The 7 Things You Should Know Before Visiting Hoover Dam

Hoover Dam is one of the finest examples of American engineering in the world for many different reasons. In fact, it has a very interesting history and is more than just a dam. This massive concrete structure lies at the Southeast corner of Nevada and the Northwest corner of Arizona and is built on the Colorado River at Black Canyon. Not just that, but Lake Mead was created because of the Hoover Dam and was the largest reservoir by volume in the USA when it was at it’s maximum level. Many Las Vegas travelers visit Hoover Dam while traveling to the West and South Rim’s of the Grand Canyon.

A short day trip to Hoover Dam is a must see when you are visiting Las Vegas. There are many excursions available from Las Vegas to the dam, and are available as 1/2 day or full day trips. Some tours include lunch as well. The scenic views from the Dam is well worth the time. The massive structure itself will take your breath away. It is the most popular tourist attraction Las Vegas has to offer. Find the best Hoover Dam tour and explore the history, fascinating facts and and marvel at the amazing panoramic views.

But before you visit the Hoover Dam, you should know some interesting facts about the place. It will only add to the charm.

( Note: You may not take the interior power plant tour if you have a pacemaker )

1- It is a Massive Dam

The first thing you need to know about Hoover Dam is that it is really huge. While you might have seen many dams, the Hoover Dam is really massive in comparison. At one time, it was the tallest dam in the world.

The Hoover Dam is 726 feet tall and 1,244 feet long. With the amount of concrete that was required to build Hoover Dam you can  create a 4-foot sidewalk circling the earth at the equator. That is why it is so popular and well-known for its massive structure. As for the depth, it is 660 feet thick at the base. If you want to know how deep the base is then imagine two football fields lying end-to-end. The thickness at the top of the dam is 45 feet and its as wide as a four-lane highway.

2- It Had A Different Name

The dam wasn’t always called as the Hoover Dam. It was previously known as the Boulder Dam while it was still on the conception stage. While it was being constructed, the name Boulder Dam was used and for a long time the name stuck. Many of the local residents of Boulder City ( the city that built the dam) still refer to it as Boulder Dam.

Then, on September 17, 1930, while marking the construction of a railroad line that would end at the dam, it was announced that the Dam will be known as Hoover Dam, after the President Herbert Hoover. Then the next president came and the new U.S secretary didn’t agree with the name and proposed that it should be called the Boulder Dam. The name of Herbert Hoover was already being associated with the Great Depression as many believed he was responsible for it. Later, in 1947, an official resolution was passed by the congress and the name Hoover Dam became the official name.

3- Multiple Use of the Dam

The Hoover Dam is multi-functional structure that was built first to contain the flooding, then for providing water and electricity.

First it was built to control the flooding of the Colorado River, which was very damaging at that time. As people started settling around Boulder City and the Las Vegas Valley, the need for water grew and then the dam was used to divert water to the population. Lastly, the dam was then used for generating electricity to power the many industries and a large growing population of Las Vegas. Hoover Dam also provides electricity to Southern California.

4- Hoover Dam Was the Reason for New Settlement

Before the Hoover Dam, the Las Vegas area had a population of only 5,100 and after the dam was completed the population rose to 8,000 residents.  Boulder City was established December 21, 1928 when Calvin Coolidge was President, and that was to provide housing to the workers employed to build the dam. Boulder City is now home to approximately 16,000 people. It is also only 1 of 2 citys in Nevada where gambling is illegal.

Since its construction, the Hoover Dam has attracted millions of visitors each year. The Dam looks as magnificent as ever and is a popular destination 0f many Las Vegas visitors from all around the world.

5- Nazi Plot was Thwarted

Did you know that once Nazis plotted to blow up the Hoover Dam during the second World War ! This happened when the United Sates wasn’t involved in World War 2. US officials got the intel that the Nazis were plotting to blow up the dam. If the plan had succeeded, it would have been a huge disaster for the entire region as it would have cut the power to the major areas including the airplane manufacturing industry. When you visit the dam make sure you look for the 3 different machine gun turrents hiiden in the rocks surrounding the dam. Hint….there’s one on the Arizona side !

To prevent any attack on the dam, the authorities put a restriction on the boats that were allowed in the Black Canyon. Employees were restricted too. It was totally closed after the Pearl Harbor attack until the end of the second World War in 1945.

6- It Became the Largest Reservoir in the USA

The famous Lake Mead was created due to the Hoover Dam on the Colorado River. It then became the largest reservoir in the country covering an area of 248 square miles. It has the capacity to hold some 28.9 million acre-feet of water.

The Lake Mead is named after Elwood Mead who was the commissioner of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation during the construction of the dam. It supplies water to the nearby areas, such as the farms, businesses and people. It supplied water to Nevada, Arizona, California and Mexico. If you are interested, you can visit the place for some recreational activities like boating, fishing and swimming.

7- Was the Tallest Dam in the World

Before it lost its place to Jinping-I Dam in Liangshan, Sichuan, China, the Hoover Dam was once the tallest dam in the world. For a very long time it had enjoyed the reputation of being the tallest dam in the world. Hoover Dam is not the tallest dam in the USA as well. The 770-foot-high Oroville Dam in Northern California become the tallest dam in the country in 1968.

Hoover Dam is still very popular and attracts a lot of visitors each year. The best Hoover Dam tour will give you the chance to visit this amazing man made wonder.

The Bottom line

Hoover Dam is one of the must-see places while in Las Vegas. Many of the day tours from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon stop for photos at the dam on the way to the canyon. It is only 26 miles from Las Vegas and is a perfect destination to visit, and experience this architectural wonder. There is a visitors center and museum that you can learn more about the history of this structure.

The Best Hoover Dam Tour

If the interesting facts have piqued your interest, we offer the best Hoover Dam tours for you, with different combinations. You can add the Lake Mead Cruise, a helicopter flight, or lunch with you excursion to the dam. You will be traveling in comfortable and luxurious buses or small group and private tours depending on your budget. Additionally, you can choose from the Luxury SUV Tours, Desert Hummer Tours, and Luxury Motorcoach Tours from Las Vegas. The narrated tours will make your journey more interesting and enjoyable.

Some of the popular destinations you will be visiting are the Hoover Dam, Hoover Dam Visitor Center, Hoover Dam Generator Room, Hoover Dam Movie, Views at Top of Hoover Dam, Lake Mead and Hoover Dam Bridge (photo ops). You can book your tour online and get confirmed reservations. We offer many affordable tours that can easily fit into your budget.

Call us to Book by phone – +1-866-218-6877.