How to Get to Hoover Dam from Las Vegas | Your Best Options Listed
The Hoover Dam is a top tourist attraction between Nevada and Arizona in the United States, with over one million visitors per year. Most visitors choose to reach the Hoover Dam by car as this gives most flexibility when planning your trip, and deciding how long to stay and explore. Read on to find out the different options for getting to the Hoover Dam from Las Vegas and our top tips on seeing this incredible attraction.
How to Get to Hoover Dam from Las Vegas
The Hoover Dam lies around 35 miles south-east of Las Vegas and can be easily reached in around 45 minutes by car. Alternatively, you can take a tour from Las Vegas to the Dam, or opt for a flying visit by taking a helicopter or small plane journey and witnessing this feat of engineering from above.
Here we’ll give you information about the Hoover Dam, tips on visiting it and walk you through the different options available for visiting the Hoover Dam from Las Vegas.
What Is The Hoover Dam?
The Hoover Dam is a mammoth dam in North America, constructed between 1931 and 1936, that holds back the Colorado River and thus forms the man-made lake, Lake Mead, the largest reservoir in the United States (by water capacity). The large concrete structure is a real sight to behold and is a must for anyone visiting Nevada and/or Arizona. Not only is the Hoover Dam an engineering marvel and tourist attraction as well as a former power plant, it also offers impressive views of the lake and the Mike O’Callaghan–Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge, also known as the Hoover Dam Bypass.
The Hoover Dam was once a major road that allowed you to cross the state line between Nevada and Arizona. However, since the construction of the Hoover Dam Bypass in 2010, visitors are only allowed to drive across the Hoover Dam in order to reach the car parks on either side, rather than as through traffic.
Driving To The Hoover Dam From Las Vegas
Driving from Las Vegas to the Hoover Dam is the most popular option as it is quick and easy and allows full flexibility in terms of planning your day. The drive takes between 35-55 minutes from the Las Vegas Strip, depending on traffic.
From Las Vegas, you’ll want to take US Highway 93 to Nevada State Route 172. As you approach Boulder City, you’ll start to see signs for the Hoover Dam, and you can just follow them all the way to the parking garage or lot of your choice.
The main parking garage is located on the Nevada side of the Dam (Open 8:00 am – 5:15 pm) and costs $10 to park in the covered lot for the day. This is conveniently located for accessing the nearby Visitor Center. Alternatively, there are parking lots located on the Arizona side, the main one also costing $10, and four further lots that offer free parking (but are located much further away from the Visitor Center). You’ll want to be prepared for a long hot walk across the Dam if you park on the Arizona side, bringing plenty of water, hats and sun cream for the journey.
N.B. Oversized vehicles, RVs and vehicles with trailers are not allowed to park in the garage closest to the Visitor Center, so those travelling with these vehicles must go to the Arizona side to park in one of the open-air lots.
If you want a free option for seeing the Hoover Dam but don’t want to park up on the Arizona side, you could simply choose to drive across the Dam, stopping at the pullouts along the way which allow you to get out and take photos for free. Heading over to the Mike O’Callaghan–Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge is another excellent way of seeing the Dam. Visitors can access the bridge via the Pedestrian Plaza inside the Hoover Dam security zone which leads over to the bridge walkway. This walkway features a number of informative signs about the area as well as panoramic views of Hoover Dam, the Colorado River, and Lake Mead.
It is important to note that not all vehicles are allowed to drive across the Hoover Dam, and certain vehicles may be stopped and searched before being permitted entry. More information about the types of vehicles allowed onto the Dam can be found here.
Opting to drive to the Hoover Dam means you can get to the site before most of the tour buses arrive, or plan your trip for later in the day when the main crowds will have departed. It also means you have the car available to visit other sites and attractions nearby. The Valley of Fire State Park offers some epic landscapes and allows you to enjoy a natural attraction as opposed to the man-made wonders of the Hoover Dam and the Las Vegas Strip!
Tour From Las Vegas To The Hoover Dam
If you don’t feel comfortable driving in the United States, you may prefer to opt for an organised tour from Las Vegas to the Hoover Dam, so you don’t have to worry about concentrating on driving or reading maps en route!
There are two main options in terms of organised travel, and these are transport only tickets or full tour packages.
Most hotels in Las Vegas will offer transport only tickets which basically provides you with a shuttle service to and from the Hoover Dam. A simple shuttle pass will probably cost in the region of $25-40, depending on the level of comfort and the length of the trip. You will then have a choice as to whether you want to undertake the Power Plant Tour or the Full Hoover Dam Tour as additional extras. These tours are really informative and worthwhile and allow you to explore the Dam in much more depth than you would by just walking along the Dam and taking photographs.
Alternatively, you might want to book a full tour which gives you a guided commentary of the journey en route to the Hoover Dam, a small group Hoover Dam tour, bottled water and a hotel pick-up and drop-off. A Small Group Hoover Dam Tour from Las Vegas with Get Your Guide starts at $99 and is ideal for those who want a real insight into the history and construction of the Dam.
Guided tours do, of course, vary in terms of their length, cost, level of comfort and guide quality so you’ll need to decide what suits your budget and travel preferences. If you don’t want to travel as part of a large bus tour, you might want to up the budget so that you can enjoy a more intimate experience with a small group tour.
A Flying Visit Over The Hoover Dam From Las Vegas
Another way of visiting the Hoover Dam from Las Vegas is to book onto the breath-taking Hoover Dam & Grand Canyon Sightseeing Flight. This spectacular journey allows you to soar over the Hoover Dam, Lake Mead, Temple Rock and Colorado River as well as witnessing the Grand Canyon, one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World!
The 3.5-hour trip allows you to travel by luxury plane over the region’s awesome sights, with a full pilot narration during the flight to ensure you receive the most in-depth information about the landscapes, Dam construction and history of the area. This tour starts from $243.99 and is a memorable way to experience the Grand Canyon and the Hoover Dam!
Seeing The Hoover Dam By Boat
Your final option is to witness the Hoover Dam by boat by taking the Hoover Dam and Lake Mead Lunch Cruise from Las Vegas. This all-encompassing 7-hour trip allows you to leisurely travel through the canyon in a Mississippi-style paddle steamer, enjoying lunch on board as well as enjoying a full Power Plant Tour at the Hoover Dam and seeing the Mike O’Callaghan–Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge en route. The tour starts from $106pp and includes a pick-up and drop-off from your Las Vegas Hotel. This is a very relaxed option and is great for those who want to enjoy a ride on a vintage Mississippi steamboat!
Now you know all you need to about visiting the Hoover Dam from Las Vegas so you can start planning the best way for you to discover this engineering marvel during your trip to the United States. No trip to Las Vegas would be complete without seeing the Hoover Dam and now that you know it’s only 45 minutes away and really easily accessible you have no excuse!
Let us know if you’ve visited the Hoover Dam and how you travelled there, or if you are planning on adding it to your Bucket List!
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