Exploring Nevada | Kayaking on Lake Mead

Lake Mead has a bad rep as one of the most dangerous national parks in the country. There are also constant complaints about how far the water has receded, compared to even a decade ago. Because of these criticisms, I almost didn’t visit the lake at all. I’m glad I changed my mind.

Exploring On Foot

I first tried to see the lake while staying at a campground inside the national park, but it was a lot further on foot than it looked. I returned a few days later with a friend. We weren’t sure if his crossover could tackle the dirt roads, so we got out and walked to the first beach we could access. The water was freezing and the view was okay, but nothing special.

Exploring With Samson

Despite how underwhelming the first visit had been, one morning I headed back to the lake for a swim. This time, I decided to explore a different section of the lake and was pleasantly surprised by blue waters and beautiful mountains.

This was also the point I decided to get a kayak.

Exploring With the Kayak

When I made it back to camp that evening, I spent some time fighting to get online so I could research kayaks. The ones I had saved on my wishlist were too expensive, so I went back to the drawing board and found an inflatable option for $100. It’s called the Intex Challenger K2 and it’s one of the best purchases I’ve made on the road, so far.

It does take some work to blow up, especially when the manufacturer insists that you shouldn’t use air compressors. In return, you get a lightweight kayak that you can throw into the trunk when not in use.

Because it’s so lightweight, I could go much longer distances than I have in other kayaks. It flies across the water effortlessly. Yes; that’s me all the way out there. I didn’t even realize how far I had gone until I looked back.

Sometimes, the best kayaking spots are hard to reach and require tackling the road less traveled. I’m sure there are tonnes of places in Lake Mead that match this description, but Stewart’s Point wasn’t one of them.

It came highly recommended from a couple at my campground, so I decided to head out there the day before Halloween and check it out. In their defense, they didn’t recommend it for kayaking, but more like a spot I had to see before heading to Arizona.

It’s beautiful, but not ideal for kayaking. It took days to get enough mud of my kayak to stuff it back into the truck and it’s still plastered β€” just more …. presentable. The day I visited, I took one step into the water and sank all the way down to my calves. I almost lost a shoe! Once you get out onto the water, though, it’s beautiful.

Perhaps, even more interesting than the water is the drive there. It’s not easy to find the shore at Stewart’s Point. The dirt roads travel haphazardly through the area in a dirt-road maze that can be easy to get lost in. I got lost on my way in and again on my way out, but that’s a story for another day.

Kayaking in Arizona …?

Now that I’m in Arizona, I have yet to go kayaking and I miss it. But, who knows? I keep my kayak in the back of the truck. Maybe, one day soon, I’ll happen upon a spot that’s just begging me to break out the oars for another adventure. If you know any good kayaking spots in Arizona, let me know!

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18 thoughts on “Exploring Nevada | Kayaking on Lake Mead

  1. Back in high school I did some kayaking on some of the rivers in Colorado and through an outward bound program did some kayaking in the gulf of Baja. I had experience making our own kayaks out of fiberglass. Many years later while living in the Long Beach area I bought a kayak and paddled about the harbor area in Long Beach. Have fun with your kayak and I hope you don’t hit anything real sharp, or it could be a long swim back. Lol

    1. LoL on hitting something sharp!! πŸ˜‚ I have my life vest on, so worse comes to worst, I won’t drown. The kayak also inflates in multiple pieces so it would need to be punctured in about 3 to 5 places to really go down completely.

      Glad to hear you’ve enjoyed some kayaking yourself. It’s a fun sport for sure. Can’t beat the view out on the water.

      1. Also I had to laugh about you trying to hook up your Toyota back up to your trailer when it was getting windy and how long it took you to do so. I hope you have some trailer hook up aids so that you can do it much quicker. I use a couple to help me to w and hook up the llama trailer.

      2. Oh that was a nightmare! πŸ˜‚ I’m generally good doing it by myself. I also back my trailer in by myself with no camera. I’ve had a lot of men come over to me afterward and ask me how long I’ve been doing this because they’ve never seen a woman back up a trailer, much less an RV and without any help. I just get out and look and hop back in the truck, no matter how many times I need to. So far so good! πŸ˜‚

      3. Jerk men…lol. I know many women who back up a trailer a heck of a lot better than me! Lol. It’s not about the sex/gender of the person. I have a male friend who can’t drive with a trailer much less back one up without having issues. Lol

      4. I think the issue is that these are old married men. In the RV community, when couples travel together, the women seem very submissive to me. The men do everything and they just enjoy the ride. I guess having lived like that for a while, many of them either forget or don’t know that there are women like me still running around. πŸ˜‚

  2. Of course the real tragedy is less about Lake Mead and more about the overuse of the Colorado River and the people in the southwest’s refusal to recognize that they live in a desert.(Pardon my rant. So much has been destroyed by dams, and the lakes that follow didn’t make up for the loss of the culture they flooded out. ) On another note, do you have a stationary mailing address. I was thinking about mailing you a book now and then. You can let me know at my email.

    1. I’m not sure what else the Southwest could do to battle the water shortage beyond just deserting the desert. They could certainly do away with some of the fancy golf lawns that need watering and promote water harvesting, but deserts will always be dry and need water. Maybe you know more about the overuse than I do. I’ve only tackled it from the angle of seeing what areas let me harvest my own water.

      My friend just moved, so I have to change over my address stuff. I’ll let you know once I have it sorted. ☺️

      1. I am sure that in time people will have to abandon the area. Ancient people did it and Americans will have to do it too. They aren’t making any more water!

      2. Or they’ll find a solution. Who knows? I just got here, so I’m enjoying it while I can. πŸ™ƒ

      3. Scientists are actually working on some solutions out here….from desalination to harvesting condensation. I saw a documentary on it a few weeks ago.

  3. Quite the adventure! I’m surprised to hear that Lake Mead is considered “dangerous:” your photos of it make the lake look absolutely tranquil. Kayaking is a sport that I’ve done only a couple of times, but am hesitant to do, just because of the risk…but it’s admirable you did! Can’t wait to see what else you’ve been up to in my region of the US. πŸ™‚

    1. Thank you!

      It’s the drowning why Lake Mead is considered dangerous. Wear a life jacket and don’t go into super cold or rough water and you should be fine. None of the people who drowned at Lake Mead were wearing lifejackets.

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