The Hoover Dam | Historic, Iconic & Incredible Landmark

by Denise Marie

Having an arch-gravity design, the historic Hoover Dam is an iconic landmark that serves an important role in Nevada’s electrical network. Using water from Lake Mead and the Colorado River, this structure is located a short drive away from Las Vegas. The famous dam is named in honor of the America’s 31st president.

The Hoover Dam - Iconic Landmark

Photo Credit: Bureau of Reclamation
photographer Jamel Carry

Background and History

Constructed in the 1930’s, the Hoover Dam has been one of the most vital infrastructure components in the American Southwest. This dam provided a strong economic stimulus to the sparsely populated Las Vegas area during the Great Depression. In fact, Boulder City was originally established to facilitate the construction and management of the dam. Today, the dam is one of the top man-made attractions in Nevada.

Visiting the Site

The visitor center at the Hoover Dam hosts several permanent exhibits that cover the history of the structure and the surrounding area. This facility includes a detailed topographical model of the local geography, including Lake Mead and the adjacent mountains. An observation deck is also located inside the visitor center.

The powerplant tour is the main attraction at the site. Led by experienced guides, this tour offers an exclusive glimpse into the mechanical aspects of the electrical infrastructure. Visitors will see the turbines, pipes, generators and other massive workings that generate electricity for the state of Nevada. The 70-second elevator ride takes guests more than 500 feet underground. A theater and other exhibits present the fascinating story of the powerplant.

Located outdoors at ground level, the Winged Figures of the Republic are some other notable landmarks at the site. You can also check out the Old Exhibit Building, which served as an important military base during World War II. The Arizona and Nevada spillways are visible from the walkways at the site. Additionally, the Nevada intake towers are some prominent structures of the dam infrastructure.

Location and Transportation

Connected to Interstate 11 and Route 172, Hoover Dam Access Road leads to the official parking facilities at the Hoover Dam. RVs, buses and other large vehicles could be parked at the Boulder Dam lot that overlooks the Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge. A covered parking garage with multiple levels is located close to the visitor center. Boulder City is located just a short drive away from the dam. Additionally, Las Vegas is less than an hour’s drive from the attraction. Many resorts on the Las Vegas Strip offer organized tours to the site.

Click to visit the Hoover Dam official website.

Note: This information can change without notice. Confirm all details directly with the company in question.

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