A Review of my Hoover Dam Tour
There are various companies offering day tours to Hoover Dam. We purchased a three-attraction Go Las Vegas Explorer pass for each of us. There are 45+ attractions available for booking, including the Hoover Dam. You can book the passes easily on your smartphone and use through the app.
To book this tour using your Go City Explorer pass for Las Vegas, you call the number listed for the tour company (CHD, Inc) within the Explorer pass information (or online at Go City website). They will take your pass number and book the tour, arrange pickup, etc. They pick up at various hotels in the morning, transporting participants to their main tour office. When you arrive you’ll meet up with others coming in from different sections of the city, and transfer to your actual tour coach.
Inside the tour office, you can buy ball caps, t-shirts, and water, and complimentary coffee is available.
A Hoover Dam visit is suited to most anyone, including children. Tours are generally a half day, so not too long for the younger ones, and the transfer is relatively short, within 45 minutes of Las Vegas.
Along the Way
Hoover Dam is well worth the visit. Enroute you’ll experience desert scenery with its mountain backdrop, and pass by towns like Henderson and Boulder City. Your guide gives a great introduction to the area, especially for first-time visitors. Once there, take in the amazing views of this engineering wonder. Make sure your tour/visit takes in the Mike O’Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge Plaza, where the views of Hoover Dam and the Colorado River are awesome!
Our coach driver/tour guide was great. He was super knowledgeable and full of details about what we were seeing along the way. We’d never experienced a landscape like this so it was fascinating! A colour palette so unlike our own back home. So many shades of browns, rusts, and oranges.
Our tour stopped first at the bridge, before continuing on to the dam. Our family’s first glimpses of Hoover Dam came from a spectacular distance and height. Hindsight being 20/20, I’d be extremely disappointed if we’d NOT visited the bridge and experienced the dam from this vantage point. It’s a bit of a hike from the parking lot up to the bridge, involving stairs and a bit of an uphill climb. The hike up is worth it for the incredible, aerial-like view. Oh, and you can stand in both states (Nevada/Arizona) at the same time… very cool.
At Hoover Dam
After visiting the bridge we made our way to the dam. Something to take note of, when you come into the Hoover Dam area, you pass through a checkpoint and every vehicle is boarded by security officers doing a check. Our driver explained this to us prior to arrival so we were aware and knew what to expect. It didn’t take very long and we were soon on our way.
The half-day tour includes roundtrip coach from Las Vegas to Hoover Dam, a visit to the Mike O’Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge and about two hours of visiting time at the dam. We also looked around the visitor centre and watched a movie about the construction of the Hoover Dam. For an extra fee, you can have a guided generator room tour. It was closed during our visit and wasn’t an option for us, unfortunately.
We walked around the area and across to the other side of the circular dam, taking in the views and getting some photos. As our departure time got closer we headed back toward the parking garage, where we rested, had ice cream at the canteen, and picked up a few souvenirs from the gift shop. As you’re walking around the top of the dam itself, there are washrooms if needed. They’re a bit older but do the trick.
A Bit of History
The Hoover Dam was built in the 1930s and took 5 years to complete.
It’s named after President Herbert Hoover. Located on the Nevada-Arizona border, in the Black Canyon of the Colorado River, it’s 726 feet tall.
Hoover Dam protects Arizona from flooding and is an energy source for Nevada, Arizona, and California.
96 people died due to construction-related causes, but apparently it’s NOT true that anyone was buried within the dam during its construction.
If you’re travelling to Las Vegas or another area near Hoover Dam, you’ll want to ink in time for a visit to the dam. I would rate it a must visit. A tour will run in the $60 range for one similar to what I’ve described above. If you purchase a Go City Explorer pass, you’ll want to choose the options that are on the more expensive side in order to maximize the savings.
If you opt to drive and forgo the tour… make sure you stop at the bridge! I suggest the bridge stop first, but it ultimately will not make a difference. Personally, I preferred seeing the grandeur of it all high above and at a distance, taking it all in… before setting foot on the dam itself.
Have you been to Hoover Dam? Or planning to go? Any questions or thoughts are welcome! Looking for other things to do in Las Vegas? Check out these other Las Vegas Attractions.