14 Best Things to Do at Hoover Dam: Day Tours, Hoover Bridge, Hiking, Cruise and Helicopter Tour

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Hoover Dam is one of the most iconic landmarks in the United States and for good reason. It’s a marvel of engineering and design that continues to draw visitors from all over the world. Whether you’re a history buff, an architecture enthusiast, or just someone who loves the great outdoors, there’s something for everyone at Hoover Dam.

Things to Do at Hoover Dam
Things to Do at Hoover Dam

In this article, we’ll explore some of the best things to do at Hoover Dam, from taking a tour of the dam to exploring the surrounding area.

List of 14 Best Things to Do at Hoover Dam

Here are the recommended Things to Do at Hoover Dam:

Things to Do at Hoover DamReason to Do
Hoover Dam ToursLearn about the history and engineering of the dam
Hoover Dam Powerplant TourSee the inner workings of the dam’s powerplant
Hoover Dam Visitors Center TourExplore exhibits and displays about the dam’s construction and operation
Hoover Dam Discovery TourCombine the Powerplant and Visitors Center tours for a comprehensive experience
Hoover Dam BridgeEnjoy stunning views of the dam and surrounding area
Lake MeadRelax and enjoy water activities like swimming, boating, and fishing
Hoover Dam CruisesTake a leisurely boat ride on Lake Mead and learn about the area’s history
Fishing at Lake MeadCatch a variety of fish, including bass, catfish, and trout
Watersports at Lake MeadEnjoy activities like waterskiing, wakeboarding, and jet skiing
Hiking at Hoover DamExplore nearby trails and enjoy scenic views of the Colorado River
Helicopter ToursSee the dam and surrounding area from a unique perspective
Boulder CityVisit the charming town of Boulder City and learn about its history
Where to Stay Near Hoover DamStay in a hotel or campground near the dam for easy access
Dining Near Hoover DamEnjoy a meal with a view of the dam and surrounding area
List of 14 Best Things to Do at Hoover Dam

Hoover Dam Key Facts

Located on the Colorado River, Hoover Dam is a concrete arch-gravity dam that was constructed in the 1930s. It stands at over 700 feet tall and spans 1,244 feet across the river. The dam was built to control flooding, provide irrigation, and generate hydroelectric power. It’s an impressive feat of engineering that has become a popular tourist destination, attracting millions of visitors each year.

FactDetails
LocationColorado River, on the border between Arizona and Nevada
ConstructionStarted in 1931, completed in 1935
Height726.4 feet (221.4 meters)
Length1,244 feet (379 meters)
Width at Base660 feet (201 meters)
Width at Top45 feet (14 meters)
PurposeHydroelectric power generation, flood control, and water storage
Power Generation2,080 megawatts
ReservoirLake Mead, the largest reservoir in the United States by volume when at full capacity
VisitorsOver 1 million annually
ToursPowerplant Tour, Visitors Center Tour, Dam Tour, and Discovery Tour
Nearby AttractionsLake Mead, Hoover Dam Bridge, Boulder City, and hiking trails
AccommodationsSeveral hotels and campgrounds located nearby
Hoover Dam Key Facts

Hoover Dam History and Facts

Hoover Dam was built during the Great Depression and was a massive undertaking that required the labor of thousands of workers. Construction began in 1931 and was completed in 1935.

At the time, it was the largest concrete structure ever built, and it remains one of the largest dams in the world. The dam is named after President Herbert Hoover, who played a key role in its construction.

The dam generates enough electricity to power over a million homes each year. In addition to providing hydroelectric power, the dam also serves as a major source of irrigation for farms and communities throughout the region.

The reservoir created by the dam, Lake Mead, is the largest reservoir in the United States.

Consider reading: 15 Best Things to Do in Las Vegas During the Day 

Hoover Dam Day Tours

One of the best ways to experience Hoover Dam is by taking a tour.

There are several different tours available, each offering a unique perspective on the dam and its history.

Hoover Dam Powerplant Tour

The Powerplant Tour takes visitors inside the dam to explore the powerplant and see the massive turbines that generate electricity.

The tour includes a stop at the observation deck, which offers stunning views of the Colorado River and the surrounding desert landscape.

Hoover Dam Visitors Center Tour

The Visitors Center Tour is a self-guided tour that takes visitors through the Visitors Center, where they can learn about the history and construction of the dam.

The tour includes access to the observation deck and the exhibit halls, which showcase the engineering and design of the dam.

Hoover Dam Discovery Tour

The Discovery Tour is a comprehensive tour that includes both the Powerplant Tour and the Visitors Center Tour.

It’s the best option for visitors who want to experience everything that Hoover Dam has to offer.

Hoover Dam Bridge

The Hoover Dam Bridge, also known as the Mike O’Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge, is a massive arch bridge that spans the Colorado River just downstream from the dam.

Things to Do at Hoover Dam - Bridge
Things to Do at Hoover Dam – Bridge

It’s the highest and longest arched concrete bridge in the Western Hemisphere and offers spectacular views of the dam and the surrounding area. Visitors can walk across the bridge or drive over it on US Route 93.

Lake Mead

Lake Mead is a popular destination for visitors to Hoover Dam.

The reservoir created by the dam is a great place to go fishing, boating, and swimming. There are also several tours and activities available on the lake.

Hoover Dam Cruises

One of the best ways to experience Lake Mead is by taking a cruise.

Things to Do at Hoover Dam - Cruise
Things to Do at Hoover Dam – Cruise

There are several different companies that offer sightseeing tours of the lake, including paddlewheel cruises, dinner cruises, and sunset cruises.

These cruises offer stunning views of the lake and the surrounding mountains.

Fishing at Lake Mead

Lake Mead is a great place to go fishing, with a variety of fish species to catch, including bass, catfish, and trout. Visitors can fish from the shore or rent a boat and head out onto the lake. Fishing licenses are required and can be purchased at the marina.

Watersports at Lake Mead

For those who love watersports, Lake Mead is a great place to go.

Visitors can rent boats, Jet skis, and other watercraft and explore the lake.

There are also several beaches and swimming areas around the lake for those who want to take a dip in the water.

Check the Water Sports available near the Hoover Dam area on the Las Vegas Water Sports website.

Hiking at Hoover Dam

The area around Hoover Dam is home to several great hiking trails, offering stunning views of the dam and the surrounding landscape.

Some of the most popular trails include the Historic Railroad Trail, which follows the path of the old railway used during the construction of the dam, and the River Mountains Loop Trail, which offers panoramic views of the Colorado River and the mountains.

Helicopter Tours at Hoover Dam

For a truly unique perspective on Hoover Dam, visitors can take a helicopter tour.

Things to Do at Hoover Dam - Helicoptor Tour
Things to Do at Hoover Dam – Helicopter Tour

These tours offer stunning aerial views of the dam and the surrounding area and are a great way to see the scale and beauty of the dam from above.

The Helicopter Tour for Hoover Dam Starts at $429. You can check all Helicopter Tour Information Papillon website.

Boulder City

Boulder City is a small town located near Hoover Dam and is a great place to explore for visitors looking for a break from the crowds.

The town has a charming downtown area with shops and restaurants and is home to several historic sites, including the Boulder City/Hoover Dam Museum and the Nevada State Railroad Museum.

How to Reach Hoover Dam from Las Vegas

Hoover Dam is located about 30 miles southeast of Las Vegas.

There are several ways to reach the Hoover Dam from Las Vegas:

  1. Car: The most popular way to reach Hoover Dam is by car. From Las Vegas, take US-93/95 South towards Boulder City. Follow signs for Hoover Dam and take the Hoover Dam exit. The drive takes approximately 45 minutes.
  2. Bus: There are several bus tours that offer transportation from Las Vegas to Hoover Dam. These tours typically include a guided tour of the dam and surrounding area.
  3. Helicopter: For a more unique experience, you can take a helicopter tour from Las Vegas to Hoover Dam. These tours offer stunning aerial views of the dam and surrounding area.
  4. Boat: You can also take a boat tour of Lake Mead, which includes views of Hoover Dam from the water. Some tours also offer transportation from Las Vegas.

For Day tours to Hoover Dam, you can check the Canyon Tours website.

Where to Stay Near Hoover Dam

There are several hotels and resorts located near Hoover Dam, ranging from budget-friendly options to luxury resorts.

Some of the most popular hotels include the Hoover Dam Lodge, the Best Western Hoover Dam Hotel, and the Lake Mead RV Village.

Dining Near Hoover Dam

There are several restaurants and cafes located near Hoover Dam, offering a variety of cuisines to suit every taste.

Some of the most popular options include the Hoover Dam Cafe, which serves classic American dishes, and the Boulder Dam Brewing Company, which offers a range of craft beers and pub fare.

Hoover Dam Souvenirs

No visit to Hoover Dam is complete without picking up a souvenir to remember your trip.

The Visitors Center and gift shops around the dam offer a variety of souvenirs, including t-shirts, hats, and postcards.

Safety Tips

When visiting Hoover Dam, it’s important to stay safe and follow all posted rules and regulations.

Visitors should be aware of the risks associated with exploring the dam and the surrounding area and should take precautions to avoid injury or accidents.

Final Thoughts on Best Things to Do at Hoover Dam

Hoover Dam is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to the United States.

With its rich history, stunning architecture, and beautiful surroundings, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

Whether you’re taking a tour of the dam, exploring Lake Mead, or hiking in the surrounding mountains, you’re sure to have an unforgettable experience.

Hoover Dam is one of the most iconic landmarks in the United States and for good reason. It’s a marvel of engineering and design that continues to draw visitors from all over the world.

Whether you’re a history buff, an architecture enthusiast, or just someone who loves the great outdoors, there’s something for everyone at Hoover Dam. In this article, we’ll explore some of the best things to do at Hoover Dam, from taking a tour of the dam to exploring the surrounding area.

FAQs on Best Things to Do at Hoover Dam

  1. What is the best time of year to visit Hoover Dam?

    The best time of year to visit Hoover Dam is in the spring or fall, when the weather is mild and comfortable. Summer temperatures can be very hot, reaching over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, while winter temperatures can be chilly, with occasional snow and ice.

  2. How long does a Hoover Dam tour take?

    A typical Hoover Dam tour takes about 1-2 hours, depending on the type of tour you choose. Some tours, like the Powerplant Tour, are shorter and focus specifically on the inner workings of the dam, while others, like the Dam Tour and Visitor Center Tour, are more comprehensive and cover the entire facility.

  3. Can I take my own boat on Lake Mead?

    Yes, visitors are welcome to bring their own boats and watercraft to Lake Mead. There are several marinas and boat ramps located around the lake, and visitors can purchase fishing licenses and other permits at the marina.

  4. Is it safe to hike around Hoover Dam?

    Hiking around Hoover Dam can be safe as long as visitors take proper precautions and follow all posted signs and rules. Visitors should stay on designated trails, carry plenty of water, and be aware of the risks associated with hiking in the desert.

  5. What is the best way to get to Hoover Dam from Las Vegas?

    The easiest way to get to Hoover Dam from Las Vegas is by car. Visitors can rent a car, take a taxi or ride-share service, or join a guided tour. There are also several bus tours available from Las Vegas that include transportation to and from the dam.

  6. Is Hoover Dam the biggest dam in the world?

    No, Hoover Dam is not the biggest dam in the world. Although it was once the tallest dam on Earth, measuring 726.4 feet, it was surpassed by the Oroville Dam in Northern California, which stands at 770 feet.

  7. Why was the Hoover Dam controversial?

    The Hoover Dam was controversial because several states in the Colorado River Basin were concerned that California, with its significant financial resources and water demand, would be the first to utilize the river waters and assert rights to the majority of the water.

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