Lake Mead National Recreation Area
November 9 – 22, 2022

After two months of fighting a defective door module in our truck, it was finally repaired (covered under warranty) and we were ready to resume our fall travels. We had a few weeks to kill before picking back up with our California itinerary, so we made plans to return to one of our favorite standbys, Lake Mead National Recreation Area. We’ve camped at multiple locations around Lake Mead and our favorite is Las Vegas Bay Campground. It is quieter than Boulder Beach, yet it is still conveniently located to Boulder City, Las Vegas, and all the Lake Mead sites. For this visit, I even managed to score our favorite site in the campground! It seemed like we were getting back on track.

What used to be a lake front site at Las Vegas Bay gets further from the water every year

Robbed in Boulder City!

On our first day after moving to Lake Mead, we made a return hike to the River Mountain Trail in Boulder City our first adventure. We’ve done this trail on two previous trips and we always enjoy it. Only the locals seem to know about it and it is a good workout to the top of the mountain with its expansive views of Lake Mead and Las Vegas. We typically only see a few other people on the trail and they are usually friendly retirees. Even though it is just over the hill from Vegas, Boulder City always seems a world apart from the city bustle and crime…until this year.

Atop River Mountain overlooking what is left of Lake Mead

When we returned to the truck, I noticed that a few items in the back seat seemed to be a little out of place. After a careful inventory, we were missing $100 in cash and my Visa card which I had stashed in an out of the way spot during our hike. I don’t normally carry much cash, but we had planned on dinner at our favorite Boulder City restaurant and they charge extra when you pay by credit card. I immediately called Visa and reported the card as stolen. Within 15 minutes, I had a fraud alert text saying a $2,000 charge had been attempted at the Vegas Sam’s Club. What a relief to have blocked that! We also reported the theft to the Boulder City Police Department. A very nice officer took our report and said they had been having problems with most of the trailheads in town.

The break in could have been much worse. The thief passed over several items of value, clearly focusing on items that he/she could easily carry. Having to get a new Visa while traveling ended up being a real hassle and we were out $100 cash. But the worst part was the damage caused to the truck. The driver’s side door lock had been drilled out and now we needed to have that repaired. Yep, the same driver’s side door that had been repaired just 48 hours earlier. In all we made 3 trips back to Mesquite Ford (Henderson Ford would have been closer, but Mesquite takes good care of us) to get our door lock repaired. Total cost to replace a door lock and have it keyed to match the other locks, $665! Fortunately, our insurance covered that bill. Trailheads are a target for vehicle theft. We’ve always known that and, until this day, we’ve always lucked out. The situation could have been much, much worse, but we admit that it did put a damper on this visit to Boulder City.

Historic Low Water Levels

As anyone up on current affairs knows, Lake Mead and Powell, the two largest reservoirs in the United States, are at historically low water levels. Both were running at around 27% capacity during our visit. The desert just wasn’t meant to support millions of people and agriculture. Every time we visit Lake Mead, the level is noticeably lower than our previous visit—and this trip was no exception.

View of what used to be Boulder Harbor

We rode our bikes from camp down to the old Lake Mead Marina at Boulder Harbor. A year ago, we stood at this same spot stunned at how low the water was. This year, there was no water at all. We peddled our bikes past old Pyramid Island (no longer an island). We kept riding and riding, over dry land and past decades of marine trash, until we finally reached the water’s edge. Millions of dollars have been put into the Lake Mead boat launches to extend them and keep them open, but it has been a losing battle as the water levels continues to drop. As of our visit, only the Hemenway Harbor Launch remained open. It is a sad sight, but it is also fascinating to watch as nature reclaims what was once desert.

Remains of the launch at Lake Mead Marina
It was a long ride out to the water from the old launch. Where I’m standing was under water a year earlier.

Northshore Road Explorations

Thanks to the thief that broke into the truck, we got to make three more trips up to Mesquite Ford to have our door lock replaced. The fastest route is up I-15, but we love the drive up Northshore Road (Hwy 167). This is the scenic route up the west side of Lake Mead’s Overton Arm. The pace is slower, the scenery is gorgeous, and odds are good you’ll see wild burros or horses. We took advantage of our extra three drives up the Northshore Road to take in some of the roadside stops and short hikes.

Lonely & scenic Northshore Drive
Roger’s Spring
Early morning at Northshore Point
View south to Bowl of Fire from Northshore Point
Exploring up one of the many washes off Northshore Road

White Canyon Hike

Toward the end of our stay at Lake Mead, we did a repeat hike down White Canyon along the Arizona side of the Colorado River. We hiked White back in January 2020. The 7.0 miles roundtrip hike can be a bit of a strenuous slog through loose sand, but the canyon is stunning. And, the trail takes you to a gorgeous spot along the Colorado River below Lake Mead. For more details on this hike, check out our blog post from 2020.

Colorado River below Hoover Dam

We Still Love Boulder City & Lake Mead

Despite the rough start to our stay at Lake Mead, we still love the Boulder City area. We always seem to funnel through on our north-south journeys and will continue to make this a stop-over point. For now, it was almost Thanksgiving and it was time to continue working our way south!

Dinner at Fox’s is always a winner!
One of several colorful sunsets from our campsite

The Adventure Continues

Join us for our next post as we celebrate Thanksgiving in Bullhead City, Arizona. And don’t forget to check out our Amazon RV and Adventure Gear recommendations. We only post products that we use and that meet the Evans Outdoor Adventures seal of approval. By accessing Amazon through our links and making any purchase (even things as simple as toothpaste!), you get Amazon’s every day low pricing and they share a little with us. This helps us maintain this website and is much appreciated!

4 Replies to “Robbed in Boulder City!!”

  1. Sorry to hear of your robbery. Takes some cheek with an RV hooked up.
    Always enjoy your tales and excellent descriptions and observations.

    1. Thank you for the kind words Kathleen. We were bummed, but we felt so fortunate that it wasn’t worse!
      Happy trails,

  2. I’m sorry that you experienced such a needless and annoying inconvenience during your stay at Lake Mead. Those of us that live here and take pride in our park hate to hear of such dastardly deeds! Las Vegas Bay Campground is my favorite also because it offers so many amenities, space for the doggos to run and because it’s less populated than either Calville Bay or Boulder Beach. Unfortunately that is precisely why you probably got robbed at Las Vegas Bay because of its secluded location and unpopulated campground. I don’t know if you spoke with the park rangers but I’m sure they would tell you that in the off season, they don’t patrol individual campgrounds unless they’re called out there for a specific reason. That is the one campground that really doesn’t see much traffic because it’s basically been abandoned since the boat harbor was moved all the way over to Hemingway Harbor. Regardless, it’s a shame that people have to resort to stealing and vandalizing other people’s property instead of making an honest buck$$

    As for the water level, from what I understand, because of the record setting rainfall and snow in the Rockies, Lake Mead is on the rise HALLELUJAH!! It’s been a tough couple of decades for us so we’re all mighty thankful for that. I hope the bad apples that caused you so much trouble haven’t ruined the whole bunch of us because the vast majority of the locals don’t act or think that way.

    Hope you’ll come back again soon!

    1. Good morning Gina,

      Thank you for your kind response. We still love Boulder City and Lake Mead! We definitely won’t let the bad apples chase us away 🙂 We have met so many wonderful Boulder City locals during our visits. And our neighbors at Las Vegas Bay have always seemed good to keep an eye out for one another. We rarely go into Vegas. Instead, we focus on the quiet areas (off season) at Lake Mead and we do all of our shopping and dining in Boulder City. The town is always so clean and has more of a small town vibe to it that we prefer. That is what surprised us the most about the truck break in. We wouldn’t have been at all surprised if it happened in the city or even down at Las Vegas Bay (as you say- more secluded and unpopulated). But it happened in Boulder City at the River Mountain Trailhead near St. Jude’s Ranch.

      We sure appreciate locals, like you, who always welcome us! Lake Mead is an underrated gem in the winter 🙂

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