Tips for Visiting the Hoover Dam
The Hoover Dam is considered by many to be the most impressive dam ever constructed, and it is also one of the historic sites associated most often with the Southwest. When visiting the Hoover Dam, you can enjoy diverse activities such as kayaking and hiking. If you’re thinking of kayaking in Vegas and exploring the Hoover Dam, here are some things to know before you set out.
Kayak the Hoover Dam
If you are preparing for a kayak Las Vegas expedition, sign up for a full-day or half-day tour with Blazin’ Paddles. If you are seeking outdoor activities in Las Vegas that are suitable for any time of the year, kayaking is a great choice. Blazin’ Paddles offers a variety of Las Vegas kayaking options. No matter what kayaking journey you choose to go on, you can look forward to spectacular scenery along the Colorado River and a stop to explore the Hoover Dam. Seeing the Hoover Dam by boat is a unique way to see the dam up close and personal without having to deal with the large crowds that frequent the site. You can also combine a Hoover Dam kayak tour with other stops along the Colorado River, such as the Black Canyon and various beaches. Shuttle services are even available to take people to and from the Las Vegas Strip. You can also explore hot springs on a kayaking expedition while watching wildlife such as Big Horn sheep and eagles.
How to Visit the Hoover Dam
In addition to kayaking, there are many great ways to explore the Hoover Dam. The Hoover Dam is conveniently located just one hour outside of the famous Las Vegas Strip, and it is a natural landmark with a beautiful surrounding setting. Regardless of your age or athletic ability, you will indeed find something to enjoy about visiting this historic American landmark.
While kayaking is an excellent way to explore the dam for those who like to spend time on the water, there are also other ways to check out the dam. In addition to seeing the Hoover Dam from the water, you can also see it from the air! A helicopter tour is a perfect way to see the Hoover Dam from a bird’s eye view. With a helicopter tour, you’ll also be able to look out over the surrounding Southwestern sky and perhaps even catch a famous desert sunset.
The Hoover Dam Visitor Center is a great place to start if you have questions or you aren’t sure how to see the Hoover Dam. At the Visitor Center, you can get all the information you need about touring the dam, and there are also practical amenities such as food, drinks, and restrooms. You can also purchase tickets if you plan to sign up for a guided tour and learn about the dam’s unique history. You can also view some exhibits in the Visitor Center, including archived materials, maps, and models of the Hoover Dam’s infrastructure and power systems. Prices vary for your tour, but you can go on a self-guided tour that covers the exhibits at the Visitor Center along with the observation deck. A Guided Powerplant Tour is another option. Along with the Visitor Center, the Guided Powerplant Tour features a tour of the observation deck, the Nevada Powerhouse, and the dam’s original construction tunnels. A guided Hoover Dam tour gives you the full experience with a tour covering the Visitor Center, the dam’s original construction tunnels, the observation deck, the Nevada Powerhouse, the ventilation shaft, and an elevator ride that takes you to the top of the dam.
Hoover Dam Bridge
The Hoover Dam Bridge, formally called the Mike O’Callaghan – Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge is another popular destination at the Hoover Dam. The Hoover Dam Bridge is a large and impressive site that covers 1,900 feet. The bridge opened for the public’s use in 2010. The bridge features the widest concrete arch in the country, and it is the second-highest bridge in the US, with a height of 890 feet. You’ll get great views of the Hoover Dam and the surrounding area from the bridge. The Hoover Dam Bridge is named after two people, including Mike O’Callaghan, a former governor of Nevada, and Pat Tillman, a football player who died while serving in the military in Afghanistan. Although walking across the bridge is the best way to see the dam below, you can also drive across the bridge if you’d prefer not to walk.
Hoover Dam Lookout
The Hoover Dam Lookout is on the Arizona side of the Hoover Dam. This lookout gives you an aerial view of the Hoover Dam with stunning views. While you’ll find impressive views of the Hoover Dam anywhere, the Lookout arguably gives you the best sense of just how vast the Hoover Dam is. From the Hoover Dam Lookout you’ll get a stunning view of the Hoover Dam along with other nearby popular sites, including Lake Mead and the Black Canyon. Besides the spectacular views, another advantage of visiting the Hoover Dam Lookout is that it has few crowds. An unpaved access road leads out to the overlook that you can take after crossing the Hoover Dam Bridge.
Getting to the Hoover Dam
Now that you know about some of the great things to do at the Hoover Dam, you’re probably wondering how to get there. Traveling by your own vehicle is one of the most practical options for visiting the Hoover Dam. If you don’t have a car while visiting Las Vegas or you’d prefer not to drive, you can also schedule a tour that leaves from Sin City. Many hotels will help you arrange transportation to Las Vegas activities.
Once you get to the Hoover Dam, you will need to find parking if you drive yourself. There is a garage with multiple layers on the Nevada side of the Hoover Dam and multiple parking lots on the Arizona side. Some parking spaces are available for a nominal fee. Note that oversized vehicles must park on the Arizona side of the Hoover Dam.
What to Wear
Temperatures in Las Vegas can exceed 100°F in the summertime and average about 60°F in winter. The springtime and fall temperatures may be anywhere in between. Las Vegas has a generally sunny climate with little rainfall. Therefore, you’ll want to remember to bring sunscreen and sunglasses for your outdoor activities in Las Vegas. Dressing in layers is recommended, as nighttime temperatures tend to be lower than temperatures during the day. If you plan to go kayaking, swim, or lounge at the beach or by the pool, be sure to bring or wear a swimsuit.
Where to Stay
Hoover Dam is just outside Sin City, about 30 minutes outside the city limits. Boulder City and Henderson are cities near the Hoover Dam that have hotels for visitors to stay in.
If you think a Hoover Dam kayak tour sounds appealing, or you want to learn more about other Las Vegas activities when you visit, contact Blazin’ Paddles today.