The Hoover Dam attracts visitors from all around America (and beyond!). It's a busy attraction, even outside of peak season. You might be wondering whether you should or possibly need to make reservations to visit Hoover Dam.
Short answer: No, you don't need reservations to visit the Hoover Dam.
Long answer: Though visiting the Hoover Dam doesn't require a reservation, you can buy tickets for certain tours in advance. It's recommended to check for the latest information on visiting and tour availability. The most up-to-date info can be found on the Bureau of Reclamation's website.
Read on to find out the different ways to visit the Hoover Dam and how to prepare for each!
How to Visit the Hoover Dam
Since visiting the Hoover Dam doesn't require a reservation, it's a pretty straightforward process.
There are several ways to appreciate this marvel of human engineering — here are a few options for visiting the dam:
Take a Self-Guided Tour of the Hoover Dam
One of the official tours offered at the Hoover Dam is the Self-Guided Visitor Center Tour. You can buy tickets for this tour online, in advance.
This tour lets you explore the Visitor Center, which has narrated exhibits on the dam's engineering and history, plus a 3D model of the local dam system. There is also an observation deck in the Visitor Center that has an awesome view!
Take a Guided Tour of the Hoover Dam
The Bureau of Reclamation offers two other tours: the Guided Power Plant Tour and the Guided Dam Tour.
The Guided Power Plant Tour takes you through construction tunnels to a platform where you can see the dam's generators. It's definitely a great tour for engineering buffs. Like the self-guided tour, you can buy tickets for this one in advance.
The Guided Dam Tour is the only one of the three tours that you can't reserve a spot for online. You have to buy tickets when you're actually there; be prepared to wait in line. This tour mostly focuses on the rich history of the dam. It gives you the chance to explore inside, including riding the dam's original elevator!
Drive or Walk Across the Hoover Dam for Free
Though you have to spend money to go on the tours, there's no entrance fee to visit the Hoover Dam itself. You can walk and drive across it for free.
Even if you're visiting to take a tour, make time to just walk across the top for a while and really soak in the amazing view. We always allow time for this on our tours!
Snap Pics from the Hoover Dam Bypass Bridge
The Mike O'Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge, also known as the Hoover Dam Bypass Bridge, is one of the best places to view the Hoover Dam and Lake Mead. The bridge is open to vehicles, bicycles, and pedestrians.
Take a Helicopter or Boat Tour
For a really unique perspective of the Hoover Dam, consider a helicopter tour or a boat tour. These can be pricey, compared to just walking across the dam or even paying for the official tours, but the experience is truly one of a kind.
How Much Are Tickets to the Hoover Dam?
The Hoover Dam is free to visit but the tours are not. They're reasonably priced, though:
- The Self-Guided Visitor Center Tour costs $10
- The Guided Power Plant Tour costs $15. The price also includes the Self-Guided Visitor Center Tour.
- The Guided Dam Tour costs $30. The ticket for this tour includes the Guided Power Plant Tour and the Self-Guided Visitor Center Tour.
You should also keep in mind having to pay for parking. The Hoover Dam has several dedicated parking garages and parking lots. Only a few are free, and they're the furthest from the dam on the Arizona side.
Is Hoover Dam Worth The Trip?
The Hoover Dam is definitely worth the trip! It's great for kids and adults alike — anyone who's interested in learning about the history of the dam, its construction, and its impact on the area. It's also just amazing to be standing on (or in, if you take the guided tour) such an impressive feat of engineering!
Visiting the Hoover Dam allows you to see the structure's size and scale that you can't really comprehend from pictures. Tours are the best way to experience the dam but even just walking around on top or viewing it from the Mike O'Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge is worth the trip.
Overall, the Hoover Dam is an exciting place to travel to, and it's absolutely worth seeing. If you're staying in Las Vegas, it's arguably a must-visit location! It's great that there are also several things to see between Las Vegas and the Hoover Dam, making the trip even more worthwhile.
Related Reading: How Far Is Hoover Dam From Las Vegas
The Bottom Line
Though you don't need reservations to visit the Hoover Dam, you can buy tickets for two out of the three tours online. For the other tour, the Guided Dam Tour, you have to buy tickets on-site. It's the most popular of the three, so it pays off to get to the dam early to secure your ticket!
Taking the self-guided tour lets you access the Visitor Center, where the exhibits provide a wealth of information about the dam's construction and operation. The observation deck offers panoramic views of the Dam and the surrounding area.
Additionally, taking one or both of the guided tours will bring you up close and personal with the inner workings of the dam. You'll get a firsthand glimpse into the history and technology that have made it what it is today.Whichever way you decide to experience all the things to do at the Hoover Dam, you'll have an awesome time!