Visiting Hoover Dam: A Comprehensive Guide
Hoover Dam is a marvel of modern engineering, and a must-see destination for both locals and tourists alike. But with so many different ways to explore it, from free to paid access, the options can be overwhelming. This guide will break down everything you need to know about visiting Hoover Dam.
The best thing about Hoover Dam is that there are several ways to explore it for free. Here are a few free access options:
1. Walk Across the Dam
One of the best ways to experience Hoover Dam is to simply walk across it. The walkway on the top of the dam provides stunning views of the Colorado River and Lake Mead. Visitors can take a leisurely stroll or jog across the dam while taking in the breathtaking panoramic views.
2. Visit the Visitor Center
The Hoover Dam Visitor Center is an excellent resource for visitors looking to learn more about the history and construction of the dam. The visitor center features exhibits, films, and interactive displays that explore the dam’s history, engineering, and environmental impact. Admission to the visitor center is free, and it is open year-round, except for Thanksgiving and Christmas.
3. Hike the Trails
The Hoover Dam area offers several hiking trails that are free to explore. One of the most popular is the Historic Railroad Trail, a 3.7-mile walk that follows the old railway line that was used to transport materials during the dam’s construction. The trail offers scenic views of Lake Mead and the surrounding desert landscape.
While many of the Hoover Dam’s attractions are free, there are also several paid access options that are worth exploring. Here are a few of the best options:
1. Dam Tours
The Hoover Dam attracts thousands of visitors every year, and it’s no wonder why. The dam is a marvel of modern engineering, and a fascinating place to explore. For those looking for a more in-depth experience, there are several guided tours available. The Hoover Dam Powerplant Tour takes you through the heart of the dam, exploring the inner workings of the power plant that generates electricity for the surrounding area. The Dam Tour is another popular option, offering a comprehensive look at the history and engineering behind the dam.
2. Hoover Dam Bypass Bridge
The Hoover Dam Bypass Bridge was built in 2010 as a replacement for the old highway that ran across the top of the dam. The bridge offers stunning views of the dam and the surrounding landscape, and is one of the most popular attractions in the area. Visitors can walk across the bridge or drive across it, depending on their preference.
3. Helicopter Tours
For those looking for an even more breathtaking view of the Hoover Dam, helicopter tours are available. These tours offer a bird’s-eye view of the dam, as well as the surrounding landscape, and are an unforgettable experience.
Q: What are the opening hours of the Hoover Dam Visitor Center?
A: The Hoover Dam Visitor Center is open every day from 9am to 5pm, except for Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Q: How much does it cost to enter the Hoover Dam Visitor Center?
A: Entry to the Hoover Dam Visitor Center is free.
Q: Are there any free hiking trails near Hoover Dam?
A: Yes, there are several free hiking trails in the Hoover Dam area, including the Historic Railroad Trail.
Q: Is it possible to drive across the top of the Hoover Dam?
A: No, it is not possible to drive across the top of the Hoover Dam. The old road that used to run across the dam has been replaced by the Hoover Dam Bypass Bridge.
Q: Can you take photographs at the Hoover Dam?
A: Yes, photography is allowed at the Hoover Dam, although some areas may be restricted for security reasons.
In conclusion, there are plenty of ways to explore the Hoover Dam. From the free options like walking across the dam and visiting the visitor center, to paid access options like dam tours and helicopter rides, there is something for every budget and interest. It’s no wonder why the dam attracts millions of visitors each year – it truly is a marvel of modern engineering, and a fascinating place to explore.