal for the whole family. While there’s much to do and see here in the Lake Mead National Recreation Area, including everything from swimming to fishing, hikes are one of the best ways to experience all that the area has to offer. The hikes at Lake Mead range widely in terms of difficulty, but each one of them is worth exploring while you visit.
At Callville Bay Resort & Marina, we want to ensure you have access to the very best activities in the area. We encourage you to reach out to us today to learn more. Here are our recommendations for the best hikes at Lake Mead.
Round trip, this is about 7.5 miles at an elevation of 445 feet. The Historic Railroad Trail is a flat and gravel trail that allows hikers to explore several tunnels. The path leads to Hoover Dam. The views of the Boulder Basin are impressive (our recommendation is to go just before sunset so you can see this area as the sun goes down). You’ll find the trailhead at the Lake Mead Visitors Center on U.S. Highway 93. It is a moderately easy trail that’s perfect for most people.
A bit more challenging, the Owl Canyon trail is about 2.2 miles round trip. It climbs to about 300 feet in elevation. This trail is off Lakeshore Road, near 33 Hole Overlook. The trailhead is in the first parking lot. The trail doesn’t have a sign – but it is located near the second picnic shelter. The Owl Canyon trail is an excellent choice for those looking to explore the canyon. The canyons are winding here. Along the trail, you’ll see how the waterline has dropped over the years, allowing for these beautiful rocks to be revealed.
The Bluffs, as it is often called, is a 3.9-mile round-trip hike. It climbs to 145 feet in elevation. This is a moderate trail due to the conditions overall. The trails are very well defined. They follow along the bluffs. At various points, you’ll see some impressive views. The best of these is when you reach the overlook of the Las Vegas Wash. If you have some time to take this one slow, do so. Look for the wildlife, especially the birds in this area. This trail is in the Las Vegas Bay Campground, at site #72.
Another excellent choice is to explore River Mountains. This is an easy trail, but it is as long as 34 miles round trip and climbs to 750 feet in elevation. This big loop has paved paths around the River Mountains. It connects the region, including the Lake Mead National Recreation Area with the Las Vegas Valley – through Hoover Dam and Boulder City. You can access it from the Lake Mead Visitors Center. Take in as much as you can for an impressive experience.
Another excellent trail to explore is the Arizona Hot Springs Loop Trail. This is sometimes called the Ringbolt Trail. It is about 5.9 miles in length and is probably best for those families who have a bit more experience on rougher terrain. The trail is located near Willow Beach. One of the key features of it is the hot spring area. This is an excellent hike for those who like slot canyons. It can be steep in places. There’s a ladder to climb to the hot spring area. Once you are there, there are three pools.
The key to remember about this trail is that the area is busy, and that can make it much more challenging, especially in bad weather. It’s best to do this trail when there are fewer people so you can really enjoy it. It’s well worth the experience and will help push those older kids to a new level of experience.
Another option for those who are looking for a moderate and short hike is the Wetlands Trail. It is about 1.5 miles round trip. It has an elevation change of 110 feet. The hike is a bit more challenging when the weather is rough, but most of the time, it can be an exceptional experience. The Wetlands Hike windows down the hill. It ends up in a dry wash. This takes you to the banks of a creek. It’s a charming, picturesque type of trail. You are sure to find a lot of wildlife in this area. Most often, it’s not too busy, which means you can sit down, relax, and just watch the birds and other wildlife in the area. This trail is located on Northshore Road. You’ll find it located about a mile after the first marker.
In the Northshore area is Redstone Trail. It’s a very short 1 mile round trip trail with just 80 feet of elevation. This is great for families who are just starting to learn how to hike (and those who want to bring along younger children). It’s a stunning area because the large and red sandstone rocks surround this trail. There is a lot of geology to learn as you take this trip. There is a picnic area available. Pay attention to the signs along the path for those who wish to learn a bit about the region. You will find this trailhead off Northshore Road at the picnic area.
Are You Looking for a Few More Suggestions?
The hot springs, railroad, and waterfalls make this area so desirable. There are many trails in the area to explore. Here are a few additional options to take into consideration when you want more options:
- Calville Summit – a moderate trail with a bit of a climb, but a stunning view once you reach the top
- St. Thomas – a historic settlement area that flooded, this hike is a moderately challenging one.
- Northshore Summit – a short climb of just a mile up the bluffs (you’ll need some rock climbing skills here) to reach a beautiful view of the Muddy Mountains – perfect for those with some skill and the right equipment for the steep cliffs.
At Callville Bay Resort & Marina on Lake Mead, we want you to get the most out of this experience. We encourage you to explore the area and enjoy a safe, socially distanced vacation this year. For an even greater adventure, consider renting a houseboat. We offer a variety of houseboats with various amenities. Book during our “slower” season and save! Learn more on our website.