North Las Vegas may be located right in a desert, but it’s still surrounded by tons of fun waterways to explore. Whether your family is into fishing, kayaking, or swimming, you’ll find so much to love without traveling far from home. Still, if you don’t know where to look for your favorite activity, finding the right waterway around North Las Vegas can feel like a challenge. That’s why Crème de la Crème of Las Vegas put together this list of lakes, water trails, and more. Here are five great waterways you’ll want to check out with your family.

Lake Mead

A rock sits in a waterway in North Las Vegas, Nevada

rock on seashore during daytime” used with permission via Unsplash by sahobbs

If you’re looking for calm, still water, you can’t go wrong with a visit to Lake Mead. The manmade lake is actually the biggest reservoir in the whole country. Lake Mead is located southeast of Las Vegas, and it makes the ideal spot whether you’re in the mood for fishing, swimming, or kayaking.

You can look forward to reeling in a range of fish in the Lake Mead area, including catfish, sunfish, rainbow trout, crappie, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, and of course, the famous striped bass. Some striped bass catches here have weighed in at more than 40 pounds! When you’re looking for a great kayaking route, Boulder Island in the middle of Lake Mead offers one of many options. Kayak to the island, then enjoy a relaxing hike to take in a memorial and breathtaking views. You might even spot bald eagles flying here.

No matter how you plan to spend your day at Lake Mead, you can expect picturesque surroundings. The water shows off color ranging from deep blue to turquoise, while the rugged highlands surrounding the lake makes for some truly gorgeous settings. Because the lake is so big (it stretches across state borders between Arizona and Nevada), it can sometimes have different weather depending on which area of the lake you visit, so keep that in mind when planning your outing.

Black Canyon National Water Trail

The Colorado River offers an abundance of great kayaking opportunities. Black Canyon National Water Trail is one can’t-miss section not far from Las Vegas. Crystal-clear water flows through desert wilderness, letting you explore everything from beaches to caves, coves to hot springs, and more. You’ll need to get to the trail via a guided tour, but these tours are easily accessible from North Las Vegas. Just head to either the Hoover Dam, Eldorado Canyon in Nevada, or Willow Beach in Arizona.

The 30-mile trail is the first National Water Trail designed in the Southwest; it’s the first to go through a desert as well. Along the way, you can spot historic structures from the Hoover Dam’s construction, not to mention cliffs with wildlife like desert bighorn sheep and Emerald Cave, which you’ll find two miles from Willow Beach up the river. With tours ranging from full exploration tours to float trips around the dam, you’re sure to find the perfect experience for your family at Black Canyon National Water Trail.

Lake Mohave

Another reservoir on the Colorado River, Lake Mohave was created following Davis Dam’s completion in 1951. The lake extends along the valley between Hoover Dam and Davis Dam for about 67 miles, following the border between southern Nevada and northwestern Arizona. You can enjoy kayaking, scuba diving, hot springs, and some great fishing with a trip to Lake Mohave.

This lake boasts a sandy shore and beautiful, rocky surroundings to create a serene landscape for paddling or just relaxing in nature. Compared to Lake Mead, Lake Mohave is both narrower and shallower. The lake sits between the Eldorado and Newberry Mountains in southern Nevada and the Black Mountains in northwestern Arizona, with most of its length situated in the steep and narrow walls of various canyons.

That beautiful backdrop also means Lake Mohave is a picturesque place to cast a line. In fact, this lake is one of the best places you can go in the whole Southwest for fishing. You’ll have a chance to catch fish like largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, striped bass, channel catfish, bluegill, and the occasional rainbow trout. Plan your family trip to this lake between April and November for the best fishing. Early morning, evening, and nighttime typically offer the best times of day to reel in a good catch. 

Lake Las Vegas

Lake Las Vegas may not be a natural waterway, but it sure offers plenty of water-based fun. An upscale resort community surrounds a namesake lake that boasts activities like boating, flyboarding, kayaking, and an inflatable water park.

The family-friendly spot makes for a great escape from city life without traveling far from home. The lake is inside of an earthen dam, and it stands almost 5,000 feet high. It’s also more than 700 feet wide, so you’ll have plenty of water to enjoy. It’s easy to spend hours kayaking, though you can also stop by one of the many pubs or restaurants for a bite to eat when you need a break.

Boulder City Urban Pond

If it’s great fishing you’re after, you’ll want to check out Boulder City Urban Pond. You can get to this pond in a little over a half hour from North Las Vegas, so if you’re not looking to plan a big trip but you’re in the mood to spend some family time fishing, this is a good place to visit. The pond was constructed in 2001 thanks to a joint project between Boulder City and the Nevada Department of Wildlife that sought to create a local opportunity to fish.

Boulder City Urban Pond is seasonally stocked with channel catfish and rainbow trout. The area also has day-use facilities like picnic tables and restrooms, taking the guesswork out of planning your outing.

There you have it! Crème de la Crème of Las Vegas just gave you five amazing waterways to check out the next time you’re looking for a fun and relaxing day on the water. Did we miss your family’s go-to local spot? If we did, tell us your suggestion so we can add to our list!