Mar 1, 2017 We are crammed into this park like sardines. We head out to Lake Mead National Recreation Area which was established as America's first national recreation area. It is a contrast of desert and water, mountains and canyons, primitive backcountry, and busy marinas. Hoover Dam backs up the Colorado River as it flows through one of the hottest, driest regions on earth and created Lake Mead and Lake Mohave. Hoover Dam was built between 1931-1935 creating needed jobs for the area during the Depression. 21,000 workers earned between .65 cents and $1.00 much more than other workers in the U.S.