Las Vegas is known for its downtown strip full of casinos, buffets, and other fun activities. And do not get us wrong, Vegas is fun, but you shouldn’t miss out on another world-famous attraction just an hour outside the city: Hoover Dam.
If you’re wondering, “How far is Hoover Dam from Las Vegas?” the answer is this city is approximately 40-65 minutes from downtown Las Vegas depending on which of the two main routes you take. Both routes are about 37.5 miles, with the time difference based on traveling on Interstate vs. back highways. The dam spans the Nevada/Arizona border.
No matter how you decide to travel from Vegas to Hoover Dam, the trip is worth making.
Hoover Dam was the tallest dam in the world when it was completed in 1935. It was an engineering marvel, also serving as the world’s largest hydroelectric plant from 1938 to 1948. The dam has since lost its records to larger, newer, and more efficient dams, but the massive structure is just as impressive today as it was nearly 100 years ago.
The dam is 726 feet tall, double the height of the Luxor Hotel and Casino in nearby Las Vegas. The amount of concrete used to construct the damn could be used to build a 4-ft wide sidewalk all the way around the Earth along the equator. So while Hoover Dam may not be the tallest dam in the world any longer, it is still an impressive sight to behold.
Touring the Dam
Just looking at the dam is worth the trip, but you will be surprised at all there is to see and do when visiting Hoover Dam. You will want to make sure to wear comfortable shoes and have your camera ready.
Once you make your way to the observation deck, you can take in beautiful panoramic views of the dam, Colorado River, Lake Mead, and the Mike O’Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge. The bridge opened in 2010 and has quickly become a favorite of those visiting Hoover Dam.
Visitors can also take advantage of tours that take you inside the dam. You can walk through nearly 100-year-old tunnels and even ride an original elevator to the top of the dam. Those who enjoy the engineering aspect of the dam can also visit the hydroelectric power plant.
You can get to Hoover Dam from Vegas fairly quickly on I-515/11, but those looking to have some fun along the way should head out on State Route 147.
This route will take you through the Nevada desert, passing multiple hiking trailheads, campgrounds, and overlooks. The highlight of this desert trip, other than Hoover Dam, of course, is Boulder Beach. The Lake Mead beach is just minutes away from Hoover Dam, making it a great stop either before or after you tour the dam.
While State Route 147 is the more scenic route, the Interstate provides a good mix of things to see along the way and cuts down on drive time. You will drive by the Vegas suburbs of Henderson and Boulder City. Both provide shops and restaurants for you to enjoy if you are looking for something a little slower-paced than the Vegas strip. Boulder City is also home to the Nevada State Railroad Museum.
The Historic Railroad Hiking Trail is just minutes from Hoover Dam. This family-friendly hike offers fantastic views of Lake Mead and provides the unique chance to hike through historic railroad tunnels.
Don't want to drive? We offer some amazing Hoover Dam Tours From Las Vegas that take all the hassle out of visiting the Hoover Dam.
Related Reading: Things To Do At Hoover Dam
Now that you know how far Hoover Dam is from Las Vegas, do not miss out on all the things to see and do within an hour of the city that never sleeps. Hoover Dam supplies power to more than 1-million people in Nevada, Arizona, and California. Being able to tour this facility and learn about its history and capabilities is a unique experience that is more than worth the hour drive.
And do not pass up all the other amazing stops along the way. Take advantage of the hiking, watersport, and other nature activities between the strip and dam. There is no lack of things to do in this area!