A short drive away from Las Vegas and you can visit the Hoover Dam. Built between 1931 and 1935 this huge engineering construction to control the flow of the Colorado and forming Lake Mead was built 2 years ahead of time and actually well below budget.
You can just stand there and look at the river or the lake or take the Dam tour, which we did and it was well worth it.
You are taken into an auditorium first where you see a short film which is really interesting, even to me who is not engineering minded. The guy who talked to us was also really good and so interesting.
You are then passed to another guide who takes you through the tunnels and into the generator room explaining as you go what everything is.
One of the Modern Wonders of the World, The Hoover Dam is the largest Dam ever built.
We drove to the Hoover Dam and spent some time walking on and around it. It is very impressive. We did not do the tour that goes inside the dam, but I have heard it is quite interesting, if you like that kind of thing...
We didn't go because we wanted to explore the area more. We ended up renting a boat further down the river which was a better way to spend the afternoon if you ask me:)
When you are driving to the Hoover Dam, make sure to park your car all the way close to the Arizona emblem because you will have a better view of the dam. Then just walk down to the other sites of the dam.
At the Hoover Dam, you can actually walk a few steps and you are at Nevada Time and a few steps back at Arizona Time.
If you go at the Hoover Dam when it's Daylight Savings Time, you will see that there is an hour difference even if you are just a few steps away. It's because Nevada uses the Daylight Savings Time and Arizona don't.
Since we went there last March, the time is still the same between Arizona and Nevada. However, the last time we were there, there was an hour difference.
Just imagine the neon lights of Las Vegas without Hoover Dam...It would have been impossible to electrify the whole of Las Vegas' Strip, including the sprouting new towns of Green Valley, Henderson and other adjacent towns had it not been for the construction of this amazing dam that generates power. This dam supplies electricity not only for Las Vegas but also for some parts of the State of California.
Travelling to Hoover Dam by car takes 45 minutes from the Strip. There is also a helicopter tour to Hoover Dam and to Lake Mead.
For us, we took the most scenic route which led us to Boulder City, passing through a vista overlooking the Lake Mead.
If you are renting a car, make sure to schedule half-a-day to go there so you can go to I-Max and watch how the Dam was built and eat ice cream at the souvenir store...
Ok. This isn't off the beaten path but I talk to so many people that go to Las Vegas and forget how close the Hoover Dam is. I really must say that it is one of the highlights of my trip and I think everyone should go see it and take the tour. It is a shame though that they no longer give the hard hat tours, because of the vital importance of the structure, since September 11, 2001.
If you are looking for an adventure in Las Vegas?- Go kayaking with Kayak Las Vegas. Their staff will treat you like family and share their passion for the outdoors. You will start at the bottom of Hoover Dam (amazing view), experience hot springs, see big horn sheep and other wildlife, take hikes in narrow slot canyons, and leave with a new idea of desert living.
If you are driving to Las Vegas from by way of Kingman, Arizona you will get a chance to see Hoover Dam. You will literally drive right by the dam, there is no other way to go. There tends to be traffic so just enjoy it!
Here we are, grandparents and never been to Hoover Dam. Well now we did it!!! It was spectacular....what a story on how and why it was built. I encourage everyone to read up on Hoover Dam...it was quite an undertaking, the engineering, the money, the amount of workers, the city that was built, and more......
To be honest i was a bit underwhelmed by the hoover damn. To be fair i didn't take the tour which may have added some interest. From what i saw, it was crowded and parking was expensive. Aside from the tour the only realy thing there was to do was to take a walk over the damn ........and then back. I also had problems getting a good photo of the damn as we were standing directly on top of it.
I have come to the Hoover Dam at least five different times and this place still takes my breath away. Sometimes it amazes me how people do not venture out too much from the Strip. Theres alot of exciting things to do in and around vegas that do not involve gambling. The Hoover Dam is one of the greatest engineering projects ever accomplished. Many engineers said that it couldnt be done but it was and it still stand today 70 something years later. It was built during the Great Depression and was named after President Hoover. It is the height of a 54 story building and it regulates the flow of the Colorado River and creates Lake Mead. It does get alittle windy here so you might want to bring a jacket. Also bring a camera and take a tour. Parking is about $7 and the Discovery tour is $10, free to kids under 6. It is located 35 miles southeast of the Strip on Hwy 93
For more pictures of Hoover Dam check out my traveloge on Hoover Dam.
This day trip is certainly NOT undiscovered but it really is worth the effort. About an hours drive from Las Vegas is the beautiful area of Lake Mead a shimmering oasis in the middle of desert. This huge lake with its yacht marina is quite a surprise after driving thru dry arid countryside. Theres a large carpark and a walk over the wooden pier out to the restaurant/shop area where you can feed hundreds of big fish jumping and clammering for the morsels of bread etc that tourists throw to them. Lots of water sports here and boats for hire. We went in June and it was HOT...probably 110F! When you leave Lake Mead drive onto to the Hoover Dam, again well worth the visit but dont get too near the edge if you havent a head for heights!! Theres a tour which takes you down to the bottom of the dam to see the turbines etc and the information is really interesting...like enough concrete was used to make the dam wall as would build a road from San Francisco to New York!!
Simply an engineering marvel. I can't believe that Las Vegas doesn't get it's electricity from Hoover Dam. Instead, most of it is diverted to California and Arizona. Don't ever visit the dam the day after Thanksgiving like we did. It so happens that is the busiest tourist time of the year. It literally took an hour and half to get there from Boulder Ctiy. I think Boulder City is only 4 or five miles from the dam.
If you are in Vegas area it is worth the trip to see Hoover Dam. The construction of this massive dam is impressive as you cross from Nevada over to Arizona. If possible take the Forty minute guided tours. You get a better understanding of the history of the dam and it is cool to see down in the dam and the generating rooms inside.We've seen in twice and it is amazing what a few years of drought will do to the water levels there. There are several places to park and take photos as well as a gift shop and a place to eat (expensive though). If you make it to Vegas take a look at this landmark.
Unfortunately I didn't take the tour of the Hoover Dam but we crossed it on the way to the Grand Canyon. Another day I was at the bottom of the dam when I went river rafting. I didn't take my camera because we got soaked and I needed to hold on to the side.
The Hoover Dam is the second highest dam in the country and the 18th highest in the world.