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10 Reasons Why You Should Visit the Hoover Dam

Last Update on February 12, 2021
by Matthew Meier
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The Hoover Dam is the most popular day trip from the Las Vegas Strip. This massive dam is equally beautiful and accessible. Wondering if you should visit the Hoover Dam? Here are 10 reasons why you should:

1. It is Only 36 Miles Away

The proximity of the Hoover Dam makes it the perfect half-day trip from the Las Vegas Strip. It is a great way to escape the city for a few hours, learn some history, get some great photos, and still be back in time for an exceptional lunch at your hotel. Have more than half a day? Check out our full day Grand Canyon Tours that all include a stop and walk across the dam.

2.  Tours Make Your Visit Easy

There are dozens of tours from Las Vegas to the Hoover Dam. Choose from quick overview tours, power plant tours, kayak tours below the dam, or helicopter tours over it. There is a tour for all kinds of travelers. Most tours offer hotel pickup, so you can sit back, relax, and enjoy everything the Hoover Dam has to offer without worrying about navigating the windy Nevada mountain roads. 

Related: Grand Canyon West, Hoover Dam, Seven Magic Mountains Day Tour

Hoover Dam from a Helicopter

3.  It has Great Photo Opportunities

Great Hoover Dam Photos
Looking Down The Face Of The Hoover Dam

There are countless opportunities for inspiring photos at the Hoover Dam. Here are our favorites:

  • While standing on the dam, get a shot down the face of the dam with the Colorado River and the Memorial bridge in the background.
  • From the Arizona parking lots, get your photo taken with Lake Mead in the background, an instant classic. 

4. Stand in Two States at the Same Time

The Colorado river on one side of the dam and Lake Mead on the other side act as the border between Arizona and Nevada. Get a fun photo standing at the plaque marking the border in the middle of the dam.

There are also fun photo opportunities with both the Welcome to Arizona Sign and the Welcome to Nevada sign in the background. See the plaque on the border as you walk across the dam on all of our Hoover Dam Tours

Welcome To Arizona

5. Learn about American History

Building The Hoover Dam

The Hoover Dam is a vital part of life in the Southwest United States. From providing the area with much-needed water and power to the many engineering breakthroughs during construction, you can head to the visitor center or listen to a tour guide explain how the dam was built and why it was so important to both the region and the nation during its development. 

Related: 5 Amazing Facts About The Grand Canyon (Will #1 Gross You Out?!)

6.  Walk out on the 2nd Highest Bridge in the United States

The Second Highest Bridge in the US

The view from up on top of the Mike O’Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge is knee-shaking. Rising 900 feet above the Colorado River, this bridge has a pedestrian section that is perfect for staring over the edge at the abyss below. The bridge also has a fantastic view of the full face of the Hoover Dam. 

7.   See the Source of your Las Vegas Hotel Shower Water

Lake Mead from the Hoover Dam

Being in the middle of the desert, we get many guests asking us: Where does Las Vegas get its water? Of course, that is before we visit the Hoover Dam and they get to see the largest man-made lake in the United States: Lake Mead. To the surprise of many, Lake Mead provides water to parts of California, Nevada, Arizona, and even parts of Mexico.

Take the opportunity to see the water glimmering behind the dam before it goes on to make its debut in the Bellagio fountain show! 

8.  Spot Shooting Locations from your favorite Hollywood Action Flicks

The Hoover Dam is an American Icon recognized around the world. Hollywood producers use this to dramatic effect when looking for things to destroy in action films.

Just like the Golden Gate Bridge and the Statue of Liberty, the Hoover Dam makes for a nice CGI explosion. Look for the places they filmed blockbusters like Transformers, Vegas Vacation, and San Andreas.

9.  It is on the way to the Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon

Taking a trip to the Grand Canyon from Las Vegas is a bucket list checking opportunity for travelers from around the world. Any route to the Grand Canyon from Las Vegas will go right by the Hoover Dam.

It takes less than 10 minutes from the highway to get to the Hoover Dam, and in less than 45 minutes you can take a detour and climb up on the memorial bridge for an amazing view of the face of the dam and then get back on the road to the Grand Canyon. 

10. It is an Engineering Wonder

That the Hoover Dam was started over 90 years ago makes it that much more impressive.

If you think blasting and drilling through the tough, local sandstone sounds crazy, imagine them doing it at a time when Ford Model A’s were still coming off the assembly line!

From piping cool water throughout the freshly-laid concrete to keep it from drying in the scorching southwest sun, to bringing to life the at-the-time largest hydroelectric plant in America, the Hoover Dam had completed so many engineering-firsts that several dams were modeled almost exactly like it following its grand opening. Seeing the 1920’s Art Deco style of this modern-day dam will quickly give you an appreciation for this engineering masterpiece. 


Matthew Meier

World Traveler. Mandarin Speaker. Founder of MaxTour.
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