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Posts Tagged ‘beach near Las Vegas Nevada’

Travel Theme: Mountains

Posted by Jody on February 16, 2013

Let’s face it. Some people are mountain people. Other folks prefer the desert.

Then there are those of us who would rather spend our days at the beach.

But what if you could have the best of all of these worlds? What if you simply didn’t have to choose?

Willow Beach, Lake Mead National Recreation Area

Willow Beach, Lake Mead National Recreation Area

Wild and wonderful Willow Beach really does have it all!  Mother Nature’s delectable buffet, Willow Beach has beautiful mountains, hot and sunny desert, and welcoming beaches! Less than an hour south of Las Vegas, Nevada, this amazing recreation area is a relaxing respite from the lights, action, and crowds of Sin City.

Located on the east banks of the Colorado River within the Lake Mead National Recreation Area and surrounded by stately mountains, this Arizona oasis is the perfect place to stretch out and relax with a good book or to launch your paddle adventure.  Take a dip in the cool, fresh water or stake your claim for a day of fishing right here, smack-dab in the middle of  the sun-drenched Black Canyon region of the Mojave Desert.

And that, my friends, is how we fit one of our favorite beach escapes into

this week’s “Travel Theme: Mountains!”

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Helpful links: I Hit the Jackpot at Willow Beach

Lake Mead National Recreation Area

Have a great day at the beach!

Posted in Beaches of North America, Inland Shores | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 14 Comments »

Travel Theme: Couples

Posted by Jody on October 23, 2012

Willow Beach, Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Arizona

“If I had a day that I could give you
I’d give to you a day just like today.”

~Sunshine on My Shoulders, Lyrics by John Denver

This week’s Travel Theme is “couples.”

For more on Willow Beach, Arizona: “I hit the jackpot at Willow Beach!

Posted in Inland Shores, Today's Special | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

I hit the jackpot at Willow Beach!

Posted by Jody on June 29, 2012

I’ve made the 585 mile driving trip between Albuquerque, New Mexico and Las Vegas, Nevada many times a year – for 22 years now.  So, there’s no telling how many times I’ve passed the nondescript sign to Willow Beach on US Hwy 93,  less than 50 miles south of the famous Las Vegas Strip. I’m talking hundreds!

Why hadn’t we ever stopped at Willow Beach? Well, for a long time there was major road construction on the Hoover Dam fly-over (it seemed like decades).  Over the years, our in-car deliberations included, but were not limited to: “It’s way too hot to head off onto some remote desert byway.” “We’re almost there. Let’s just get where we’re going.”  “Do we really want to take a detour, especially when we don’t know how many miles it is down the road?”  “It’s probably just some little kayak launch site on the river.” “Are we there yet?”

Road to Willow Beach

On this last trip through, though, I decided I would actually schedule a stop at Willow Beach to see for myself what was out there in the middle of the Mojave Desert, down the dry, dusty, desolate road.

Let me tell you, I hit the jackpot way before I hit the casinos!

View from the shaded picnic tables at the park overlook.

I was absolutely blown away by what I found. Located in the Black Canyon region of the Colorado River, just 11 miles downstream from Hoover Dam, Willow Beach is an amazingly gorgeous and colorful oasis. It really does have to be seen to be believed! It turns out that the National Park Service (Lake Mead National Recreation Area) recently completed a $20 million redevelopment of the Willow Beach area. It shows. Willow Beach has a marina, fishing pier, riverfront trail, plenty of covered picnic tables, multiple comfort stations (restrooms), a cafe, and a convenience store. And, indeed, it does have a kayak launch site.

Willow Beach Marina

The little beaches of this oasis welcome visitors into the placid, crystal clear water of the Colorado. Yes, the Colorado River does flow south through Willow Beach, but the water is calmer (with less current) near its banks. With the air temperature soaring into the triple digits, plenty of folks were splashing and playing in the river, even though the water at Willow Beach remains about 54°F year round. There are no roped off or designated swimming areas, nor are there lifeguards, in this section of the National Recreation Area, so caution is well advised.

Looking towards the fishing pier. Willow Beach National Fish Hatchery is in the background.

By the way, Willow Beach, with it’s million dollar views,  is maybe 3 miles off the highway. It’s totally worth the detour.  I felt like a winner before I even stepped foot in Sin City!

~~~

Posted in Beaches of North America, Friday Finds, Inland Shores | Tagged: , , , , , | 8 Comments »

 
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