Hoover Dam

Price guide: Free

Hoover Dam, Boulder City, Nevada , 89005

Price guide: Free

Hoover Dam
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By Julia Buckley, your Las Vegas expert

I write for GQ, HotelChatter, Jaunted, .... Read more
#3 of 20
expert-rated things to do in Las Vegas
Expert overall rating:4.9 out of 5
Value for money:
Recommended for:
Families with teenagers, Mature travellers, Seasoned travellers, Great views / scenery

Expert review of Hoover Dam

One of the most iconic architectural structures in the States, this is breathtaking.

You probably already know what the Hoover Dam looks like. Constructed during the Great Depression and inaugurated by Roosevelt, it's one of America's most iconic structures, and up close, it's simply phenomenal, even if, like me, you get queasy looking down its 726ft length. What's fascinating about the dam is its accessibility - it's currently part of the main road from Vegas to Phoenix, and you can drive or walk across it at your leisure. This is set to change, however, with the construction of a bypass, due to be completed towards the end of 2010 - when the new bridge opens, cars will no longer be able to drive across the dam. So catch it while you can! Driving across really feels like you're a part of history.

Make sure you get out, either for a wander (it backs up against Lake Mead, so the views are fantastic, and walking across the dam takes you into Arizona and a different time zone, so it's lots of fun for families) or a proper tour of either the power plant at the base of the dam, or an hour-long tour of the dam itself (you'll get to walk through passageways within the dam).

Price advice: 

I listed it as free, above, which it is - if you're happy to park in the roadside layby spaces on the Arizona side (this entails a little walk down the hill to the dam). If you park in the carpark on the Nevada side (ie the side you'll be coming from if you're travelling from Vegas), it will cost you US$7. If you take a tour, it'll cost US$11.00 (US$9 for seniors and under 16s) for the powerplant and $30 for the full dam tour.

Expert tips: 
Time your visit carefully - never go on a Friday on a Sunday, when traffic between Vegas and Arizona is fiendish. I did it once, and it took three hours.
Park a little way up on the Arizona side, where it's free - you'll save the $7 parking charge in the Nevada carpark.

More information on Hoover Dam:

Price guide:
Architectural site, Lake / river / canal, Landmark / monument
Hoover Dam, Boulder City, Nevada , 89005
Months open:
All year round
Opening times:
Currently, the dam itself is open 24/7, because it's a main road (the US 93 to Arizona). However, once the bypass is completed (scheduled for late November 2010) it will no longer be a thoroughfare and will abide by the current parking hours, which are 8am-5.45pm daily. Tours run 9am-6pm.

Have you been to Hoover Dam? Would you recommended it?