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Hoover Dam, Boulder City

4.6
#1 of 42 in Things to do in Boulder City
Must see · Dam · Nature / Park
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Hoover Dam is a concrete arch-gravity dam in the Black Canyon of the Colorado River, on the border between the U.S. states of Nevada and Arizona. It was constructed between 1931 and 1936 during the Great Depression and was dedicated on September 30, 1935, by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Its construction was the result of a massive effort involving thousands of workers, and cost over one hundred lives. It was referred to as Hoover Dam after President Herbert Hoover in bills passed by Congress during its construction, but was named Boulder Dam by the Roosevelt administration. The Hoover Dam name was restored by Congress in 1947.

Since about 1900, the Black Canyon and nearby Boulder Canyon had been investigated for their potential to support a dam that would control floods, provide irrigation water and produce hydroelectric power. In 1928, Congress authorized the project. The winning bid to build the dam was submitted by a consortium named Six Companies, Inc., which began construction of the dam in early 1931. Such a large concrete structure had never been built before, and some of the techniques were unproven. The torrid summer weather and lack of facilities near the site also presented difficulties. Nevertheless, Six Companies turned the dam over to the federal government on March 1, 1936, more than two years ahead of schedule.

Hoover Dam impounds Lake Mead, the largest reservoir in the United States by volume when full. The dam is located near Boulder City, Nevada, a municipality originally constructed for workers on the construction project, about 30 mi (48 km) southeast of Las Vegas, Nevada. The dam's generators provide power for public and private utilities in Nevada, Arizona, and California. Hoover Dam is a major tourist attraction; nearly a million people tour the dam each year. The heavily traveled U.S. Route 93 (US 93) ran along the dam's crest until October 2010, when the Hoover Dam Bypass opened.
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Tours to Hoover Dam

Hoover Dam reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
9,378 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • The drive from Las Vegas is always worth it to see this impressive structure. It’s art decor feel is there being built by 1935. 
    The drive from Las Vegas is always worth it to see this impressive structure. It’s art decor feel is there being built by 1935.  more »
  • Really worth seeing. Note: for the tour they warn you not to go on the tour if you are claustrofobic. We took the powerplant tour - and it was essentially going to a parking garage. So IMO not a big.....  more
    Really worth seeing. Note: for the tour they warn you not to go on the tour if you are claustrofobic. We took the powerplant tour - and it was essentially going to a parking garage. So IMO not a big.....  more »
Google
  • You really can't describe a visit to this place. You have to see it for yourself! Whether it's the architecture, history, magnificent size, the wildlife, or the people, Hoover Dam is an incredible experience. There aren't many places where you can walk from one state to another or one time zone to another or stand hundreds of feet above massive large mouth bass. This is a great place to people watch or people meet as folks from all over the world come here. Get yourself ready for a good dam time! Meet some interesting dam people. Buy some dam souvenirs! Eat some dam ice cream. Bring some cash ($10) so you can park in the dam garage in the shade. Take the dam tour! This is the place for the best dam fun you've ever had and you'll be making dam jokes for days.
  • What an impressive feat of human will and determination. The history of the dam fascinating, and the fact that they finished 2 years ahead of schedule! Hard to find contractors with that kind of fortitude today. When I visited 9/27/2021 the dam was one level away from closing down due to the critically low water level. The tours were also not being offered sadly, so we couldn't see the inner workings. Despite that, I spent 6 hours and still felt I could've spent more time. There are so many incredible details to look at and absorb. Art and architectural forms that are some of the best examples of the time. The gift shop and Cafe are what you'd expect, nothing to write home about. Pro tip: drive to parking lot 10 for a different view of the dam, and a closer look at the receded water levels. On the way out, stop at the pedestrian bridge overlook for another incredible view of the entire project. Please let me know if this review helped you by clicking on the 👍🏾 below and follow me for more fun reviews. Thank you.

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