I've been to both the Valley of Fire and Redrock, they're really amazing. Valley of Fire has all sorts of indian paintings (I can't remember the correct term right now, sorry) to see, and it's got some really nice hiking/climbing, as does redrock (sans the paintings but with very red stones), check them out if you can. There's also Mt. Charleston, but I think that's an hour's drive and I don't know if you want to come out to the desert to see snow (though it'll most likely be melted by the time you're coming out).
Oh yeah, I don't even swim in Lake Mead anymore. I've seen dead fish floating around, people urinating in there (it's like a constant flow, too! So gross! Drunken partiers going out on their boats, drinking too much and relieving themselves off the side of their house boats, blech.), I've even see a few peices of human
fecal matter floating around. My dad goes fairly often (windsurfing and sailing), but I can't stand it. If I'm going to be exposed to excretion in my water, I want it to be fish poopies in the OCEAN, at least it's much more diluted.
Anyhow, I hope you have fun when you come out here, and if you get a chance, come say hi! It'd be awesome to meet a fellow VBer.
We could go out to lunch or something, maybe.