UPDATE: AS OF JANUARY 14, 2019 BASIC CUSTODIAL AND TRASH SERVICES HAVE BEEN RESUMED AT LAKE MEAD. FUNDS FOR SERVICES ARE COMING OUT OF FEDERAL LAND AND RECREATION AND ENHANCEMENT FUNDS.
We’ve heard some reports about the conditions out at the Lake Mead National Recreation Area as being…less than desirable. During the government shut down there are no Park Rangers out at the lake, or any federal workers on site. However the private companies are still in operation.
So, to get a lay of the land on what’s operating, and the current conditions, we took a drive out there this morning. And this is what we have found:
The Alan Bible Visitor Center
This is completely closed for right now and fenced off. The parking lot was mostly deserted. There were three dumpsters, all in good condition and partially full.
The Historic Railroad Trail Tunnels
**Note, prior to the closure it has been announced that the trail is closed at tunnel 3 for repairs. But the trail is open to that point.
There were quite a few folks out hiking the tunnels from what we could tell. The parking lot was nearly full. We checked both dumpsters. One was full (not overflowing) and the other was empty. We could see where someone had added a bag for trash to one of the other receptacles, but again, all trash was fully contained. Both pit toilets were operational. One in good condition, with the other…a bit sketchy. Note, if you head out there, you might want to have your own roll of TP handy, as eventually there won’t be any refills.
The Boulder Beach Campground
There were quite a few tent and RV campers out enjoying the campground. Again, all looked quite clean and normally contained. There was a huge row of dumpsters lined up, again being used but not overflowing or full. All looked well.
The Lake Mead Boat Harbor and Marina
Both are open. The Marina restaurant is open as normal. So is the store at the Harbor.
Officially there is currently no boating allowed or recommended out on Lake Mead during the closure. There are no boat rental services currently operating. However there are private boats of course and some folks have decided to take them out on the lake. However, let us be crystal clear – if anything goes wrong out there on the lake no one is coming to get you. You. Are. On. Your. Own. Which personally leaves this humble blogger and former boat owner to say that anyone who takes their boat outside of the harbor area is to become a potential future candidate for a ‘Darwin Award’.
The Desert Princess
She is running daily as they have their own corporation and liability coverage to handle themselves and their customers.
So, in summary, let’s round up a few thoughts:
- While the area is officially closed, people are still using the services out at Lake Mead. But anyone who goes out there needs to understand they are 100% responsible for themselves. If you have so much as a hang nail out there, there’s no one to cry or complain to. So each family or individual needs to decide what they are comfortable with.
- That being said…with the Marina restaurant open as well as the Desert Princess, they might really appreciate seeing a few friendly faces. They employ local residents and help support our economy. So, consider getting a meal out there or enjoying a ride on the Princess.
We’ll hope the shenanigans in Washington D.C. sort themselves out so things can return to normal, soon. We also hope this has been helpful for any and all who love our lake and like to recreate out there.