Lake Mead was named after Elwood Mead (1858–1936), who was the commissioner of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation from 1924 to 1936 during the planning and construction of the Boulder Canyon Project, later renamed the Hoover Dam, that created the dam and lake. Before the war, the lake and surrounding recreational sites were maintained by the National Park Service.
Lake Mead encompasses a large contingent of the map to the northwest. Many locations can be found directly abutting the shoreline, including the Hoover Dam, holding the reservoir to the south. Other locations such as Boulder Beach Campground, Fisherman's Pride shack, Callville Bay, and Guardian Peak dot the lake's perimeter.
Several points of interest can be found either on or under the lake itself, including the site of a crashed B-29. Directly behind the plane lies a partially sunken ship resembling a tugboat, red in color, which has some gore bags coming out of a hole in the hull. Directly below this ship is the underwater Lake Mead Cave.
There is another cave system accessible by the lake, Camp Guardian caves, which is near a shipwreck. The area consists of a sunken boat, a half-buried body and a large number of poker chips. Along the lake's floor is also a sunken Sunset Sarsaparilla truck, with its contents spilling out into the nearby vicinity. These contents include approximately 11 dozen empty Sunset Sarsaparilla bottles and several Sunset Sarsaparilla crates. Floating above close to the wreckage is the scavenger platform.
The lake bed is comprised mostly of sand, rocks, and seaweed. There are fish in the lake, although they cannot be interacted with. Lakelurks can be found in abundance along the shores and serve as the most prominent enemy encountered in and around the lake.
- Three Sunset Sarsaparilla star bottle caps - In and around the sunken Sunset Sarsaparilla truck.
- One Sunset Sarsaparilla star bottle cap - On the scavenger platform, along with a copy of Wasteland Survival Guide.
- The lake contains pure water, so drinking it will reset the H2O meter to 0 when hardcore mode is activated.
- After completing the quest Volare! for the Boomers, Mr. New Vegas mentions sightings of a "Lake Mead monster" in reference to the raised B-29.
- Cass can be questioned if she knows what a fish looks like, which is described much like the fish in Lake Mead, by an intelligent Courier.
- Lupe sells bottles of purified water that she claims are from Lake Mead.
Lake Mead appears only in Fallout: New Vegas.
Behind the scenes
- Lake Mead is a real world lake by the same name, formed by the creation of the Hoover Dam.
- The crashed B-29 is a reference to a real airplane, a modified Boeing B-29 Superfortress, that crashed into the waters of Lake Mead while performing atmospheric research on July 21, 1948 - the same date in-game and in real life.
- There are a few hollow, floating, underwater rocks southeast of the Boulder Beach Campground docks. [verified]
- When fast traveling to Lake Mead (when you spawn on the boat wreckage), you can often see the crashed B-29, floating off in the distance by the dock. However, when you approach it, it's gone, per the Boomer's quest. [verified]