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    Hoover Dam tour: how to visit America's most famous dam

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    Lluis Enric Mayans

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    If you are in Las Vegas and you want to find an activity other than gambling or swimming in the pool, in addition to visiting Valley of Fire, you may perhaps consider taking a tour to Hoover Dam, the imposing dam located in the Black Canyon, on the Colorado River, built with great effort between 1931 and 1935: for a break from the hypnotic lights and the arcades of Las Vegas there is nothing better than a visit on a engineering marvel like this one, straddling the border between Nevada and Arizona.

    You have 2 options: visit Hoover Dam on your own or choose an organized tour.


    • Visit Hoover Dam on your own
    • Visit Hoover Dam on an organized tour

    Visiting Hoover Dam on your own: is it possible?

    The answer is yes, but with some limitations. Here are some useful info on how to get there and how to visit Hoover Dam independently, and where to sleep near the dam.

    How to get to Hoover Dam from Las Vegas

    Take US Highway 93 South and continue along it for approximately 20 miles to Boulder City. Arrived at Boulder City, turn left at the second light and continue on US 93 for approximately 5 miles to the turnoff for Nevada State Route 172, the access road to Hoover Dam. After two miles you will arrive at the dam, right on the border of Nevada and Arizona.

    Visit Hoover Dam: useful info

    The dam is open from 9am to 17pm. The entrance by your own means is subject to some limitations, which you can read in this guide. If you are driving, you will probably find queues, due to the scruples police checks, this being a high risk area for terrorist attacks. After that, due to the hot weather, it is advisable to leave the car in the covered parking lots before setting off for the visit: there are free parking spaces, but they are very far from the Visitor Center. The Admission and Dam Tower (the most complete) can only be purchased on site, while online it is possible to buy only the Power Plant Tour, at a cost of $ 15 (find it here).


    If you want to sleep near Hoover Dam, you could choose the nearby town of as a strategic point Boulder city (find a list of hotels on this page). Otherwise, if you decide to go back to Las Vegas, don't forget to check out our article on where to sleep in Las Vegas.

    Hoover Dam tour: how to choose your guided tour

    Although it is possible to visit the dam independently, the best strategy for a visit certainly appears to be to make a tour di Hoover Dam: in this way you will be guided in an in-depth tour of the dam and the power plant, getting to know the functioning and the secrets of the impressive structure up close.

    So here's our selection of the best tours in Hoover Dam: available by bus, jeep and helicopter.

    Tour Hoover Dam in bus e jeep

    Hoover Dam tour by bus

    • Duration: 4,5 hours (1,5-2 at the dam)
    • Price: from 38 $

    This tour a Hoover Dam in bus begins with pickup from your Las Vegas hotel. After a quick check-in, a short drive across the Nevada desert awaits you to Lake Mead. When you arrive at the dam you will be greeted by a tour guide from the Department of Reclamation, who will take you along the top of the structure to finally observe the engineering work of art of the Mike O’Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge.

    The visit will continue inside the dam, where you will be shown the operation of the immense power generators, and shown, in construction details, the reinforced concrete structure of Hoover Dam. After that, you can reach the Visitor Center and enjoy a video. documentary on the construction of the dam. Of course, you will also have time to walk on the dam and photograph the incredible panorama that you will find in front of you, before being taken back to the hotel.

    Buy the tour

    Platinum Tour of the Hoover Dam by Jeep

    • Duration: 4 hours (2,5 to the dam)
    • Price: from $ 98 per person

    Far more intriguing is this tour, which includes a visit to the diga di Hoover in jeep approved for 10 people, so as to enjoy a ride that is as personalized as possible. Unlike the bus tour, before the visit of the dam, the jeep will drive you to some exclusive viewpoints, such as Boulder City for example, to fully enjoy the view of the Colorado River and Lake Mead, not to mention the passage on the Mike O'Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge, the highest vantage point of the dam (helicopter excluded!).

    The remainder of the visit includes a guided tour of the power plant and a live presentation of the dam construction techniques, as well as the usual visit to the top, a privileged moment for your photos of the lake and the whole canyon. Obviously, there is a return transfer service to the Las Vegas hotel but, for safety reasons, children under 2 years of age are excluded from the tour.

    Buy the tour

    Tour Hoover Dam in elicottero

    Hoover Dam tour by helicopter

    • Duration: About 3 hours (15 minutes in flight)
    • Price: from 99$

    This Hoover Dam helicopter tour it is the best for those who want to enjoy a breathtaking aerial view of the dam and Lake Mead, but excludes the possibility of visiting the structure inside. A shuttle will pick you up at your Las Vegas hotel and take you to the Boulder City heliport, where you will board a deluxe helicopter that will fly low over the dam - a magnificent panorama awaits you from the top of this engineering marvel. that splits the border between Nevada and Arizona. After a flight of approximately 15 minutes, you will return to the terminal to take the shuttle back to the hotel.

    Buy the tour

    Hoover Dam combo tour by bus and helicopter

    • Duration: 6 hours (about 3 to the dam, about 18 minutes in flight)
    • Price: from 139 $

    If you do not want to give up the guided tour inside the dam, but not even the aerial view, here is the tour for you. Your tour will begin with shuttle service from your hotel into downtown or along the Las Vegas Strip. From here the short will begin travel by bus to the Boulder City and Hoover Dam area. You will walk to the top of the dam (one foot in Nevada and one in Arizona), visit the power plant, learn about the mechanics and techniques of dam building through guide explanations and informative videos.

    Again, you can go to the Visitor Center. After that, you will be escorted to the Boulder City heliport and enjoy the second part of the tour, the one from above: a 15-18 minute helicopter flight on the majestic sight of the dam and Lake Mead, before returning to Las Vegas by bus.

    Buy the tour

    As you may have noticed, the choice is not lacking, and your stay in Las Vegas can be enriched with a truly unusual visit. And then you are ready for your unforgettable tour di Hoover Dam?


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