How to See the Hoover Dam for Free
The Hoover Dam is a marvel of engineering and a must-see destination for visitors to the United States. Located on the Colorado River, it attracts tourists from all around the world who come to marvel at its sheer size and beauty. While paid admission and guided tours are the easiest ways to experience this iconic landmark, there are several free ways to catch a glimpse of the dam. Here are six ways to see the Hoover Dam for free:
1. Walk across the Mike O’Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge
The Mike O’Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge is a 1,900-foot concrete arch bridge that spans the Black Canyon, providing a stunning view of Hoover Dam and Lake Mead. It is accessible from the Hoover Dam bypass parking lot on the Nevada side of the dam. From the middle of the bridge, you can enjoy a panoramic view of the dam and the surrounding landscape.
2. Hike the Historic Railroad Trail
The Historic Railroad Trail follows the route of the old railroad that was used to build the dam, offering spectacular views of the Colorado River and the surrounding canyon. The trail is about 3.7 miles long and is relatively easy, making it suitable for hikers of all skill levels.
3. Drive along the Hoover Dam Access Road
The Hoover Dam Access Road is a scenic route that follows the perimeter of Lake Mead and provides several vantage points to view the dam. You can start your drive from Boulder City, Nevada, or from the Lake Mead National Recreation Area. Be sure to pull off at the designated viewing areas to get the best views of the dam and surrounding landscape.
4. Visit Lake Mead National Recreation Area
Lake Mead National Recreation Area offers several hiking trails, picnic areas, and scenic drives, all of which provide excellent views of the dam. You can also take a boat tour of Lake Mead, which will take you right up to the dam for an up-close view.
5. Watch the Hoover Dam Light Show
The Hoover Dam Light Show is a free nightly event that illuminates the dam with colorful lights. The show runs for 10 minutes every hour, from sunset to 10 pm. You can watch the show from the Mike O’Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge, or from several other vantage points around the dam.
6. Fly over the Hoover Dam
You can take a helicopter or airplane tour of the Hoover Dam to see it from above, providing stunning views of the surrounding landscape. While these tours are not free, they offer a unique experience that is well worth the cost. Many tour companies operate out of Las Vegas and offer several different tour options to suit any budget.
In conclusion, there are several free ways to experience the Hoover Dam and its stunning views. With a little creativity and a sense of adventure, you can enjoy the beauty of this iconic landmark without spending a dime. Plan your visit today and see for yourself why the Hoover Dam is considered one of the most impressive landmarks in the world.