Megan Bryant is a passionate writer and traveler who has combined her two loves to help others fulfill their traveling dreams. When she isn’t writing, she’s usually curled up with her 3 Dachshunds and a good book or planning her next adventure—wherever that may be.
Las Vegas is most famously known for its strip filled with casinos, resorts, and hotels. But just outside the strip—some of which are under a 20-minute drive away—are beautiful lakes that will make you forget all about Sin City.
Whether you’re a Las Vegas local or visiting the area to gamble and shop your life away, consider adding one of these 7 Nevadan lakes to your itinerary—you definitely won’t regret it.
Lake Jacqueline is a small lake roughly 12 minutes from Las Vegas’ center, and its location makes it the perfect destination for those in search of some serenity close to the strip. Visitors to Lake Jacqueline can swim, fish, and boat on the lake’s waters. However, sitting on a nearby bench watching the swans swim by is also a popular pastime.
Lake Las Vegas
Lake Las Vegas is a 320-acre reservoir nestled in the heart of the Henderson, Nevada, resort. And like many other places in Las Vegas, the man-made lake offers plenty of captivating activities, including paddle boarding, fishing, and floating trampolines, amongst many other things. The surrounding communities at Lake Las Vegas give the area a Mediterranean-inspired charm, and with views of the nearby mountain ranges, both residents and visitors flock to the waters to unwind under the desert sun.
Lake Mead is a Las Vegas reservoir that was formed by the Hoover Dam on the Colorado River. Roughly 24 miles east of Las Vegas, Lake Mead is the largest reservoir in terms of water capacity in the US and a popular destination for those who enjoy some time out on the water. Spanning 247 square miles, the brilliant blue waters of Lake Mead offer excellent swimming, boating, and fishing opportunities, with the bonus of hiking, cycling, and camping areas for those who prefer to experience the lake from dry ground.
Another reservoir on the Colorado River near Las Vegas is Lake Mohave, which covers a total of 26,500 acres. For those who don’t mind traveling just under two hours from Las Vegas, Lake Mohave is one of the best lakes in the area, and its waters that allow swimming, kayaking, fishing, scuba diving, and boating are an excellent place to unwind and enjoy the beauty of Nevada. You’ll even find a number of hot springs along the northern portion of Lake Mohave, thanks to the volcanic origin of Black Canyon and Cottonwood Valley.
Sunset Park Pond
Sunset Park Pond spans over 1.4 acres in the Sunset Regional Park. With incredible fishing opportunities, walking trails, and picnic benches dotted around the water, Sunset Park Pond is one of the best lakes in Las Vegas, especially for fishermen and families who want a break from the hustle and bustle. While at Sunset Park Pond, be sure to look out for the giant stone Moai that is similar to those found on Easter Island.
Tule Springs, Mulberry Lake, and Floyd Lamb Park
Within Floyd Lamb Park are a series of small lakes that have come together to form an oasis right out in the Mojave desert. Mulberry Lake and Tule Springs Lake are two of the bigger bodies of water, with the smaller bodies Desert Willow Lake and Cottonwood Lake separating the two. People visit Floyd Lamb Park—and its included lakes—for its wildlife, lush vegetation, and fishing opportunities. Plus, as it’s only a 20-minute drive from the strip, it’s a great place to spend an afternoon out in nature.
Upper Pahranagat Lake
The Upper Pahranagat Lake is a beautiful stretch of water surrounded by Nevada’s rugged desert terrain. But aside from the lake’s aesthetic charm, it plays a huge role in sustaining local wildlife, making it a great lake choice for wildlife lovers.
The Upper Pahranagat is part of the Pahranagat Valley and contains three large natural hot springs and three other lakes: Nesbitt Lake, Frenchie Lake, and Lower Pahranagat Lake. Pahranagat Valley is just over an hour’s drive from Las Vegas, but with hiking trails, biking trails, camping, and fishing opportunities, the valley as a whole is an area not to be missed.
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