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What Do You Need to Know Before Going to the Hoover Dam?

Last Update on December 26, 2023
by Marko Milin
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Visiting the Hoover Dam is an experience like no other. This engineering marvel, nestled between Arizona and Nevada, is not just a testament to human ingenuity but also a significant piece of American history. If you're planning a trip to the Hoover Dam, there are a few things you should know to make your visit as enjoyable and smooth as possible. Whether you're going solo or considering a guided tour like the Hoover Dam Walk on Top Tour offered by MaxTour, here's what you need to keep in mind.

1. Understand the Significance of Hoover Dam

Before you visit, it's worth knowing a bit about why the Hoover Dam is such a landmark. Completed in 1935, it was the tallest dam in the world at the time. The dam played a crucial role in controlling the Colorado River and providing water and electricity to a vast area of the Southwest. Its construction was a monumental effort during the Great Depression and stands today as a symbol of American resilience and ambition.

2. Security Measures

Security at the Hoover Dam is tight. All visitors are subject to security screening before entering the visitor center or taking any tours. Certain items are not allowed on the dam, including weapons, luggage, strollers, and pets (except for service animals). Make sure to check the official Hoover Dam website for the latest security guidelines before your visit.

3. Best Time to Visit

The Hoover Dam is open to visitors year-round, but the best time to visit is in the spring or fall when the weather is more temperate. Summers can be scorching hot, and winters, while milder, can sometimes be unpredictable. Also, consider visiting early in the morning to avoid the crowds and the afternoon heat.

4. Tour Options

There are several ways to experience the Hoover Dam. You can explore it on your own, but to get the most out of your visit, consider a guided tour. MaxTour's Hoover Dam Walk on Top Tour, for instance, offers an in-depth experience led by knowledgeable guides. This tour not only includes a walk on the top of the dam but also provides insights into its history, construction, and the natural history of the surrounding area.

5. Dress Appropriately

Wear comfortable walking shoes as there's a fair amount of walking involved, both on the dam itself and in the visitor center. If you're visiting in the summer, wear light clothing, a hat, and sunscreen. In cooler months, bring a jacket as it can get windy on top of the dam.

6. Photography

The Hoover Dam is a photographer's delight. The views of the dam, the Colorado River, and Lake Mead are spectacular. However, remember that tripods and monopods are not allowed on the tours for safety reasons.

7. Educational Opportunities

The Hoover Dam is not just a sightseeing spot; it's also an educational experience. The visitor center has exhibits on the dam's construction, the natural history of the Colorado River, and the ecology of the area. It's a great learning opportunity for both kids and adults.

8. Check the Water Level of Lake Mead

The water level of Lake Mead can vary throughout the year. It's interesting to see the "bathtub ring" around the edges of the lake, which indicates the high water mark and offers a visual representation of the drought conditions in the Southwest.

9. Plan Your Day

If you're on a day trip from Las Vegas, like the one offered by MaxTour, plan your day accordingly. The tour usually includes other stops, so check the itinerary to know how much time you'll spend at each location.


A visit to the Hoover Dam is a journey through history, engineering, and natural beauty. Whether you're marveling at the dam's massive structure or learning about its impact on the American Southwest, it's an experience you won't forget. And with tours like MaxTour's Hoover Dam Walk on Top Tour, you can enjoy a comprehensive and hassle-free visit to this iconic American landmark.

Related Reading: Is Glen Canyon and Hoover Dam the Same? 


Marko Milin

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