Standing strong amidst millennia old canyon, against the brute force of the Colorado River is the concrete mammoth – the Hoover Dam. The dam located along the border of the US states of Nevada and Arizona is an engineering marvel. One of the largest and earliest dams in the US, the Hoover Dam was built more than 80 years ago in 1936. A short distance of 40 miles away from Las Vegas and about 95 miles away from the Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam is an ideal day-trip destination. More than 6 million tourists visit the dam each year and take Hoover Dam Tours to explore this iconic landmark.
Why go on a Hoover Dam tour from Vegas?
The Hoover Dam is indeed a symbol of America’s Pride and is recognized as a National Historic Landmark for its engineering innovations. It was a human endeavor that costed lives and was an unimaginable undertaking for its time. , Musical Theatres, adult commodities stores, bars and restaurants aplenty at Reeperbahn. Let’s now look at the places you can’t miss in this precinct.
The scenic location of the dam makes it even more special and worth a visit. The dam construction caused the creation of Lake Mead, the largest human-made reservoir in the USA and today you can cruise along the pristine blue waters of the lake in a traditional paddle wheeler.
Not just the lake but the dam itself is a visual treat. Right from the colossal proportions of the dam to its art deco style including the ‘Winged Figures of the Republic’, the dam has breathtaking aesthetics. The Memorial Bridge and the State Line make for other memorable spots near the Hoover Dam.
The dam administration conducts Hoover Dam tours to help visitors fully appreciate the dam and learn more about its functions including a visit to the generators and the inside of the dam. It is a great way to spend a few hours on a visit to the Grand Canyon from Las Vegas.
Best Hoover Dam Tours from Vegas
1) Hoover Dam and Lake Mead Cruise
- Take in views of the monumental Hoover Dam, among the greatest American Engineering Marvels
- Experience the Southern lifestyle on the Desert Princess, an authentic Mississippi-style Paddle Wheeler
- Enjoy the views of the serene Lake Mead and the ever-changing colors of the hills around it
- Share a meal with your loved ones on the relaxing cruise and create picturesque memories
Hoover Dam and Lake Mead Cruise
Explore the Hoover Dam and its surrounding beauty with a cruise on Lake Mead.
2) Hoover Dam Tour
- Witness the spectacular magnitude of the Hoover Dam and the Aeizona Spillway and Arizona Look Out
- Enter the belly of the beast and go 500 feet underground to explore the inner workings of the dam
- Admire the engineering and art deco style architecture of the dam including memorials to the workers and sculptures
- Enjoy a complimentary free pick up and drop from the comfort of your hotel
Hoover Dam Tour
Go on a tour of the Hoover Dam and witness an Engineering Marvel up close.
3) Platinum Hoover Dam Deluxe Tour
- Head to the Hoover Dam in a custom touring Mercedes Sprinter like a VIP
- Explore the Hoover Dam on a VIP Discovery Tour with access to exhibit’s area, movie room, observation deck, and the generator room
- Enjoy a scrumptious lunch at Hoover Dam Lodge a landmark in Boulder City for over 60 years.
- Stop at the iconic Welcome to Las Vegas sign and capture a memory for a lifetime
Platinum Hoover Dam Deluxe Tour
Enjoy a VIP tour of the Hoover Dam and luxuriate in true-blue American opulence.
4) Visionary Air and Hoover Dam Bus Tour
- Enjoy incredible aerial views of the Grand Canyon and Hoover Dam in a special airplane
- Watch the remarkable engineering feat of taming the Colorado River and one of the largest concrete structures on Earth
- Visit the interiors of the Hoover Dam in a special guided VIP Tour
- Savor a quick lunch and head out on the dam to relish the scenic panoramas of the dam
Visionary Air and Hoover Dam Bus Tour
Fly over the Grand Canyon and the Hoover Dam in this unique sightseeing tour.
History of Hoover Dam
It was the early 1900s, and the US Government was speculating on ways to build a dam near Boulder Canyon to control flooding of the Colorado River and produce hydroelectric power. It was only in 1931 that the site was identified and the construction awarded to Six Companies Inc. The Hoover Dam was to be a concrete arch-gravity dam, and was going to employ engineering and construction techniques that were unproven! In 1936, the Hoover Dam was completed ahead of its schedule. The dam created economic opportunities for thousands right after the Great Depression and also led to the growth of two bustling cities – Boulder City and Las Vegas.
Interesting Facts about Hoover Dam
- The dam was built two years ahead of schedule and at a cost of $49 million which is about $639 million in 2016 dollars.
- The Hoover Dam is a concrete gravity-arch dam which is thick at the bottom (660ft) and thin at the top (45ft).
- The electricity generated at the Hoover Dam supports three states – California, Nevada, and Arizona
- The dam used about 3,250,000 cubic yards of concrete in the dam or enough to build a highway from San Francisco to New York. They used special cooling techniques as otherwise, the cement wouldn’t have cooled off even 125 years later!
- Lake Mead is the largest manmade reservoir, caused due to damming of the Colorado River, and stretches across 248 square miles. Visitors can see a white ring all around the lake called the ‘bathtub ring’ when the water levels are low, this white ring is due to the leaching of minerals under water.
- Over 10,000 people worked on the Hoover Dam project and about 100 men died. Visitors can see the memorial for them at the Hoover Dam Tour which states ‘They died to make the desert bloom’.
Know Before You Go From Vegas To Hoover Dam
Distance from Las Vegas to Hoover Dam
Duration for travel from Vegas to Hoover Dam
Getting from Vegas to Hoover Dam
The Hoover Dam can be accessed at these GPS Coordinates: N 36.016222, W -114.737245
The dam is located on the US Highway 93 and visitors can park their vehicles on the Nevada Side of the dam at a parking fee of $10.00.
There are no public transportation options from Vegas to Hoover Dam. You can choose a tour from here that offers complimentary pickup and drop facility.
Tips for Visiting Hoover Dam
- Ensure you are carrying a water bottle with you all the time. The area around the dam be quite hot during the hot and can cause dehydration.
- Don’t carry any big luggage and any hazardous materials. You can follow the thumb rule of items that clear airport security, this is because the Hoover Dam is under intense security and there will be multiple checks throughout your time there.
- The Mike O’Callaghan- Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge is right opposite the Hoover Dam and carries the U.S.Route 93. It is the best place to view the Hoover Dam in all its glory. There is a plaza where you can walk and stop to take pictures. It is also the widest concrete-steel arch bridge in the USA.
- You are not allowed to take food (even chewing gum) and beverages inside the Hoover Dam. You can fuel up at the visitor center where you can get affordable food. Or you can simply choose from the Hoover Dam Tours that offer complimentary meals.
- Wear comfortable shoes as there is a lot of walking involved and carry protection from the sun including sunblock, hat or scarf to protect your hair from the sun and wind.