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What is the Best Time of the Day to Go to the Hoover Dam?

Last Update on April 18, 2024
by Marko Milin
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Visiting the Hoover Dam, an engineering marvel nestled between the borders of Nevada and Arizona, is an experience that sits high on the bucket list of many travelers venturing to the American Southwest. The dam's colossal structure, historical significance, and the stunning views it offers of the Colorado River make it a must-visit landmark. However, with the desert climate and the crowds it draws, one might wonder, "What is the best time of the day to go to the Hoover Dam?"

Morning Visits: Beat the Heat and the Crowds

The early bird not only catches the worm but also enjoys cooler temperatures and thinner crowds at the Hoover Dam. Morning hours, particularly right after opening at 5:00 AM for the dam's grounds and 9:00 AM for the visitor center and tours, are ideal for those looking to explore the dam in a more serene setting. The temperatures are more comfortable, and the soft morning light provides a beautiful glow on the dam, perfect for photography enthusiasts.

Visiting in the morning also means you'll have the rest of the day to explore other attractions or take part in additional activities. For instance, MaxTour offers a "Hoover Dam Walk on Top Tour" that not only explores the dam but also includes visits to other iconic locations, making the most of your day.

Midday and Afternoon: Considerations and Crowds

As noon approaches, so does the heat, especially during the summer months when temperatures can soar. The midday sun directly overhead can make walking on the concrete structure quite challenging for those not used to the desert climate. Additionally, this is often the busiest time of the day, with tour buses and visitors arriving in large numbers. If you're planning a visit during these hours, be prepared for longer wait times and a busier viewing experience.

However, the visitor center and indoor exhibits offer a respite from the heat, with educational displays and a theater showing a film about the dam's construction and history. If you find yourself at the Hoover Dam in the afternoon, these options can provide a comfortable and informative way to enjoy your visit.

Late Afternoon: Enjoying the Golden Hour

As the day begins to cool and the crowds start to thin, the late afternoon or early evening becomes a magical time to visit the Hoover Dam. The golden hour before sunset bathes the dam and the surrounding landscape in warm, soft light, creating a breathtaking backdrop for photographs. While the visitor center may close at 5:00 PM, the dam itself remains accessible, and the diminishing light offers a different perspective on this iconic structure.

Maximizing Your Visit with a Guided Tour

To truly make the most of your visit to the Hoover Dam, consider joining a guided tour. MaxTour's "Hoover Dam Walk on Top Tour" provides an in-depth exploration of the dam, led by knowledgeable guides who share insights into its construction, history, and significance. The tour also includes transportation, making it a convenient option for those staying in Las Vegas. With a guided tour, you can enjoy a comprehensive experience of the Hoover Dam, regardless of the time of day you choose to visit.


Determining the best time of the day to visit the Hoover Dam depends on your preferences for temperature, lighting, and crowd levels. Morning visits offer cooler temperatures and fewer people, midday provides full access to all facilities but comes with heat and crowds, and late afternoon rewards visitors with stunning lighting and a more peaceful experience. Regardless of when you choose to go, the Hoover Dam is a sight to behold, and with options like the MaxTour's guided tour, you're sure to have a memorable visit.


Marko Milin

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