If you’re looking for an easy day trip out of Las Vegas and would like to see some engineering genius, a stop at the Hoover Dam is a must! Not only is a visit to the dam quite the experience, but the journey through the desert to the landmark is nothing short of amazing. Our Las Vegas tour experts share some details on the Dam and how you can get there.
Where Is the Hoover Dam?
Hoover am is located 30 miles southeast of Las Vegas on the Nevada-Arizona border. It takes about 45 minutes to drive to the Dam from the Las Vegas Strip. However, you can book a tour that will take you to Hoover Dam from Las Vegas and picks you up directly from your hotel!
Because the Dam and Lake Mead are so close to Las Vegas, you can spend a day enjoying this engineering marvel and be back on The Strip for dinner. Check out tour packages that may offer several stops during your trip to the dam for excellent photo opportunities.
Gray Line Tours makes it easy to see the sights without the stress. Book our Hoover Dam tour today!
What Is the Best Way To Get to Hoover Dam?
Depending on how much time you have and what kind of experience you are looking for, you have lots of options when it comes to getting there:
1. Drive a Car
If you have your own car, you can drive yourself to visit the dam or pay to rent a car, Lyft, or Uber. While the dam is not open to through traffic, vehicles may still drive across the dam over to the Arizona side for viewpoints and concessions. Once finished, you will have to turn around and head back via Highway 93 to Nevada. You’ll have to pass through security checkpoints as well.
2. Book a Tour to the Dam
The most relaxing way is to take a Hoover Dam tour from Las Vegas is by bus. Sit back and take in the unique views of the dessert and get some history from your tour guide along the way. You’ll have a chance to stop for photos and see all the best spots.
3. Ride in a Plane or Helicopter
If you’re in a pinch for time but still want to see the Dam, there are airplane and helicopter tours to fly you over the site for a great perspective from above. Prices and tours vary, but there are many options available that leave Las Vegas daily.
What Is There to Do at Hoover Dam?
At the dam, there is plenty to keep you busy for hours. Start at the Hoover Dam Visitor Center for an overview, or sign up for a tour if that’s on your list. Here are some things you can do once you get there:
Sign up for a tour of the power plant
Walk the Hoover Dam Bridge
Check out the theater
View exhibit gallery
Access the rooftop observation deck
Purchase food and beverages at the concession stand
Visit the Hoover Dam Lodge
The exclusive power plant tour includes:
10-minute movie on dam history
30-minute guided tour
A visit to the platform overlooking a 30-foot diameter penstock pipe
Nevada wing of the powerplant
Admission to Visitor Center exhibits and observation deck
1940s topographical map
Gray Line is the local sightseeing expert. Get informative tours and see all the best spots! Book your tour today.
When Was the Hoover Dam Built?
The Hoover Dam opened date was March 1, 1936. As a result of daming the Colorado River, Lake Mead sits nearby and is one of the largest artificial lakes in the world. It covers about 248 square miles and offers Southern Nevada and nearby states a place to enjoy swimming, boating, fishing, and other watersports and activities.
Why Was the Hoover Dam Built?
Hoover Dam construction took about five years to complete from start to finish and has become a significant sightseeing attraction with nearly 7 million visitors a year. As the population of Southern Nevada and the southwestern states grew, the Dam was built to provide:
Irrigation water for crops
Produce hydroelectric power
Flood and silt control
Domestic drinking water
The hydroelectricity generated by the powerful flow of moving water through the dam’s power plant provides electricity to millions of residents, businesses, and facilities throughout Las Vegas and beyond.
Is There a Hoover Dam Drought Right Now?
The highest water level ever recorded at Lake Mead is 1225 feet, close to the Hoover Dam water level capacity maximum of 1229 feet. Unfortunately, water levels in Lake Mead have been steadily declining over the years, setting record lows in 2021¹.
Nevada is working on improving water conservation to help replenish the water levels in Lake Mead, but it can take years before significant improvement may be seen.
What Are the Directions to Hoover Dam From Las Vegas?
Directions from Las Vegas will tell you it’s about 45 minutes away. It’s an easy drive through the desert with several lookout points and amazing views on your way to your destination. To return from Hoover Dam to Las Vegas, you can use the same route in reverse.
Here’s the quickest route from Las Vegas to Hoover Dam:
Use I-15 South and merge onto I-215 East.
Merge onto I-11South/US-93 South.
Continue for 20 miles to Boulder City.
In Boulder City, take a left at the 2nd stoplight onto U.S. 93 and follow for 5 miles.
Take the turn off to Nevada State Route 172.
Follow NV SR 172 for 2 miles to the dam.
If you are looking for an educational excursion with views and history like you’ve never seen before, be sure to put Hoover Dam on your list. Book a Hoover Dam Lake Mead tour today with Gray Line, and we’ll pick you up directly from your Las Vegas hotel in one of our comfortable, air-conditioned buses. Then, just sit back and enjoy the ride!
¹Yetikyel, G. (18 June 2021). Hoover Dam’s Lake Mead Hits Lowest Water Level Since 1930s. Smithsonian Magazine. Retrieved 3 March 2022.