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Can Cars Still Drive Over Hoover Dam?

Last Update on January 29, 2023
by Maxtour
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Yes, cars are indeed able to drive over the Hoover Dam. However, there are certain restrictions in place for vehicles crossing the dam. There is a weight limit and a list of prohibited items. It's also recommended to check the current status of the road before planning a trip across the dam. 

The Hoover Dam Access Road spans the dam and, by extension, the states of Nevada and Arizona. Being able to stand in two states at the same time is one of the many reasons to visit the Hoover Dam. Funnily enough, you can't actually get from very far into Arizona by crossing the dam. The road on the Arizona side is closed! After driving over the dam, you'll have to drive right back the way you came.

Since 2010, the way to travel across the states at this site has been by taking U.S. Route 93 over the Mike O'Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge. Also known as the Hoover Dam Bypass Bridge, it was opened specifically to alleviate traffic over the Hoover Dam.

This is the Mike O'Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge, as seen from the Hoover Dam.

What Vehicles Are Allowed to Enter the Hoover Dam?

Cars, buses, trucks, motorcycles, and other vehicles are generally allowed to cross the Hoover Dam on the Hoover Dam Access Road. There are some rules, though.

Vehicles have to adhere to strict weight restrictions. There are also some items, such as weapons and flammable materials, that you can't have in your vehicle when you cross the dam. Additionally, vehicles that are too tall or too wide are not permitted to cross. Anyone coming to the dam is subject to being checked at the security checkpoint. 

For more in-depth info on these rules, you can check out the US Bureau of Reclamation's official traveler's guide to the Hoover Dam. It's always recommended to check current restrictions and regulations before traveling to the dam.

View of Hoover Dam road
Keep in mind that there is a security checkpoint before getting to the Hoover Dam.

How Long Does it Take to Drive Over the Hoover Dam?

The drive over the Hoover Dam typically takes 15-20 minutes, depending on traffic conditions. The dam is located about 30 miles (48 km) southeast of Las Vegas, Nevada and about 70 miles (113 km) northwest of Kingman, Arizona.

It's worth noting that there may be some delays or restrictions during certain times of the day or year, such as during peak tourist season or during construction or maintenance work. Check current traffic and road conditions before planning your trip.

Also, there are security measures in place, so you may have to wait at the checkpoint before crossing the dam, which could add some time to your drive. 

View of Hoover Dam
The time of year plays a big role in how long it takes to drive over the Hoover Dam.

What Is the Cost of Driving Over the Hoover Dam?

Just as you can walk around the Hoover Dam for free, there is no cost to drive over the Hoover Dam. However, there may be parking fees for vehicles parked in the area around the dam. 

The parking garage on the Nevada side and the closest parking lot on the Arizona side both require a small fee of $10 per vehicle. The fee is valid for the entire day. There are a few parking lots on the Arizona side of the dam that are free, though they're pretty far from the dam itself, and will require some walking.

Keep in mind that, if you want to take a tour inside the Hoover Dam or visit the visitor center, you'll need to pay an admission fee. The fees vary depending on the type of tour and whether you are an adult, senior, or child.

Driving over the Hoover Dam is free, but touring the inside costs a small fee.

When Is the Best Time to Drive to the Hoover Dam?

The best time of day to drive to the Hoover Dam depends on your personal preferences. It also depends on the type of experience you are looking for. In general, though, visiting early in the morning and outside of peak season are your best bets for a smooth drive to the dam.

Related Reading: What is the Best Time To Visit The Hoover Dam?

For cooler temperatures and fewer crowds, visiting the dam in the early morning or late afternoon is best. The dam is usually less busy during these times, and the lighting can be great for photography.

If you plan to not just drive over the dam but also take a guided tour, that's another reason to visit earlier in the day. Tours and access to the Visitor Center open at 9 am — the later it gets, the more crowded it gets, and the longer you'll have to wait to get tickets (and even longer to actually start your tour!).

If you want to see the dam during peak hours and get the full experience of its popularity, visiting during midday would be the best.

Keep in mind that the dam closes at a set time each day: 5 pm. You'll want to plan your trip accordingly if you're going to take a tour or check out the Visitor Center. These closing hours don't affect general visits to the dam.

In any case, you'll want to check current facility hours and crowd levels before planning your trip. The Hoover Dam, and its tours in particular, can close spontaneously at times.

Woman at Hoover Dam
Regardless of when you visit the Hoover Dam, make sure to snap some pics!

What Is the Speed Limit at the Hoover Dam?

The speed limit at the Hoover Dam is very low: just 15 mph (24 km/h). The road is quite closely monitored for speeding violations. On the other hand, the speed limit at the Mike O'Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge is 55 mph (89 km/h).

In Conclusion

There are so many ways to traverse the Hoover Dam and its surrounding area. You can try a walk on top tour of the Hoover Dam, drive over it, take a helicopter ride over it, or even try a boat ride on the Colorado River.

Though through traffic has been restricted to the Mike O'Callaghan–Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge since 2010, you can still drive over the Hoover Dam. You'll have to turn back around after getting to the Arizona side, though. Some restrictions are in place but, in general, anyone can drive over the dam. Nonetheless, it's always a good idea to check out the overall rules and regulations before making the trip!



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