Hoover Dam: Facts and Information for your trip from Las Vegas
By Paulino Hernández |
Travel to Las Vegas and take a one day tour to one of the most renowned works of engineering and art deco in the United States: Hoover Dam, located at the border between Nevada and Arizona.
Beyond gambling and shows, Las Vegas is popular for its outlets, its hotels and its buffets. Also, DINKtravelers, your world travel guide, has taken you to visit attractions for art lovers in City Center as well as a bit farther to the Grand Canyon. Today, we’re taking you to a renowned work of engineering: Hoover Dam.
Located in the Colorado River, in the border between Nevada and Arizona, you can find a construction that’s considered one of the most iconic expressions of Art Deco: Hoover Dam.
This construction was created in order to prevent the river from overflowing while also controlling water distribution to the states that share it. Thus, Hoover Dam is an attraction you can’t miss when you visit the city that never sleeps: Las Vegas.
History of Hoover Dam
Hoover Dam was built during the Great Depression and it was named after Herbert Hoover, former US president. Did you know that he was also a mine engineer?
Hoover practically oversaw the process since they first started debating about building the press when he was Secretary of Commerce. Then, he saw the construction work end once he was already president. Plans to build it began in 1922 but they were constantly rejected until in 1928 they were finally approved.
The Workers that Built Hoover Dam
Usually, people remember that Six Companies Inc took on the project of constructing Hoover Dam. It was a great challenge for that time, so they deserve recognition; however, we mustn’t forget about the workers behind the construction. When you visit the dam and see the landscape, remember that in order to build all that, many people had to work in very hard conditions. Usually, the tunnels in which they worked were polluted with carbon monoxide that damaged the workers’ lungs. Also, they descended to the area tied with ropes but then used dynamite in unsafe amounts that put them at risk. Many of them died while others fell ill.
Importance of Hoover Dam for Agriculture
When workers went on strike in order to demand better working conditions, they were held back. Six Companies Inc had promised to build Boulder City so that construction workers could live there, but it was until after the strike that they really carried out this project. Thanks to these workers the dam was finished and this offered the desert territory of US better living conditions. Thanks to Hoover Dam now they had the right conditions for agriculture and irrigation. Also, thanks to electric turbines they established later, it’s possible to generate energy at a low cost.
How to Get to Hoover Dam
Hoover Dam is located only 48km away from Las Vegas. It’s a 40-minute drive by car along highway 93. Also, there are guided tours that take you from your hotel in Vegas and back in one single day. These tours’ duration is of 4 to 5 hours and they cost around 57 dollars (costs may vary).
Best time to visit Hoover Dam
The dam opens from 9:00 to 17:00h. It houses all the services you need to enjoy a comfortable visit. There’s a parking lot, a cafeteria and even a gift shop.
Hoover Dam receives many visitors on holidays and weekends so plan your visit in advance. Also, consider that before entering you’ll have to go through a checkpoint that is quite similar to those you find at airports. This is because they must guarantee the safety of visitors and of the place itself.
Visiting Hoover Dam
Without doubt, it’s worth visiting the dam just to see how impressive it is. However, there are other activities that you’ll also enjoy. We recommend going to the turbine generators that transform hydraulic energy intro electricity. Also, if you are interested in history, you can’t miss the collection of over five thousand documents related with Hoover Dam, including photographs, newspapers, clothing, reports, artifacts, and more.
The overlook near the dam offers an incredible view of the structure and of Lake Mead. You can also use the elevator or the escalator that facilitates your tour of the dam.
Guided Tours in Hoover Dam
There are two options to enjoy a guided tour of the dam: the Power Plant Tour and the Dam Tour. Both visit different areas of the dam, including the turbines room and the overlook. Costs vary from 15 to 30 dollars.
If you prefer something more daring, you can take a helicopter or small airplane craft and enjoy a complete different perspective on a 20-minute flight.
Hoover Dam in Movies
If you haven’t had the chance to visit this imposing dam, you might still know what it looks like. How is that possible? Well, you might have seen it on the big screen. Hoover dam has appeared in movies such as:
Transformers: It was the secret place where they hid the fearsome Megatron, enemy of the Autobots.
San Andreas: The movie starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson shows that it’s in Hoover Dam where the scary earthquake begins.
Superman: If you love superheroes, in this 1978 movie you’ll see Hoover Dam collapse while Superman saves the day.
10 Fun Facts About Hoover Dam
- The dam was built from 1931 to 1935
- In 1981 it was listed in the National Registry of US Historic Places
- There are 17 electricity generating turbines at the dam
- The dam is 221 meters tall and 379 meters long
- Hoover was the 31stpresident of the United States
- For 10 years, the dam was the world’s biggest hydroelectric energy generator
- It’s listed as one of the world’s top 20 biggest dams
- Every year, over one million people visit it
- The American Society of Civil Engineers rated it as one of the 7 wonders of Modern Engineering in the United States
- Tunnels that alter the course of the Colorado River have a diameter of approximately 15 meters.
Now you have all the important information you need to visit Hoover Dam from Las Vegas and enjoy an extraordinary experience.