St. Thomas, Nevada

 

In an effort to learn how to run this blog, I took a drive out to Lake Mead on Monday. Living in Las Vegas, NV I am so close to many amazing National Parks and National Recreation Areas. Some are close enough to do a day trip and others will require an overnight stay. Lake Mead National Recreation Area is home to many points of interest, not just the Hoover Dam. St. Thomas is one of those POI. Located in the norther part of the Recreation Area along the Overton arm of the lake.

St. Thomas was settled by the Mormons in 1865. The area was prime farm land due to two rivers, the Muddy and Virgin, that flowed nearby on the way to meet with the Colorado River. At its prime St. Thomas was home to around 500 people. After about 5 years the state of Nevada came to collect the overdue property taxes. The Mormons refused to pay and returned to Salt Lake City. On the way out they burned the homes and businesses to the ground. Some did stay and other resettled the town.

In 1928 the building of Boulder (Hoover) Dam was approved by Washington, DC. This dam would create Lake Mead. As the water levels rose it would eventually submerge the town. Knowing this the government reimbursed the residents for their property and they had to relocate. At the lakes highest level the town was 60ft under water. As the Southwest has been in a drought for many years, the water has receded considerably. The town is now above water and you too can go visit.

You can see a well worn path. It’s an easy 2.5mi loop trail
Bruce was hunting lizards while we were out on the hike
There are many old foundations left
You will see many shells along the trail and in the town. Evidence that this area was once under water
I love how the ground cracks after a rainfall