The Hoover Dam is one of those incredibly beautiful pieces of architecture in the United States that is a MUST see. Honestly, pictures don't do the Hoover Dam any justice and we never thought it would be that 'cool' of a place to see... needless to say... we were speechless when we finally saw it in person! In this travel blog, we give you a TON of insight for when you take your next visit and some photos (that don't do it justice).
Visiting the Hoover Dam is something we would definitely recommend to anyone looking for things to do, especially if you are staying in Las Vegas (like we did)! This big beautiful piece of incredibly engineered concrete, is seriously a sight for sore eyes (see some pictures we took HERE).
I'll be honest, at first, we weren't that excited about going to see a 'Dam', but wowza... we were totally wrong. Literally nestled in between the incredible Black Canyons, separating Arizona and Nevada from one another, while the Colorado River passes just beneath your feet... It's truly an incredible sight to see! If you want to see the Hoover Dam vs reading about it, we will be posting it HERE on our YouTube channel .
So, as we are all too aware, covid (we like to call it 'The Beer Virus'), has certainly slowed travel and tourist attractions to a very very slow crawl (especially in Las Vegas & surrounding areas). And sadly because of this, some of the Dam's coolest parts were STILL closed down while we were there (December 2020), leaving us with only the ability to take in the views and nothing more.
So, before you make plans to visit the Hoover Dam, be sure to check out the Hoover Dam's website for updates on what's open and what's closed https://www.usbr.gov/lc/hooverdam/service/index.html
or just come back to this travel blog & click the link above.
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Ok, let's get into the good stuff and move on to what y'all are interested in learning about, and answer some of the questions that arise when visiting this big beautiful place...
Obviously this depends where you are staying in Vegas. I'm going to assume most visitors coming from Las Vegas, will be staying on the the strip (Las Vegas Blvd). So, the Hoover Dam is roughly only about 35-40 miles away ... that's pretty Dam close (pun intended 🤣)... sorry, I had to do it 🤪
I'll be honest, the cheapest way to get to the Hoover Dam, is to rent a car if possible. If you're curious, we always rent with Expedia and have the best luck with prices. If renting a car is NOT an option, there are multiple locations that offer tours... like a BAZILLION... we suggest FIRST checking Groupon. Generally you will get the best bang for your buck and save more money for the slot machines😜 You can also check with your hotel concierge... they generally have a list of vendors near by, and they will pick you up.
Yes and No, it depends if you are wanting to do a tour or just do some sight seeing on your own. There is no entrance fee just to get to the Dam, but there is a fee to do any of the tours and to gain entrance into the visitors center (see the prices here). The Dam Tour was on our list, but unfortunately, as I said before, no tours were running and even the visitors center was closed.
QUICK TIP: The Dam tour tickets are not sold online, must be purchased in person, and it's on a first come first serve basis. So if you are wanting to tour the inside of the Dam, get there as early as possible, especially during the summer time and weekends, to ensure a spot!
There are multiple areas that are free to park in, and there are also paid parking areas as well. You can find free & paid parking on both the Nevada side and the Arizona side. The paid parking areas are the closest to the Dam itself, essentially creating less walking. On the Nevada side there is a larger parking garage, which is closest to the visitors center, but you will be paying a fee to park there. Since there is only one way in/over the Hoover Dam, people tend to forget about the additional parking in the back (the Arizona side). So if you are visiting for the first time, be sure to make your way to the Arizona side and check for parking there.
QUICK TIP: Once again, this is a major tourist area and the parking fills up REALLY quick, especially during the summer time and weekends. So get there as early as possible to get a parking spot!
Yes! The first available RV parking is at the first parking lot (Boulder Dam Bridge/Bridge Overlook), and there is more RV parking on the other side of the Dam (Arizona side). Here is a list of vehicles that are/are not allowed over the Hoover Dam ➡ https://www.usbr.gov/lc/hooverdam/crossingguide.pdf
I'll be honest, this is a view you DO NOT want to miss! We actually almost drove right past it, so it's SUPER easy to miss once you get passed security. As soon as you go through security (yes, there is a security check before you get to the Dam), and drive about a half mile down the road, take the first right turn available into the Boulder Dam Bridge Parking. This is where you will see the stairs/walkway to get up to the Memorial Bridge (Interstate 11) and get an incredible birds eye view of the Hoover Dam (see some pictures HERE).
QUICK TIP: This is the FIRST parking area and fills up VERY quickly, especially during the summer time & weekends (get there early). Also, at the top of the stairs/walkway there are multiple information signs and plaques, do read them...lots of cool info! Oh... and it is SUPER loud (highway traffic), and can get very windy once you get to the bridge walkway, so be prepared for that.
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Ok, so here's the deal... we were visiting the Dam in the winter time and holy cow it was seriously freezing! I'll be honest, we didn't realize just how cold the desert can get and could have been much more prepared! Here's a list of items that we suggest bringing when you make your visit whether it's during the summer or winter time! Also, HERE is our Las Vegas Packing List, if you need some ideas there too.
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- Ashley, (Nate & Blake)
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