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 — 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!