Located 35 miles southeast of Las Vegas, the reservoir was created by the damming of the Colorado River. It was named after Elwood Mead, the Bureau of Reclamation commissioner at the time. The lake draws thousands of visitors to this wondrous contrast of desert and water. Lake Mead National Recreation Area was the first of its kind in 1964. Now, millions of visitors come each year to enjoy the many recreational opportunities found within the park’s diverse landscape.