Powell of the Colorado

Clark County
  36.30717, -114.42006

"Yeah, I'm not all that surprised the ranger knew nothing about "those big blue signs." Is it that difficult for government organizations to be so informed about things?? The ranger wasn't much older than I am, and I'll say this ... if I landed a job in the national park service, I would make every attempt to know such things. Hopefully in a few years time, he will have. Sometimes I feel I'm on expedition to inform. Perhaps that's really what I'm doing but I only wish after all is said and done I'll be somewhat rewarded for my efforts. Not monetarily. I would hope anybody out there sees all of this hardwork, time, and passion in this campaign and decides to use my information in the earnest, and honest of ways. I'd like to think it will happen one day. For now, I'll put that much thought into full throttle, blowing full steam ahead and kick back beneath this shade tree for a few hours as #37 sits bagged and accounted for in that lovely southern Nevada sun." -- Journal Entry, March 2009

At Echo Bay, 18 miles south of Overton
* Find this one at the Boat Launch parking area *

Original Date Visited: 3/15/09

Signed: No

A Quick Dip into Lake Mead N.R.A!

In 2009, one of the rangers noticed me recording the marker and instantly grew curious as to what it was. I found this ironic considering he was a mis-informed United States Park Ranger. Anyway, the end of our brief conversation ended with him wanting me to emphasize the entrance fee on the website since many aren't familiar with the "pay fee honor system" on this end of Mead. So, here it is ...

This is one of the few markers in the system requiring a fee to access, located fully within Lake Mead Nat'l Rec. Area, a United States National Park. All entry into the N.R.A, even passing through or otherwise, requires a $10 per vehicle fee, with extra fees for boating and overnight use. This might sound obvious, but there is no entrance gate along Northshore Drive and it's easy to forget about the fee in this remote section of the park. Consider this a friendly reminder. Entrance fees from Northshore Drive are collected at the kiosk near Henderson and pay stations are set up at Echo Bay. Since most of you might be coming this way from Valley of Fire, this is of sheer importance. By the way, the fee pays for a seven-day entrance to any National Park in the system, especially awesome if you're planning to bag any of the other parks in the area. Why pay Grand Canyon and Zion's gouging fee of 25 bucks?

Welcome to Lake Mead National Recreation Area, one of the largest national parks in America! Your drive to [37] consists of the lonely "Northshore Drive," which hugs the western shoreline of Lake Mead's far northern arms all the way to the eastern limits of Henderson, a total of 25 miles. Northshore has become a much quieter alternative to the boring 15, and even if you don't stop within the park, the 40mph offers a comfortable drive into the desert backcountry.

(Photo below)

Although the SHPO was unable to place a sign for Marker 37 we do get some signage. Follow Northshore Drive to this turnoff, 12 miles south of Overton, or 9 miles south of the Valley of Fire junction.

(Photo below)
Welcome to Echo Bay. Time to play, "Can you spot the marker?"

A Full Dip into Lake Mead N.R.A!
Lake Mead N.R.A. isn't just Lake Mead! This giant park consists of much more than the lake and in fact encompasses 1.5 million acres of pristine desert back country. Slot canyons, arches, hot springs, river canyons, wilderness areas, and 53 miles of untamed river. If you have access to watercraft, you can even explore the far western limits of the Grand Canyon technically within the far eastern reaches of the N.R.A! This area demands tons of exploration and I've covered Lake Mead N.R.A. thoroughly in my US 93 Marker Roadtrip.

  • Marker 37 and its view of the Muddy River Arm of Lake Mead
  • Marker 37 plaque
  • The National Park Service made their own sign for the Powell Expedition.  Find this one next to the restrooms.
  • Marker 37 represents a long-forgotten, but important piece of American history.
  • John Wesley Powell Expedition, circa 1897
  • The first man to navigate the mighty Colorado River
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Exact Description:
On August 30, 1869, Major John Wesley Powell landed at the mouth of the Virgin River, about 12 miles south of here, thus ending the first boat expedition through the Grand Canyon of the Colorado River.

The expedition left Green River City, Wyoming Territory, on May 24, 1869. For three months Powell and his men endured danger and hunger to explore, survey and study the geology of the canyons along the Green and Colorado Rivers.

Exhausted and near starvation, the Powell party was warmly greeted and fed by the hardy Mormon pioneers of St. Thomas, a small farm settlement about 11 miles north of here.

The original sites of St. Thomas and the junction of the Virgin and Colorado Rivers are now beneath the waters of Lake Mead.

This, and later Powell surveys, stimulated great interest in the water conservation problems of the Southwest.

   Marker Superlative

[37] is the only Nevada historical marker located within a U.S. National Park

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Related Links & Markers:

 [6] - El Dorado Canyon (Head of Steamboat Navigation)  Marker Superlatives St. Thomas & Lake Mead Nat'l Rec. Area (NPS)    The Powell Expedition: Grand Canyon Explorer)    Powell's Grand Canyon expedition: History Channel  

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