Hoover Dam

Thirty miles southeast of Las Vegas, Hoover Dam, an incredible engineering wonder, spans between the states of Nevada and Arizona.

In the early 1930s, the United States suffered through the Great Depression. People needed work, and 21,000 men found it through the construction project of Hoover Dam. The dam was constructed on the Colorado River. One of its purposes is to control flood; another is to store water, as can be seen from the water levels in Lake Mead, a popular place for water activities. Hoover dam is not only essential in maintaining fish and wildlife habitat, but it also provides hydroelectric power for a huge population in the United States.

Hoover Dam visitors can experience the dam in a few different ways. You may drive across it in your vehicle or park in the parking garage (for a fee of $10) and stroll across it by foot. (No foot traffic is allowed at dark.) You may not want to do this if you are afraid of heights, as the distance from the dam’s base to the road is over 700 feet! The Visitor Center is opened every day from 9 am to 5 pm, but it is closed on Thanksgiving and December 25. Tour the Powerplant for $15 or the Dam for $30.

When you plan your visit to Hoover Dam, be sure to arrive by 2 pm to beat the crowds. The months of January and February are the best months to go to the dam to avoid crowds, and the weather can be quite pleasant at that time too. If you go during the summer prepare for extremely hot weather and a lot of sun. (It usually seems to be hotter at Hoover Dam than in the city of Las Vegas.) If you suffer from claustrophobia, you may want to skip the Dam tour and Powerplant tour. If you have a pacemaker or defibrillator, do not go on the Powerplant tour; the generators emit electromagnetic fields that can disrupt some medical devices.