Hoover Dam - Marvelous Engineering

Explore 10 Fascinating Things to Do at Hoover Dam

If you’re planning a trip to the Hoover Dam and looking for things to do, you’ve come to the right place! The Hoover Dam is a marvel of engineering and a popular tourist destination, attracting millions of visitors every year.

 In this article, we’ll explore 10 fascinating things to do in and around Hoover Dam, including the best tours, attractions, and activities. Whether you’re a history buff, an adventure seeker, or simply looking for a fun day out, there’s something for everyone at Hoover Dam.

las vegas to hoover dam - hoover dam tour

Interesting facts about the construction of the Hoover Dam 

Hoover Dam is a marvel of engineering located on the border between Arizona and Nevada. Built during the Great Depression, the dam provided jobs for thousands of people and was originally called the Boulder Dam before its name was changed to honor President Herbert Hoover.

Standing at 726 feet tall and 1,244 feet wide at its base, the dam weighs more than 6 million tons and contains enough concrete to build a two-lane highway from San Francisco to New York City.

The dam provides hydroelectric power to millions of people across the western United States, thanks to its 17 generators that produce enough electricity to power over a million homes.

Lake Mead, the reservoir created by the dam, is the largest reservoir in the United States. Today, Hoover Dam is a popular tourist destination, attracting millions of visitors every year who come to marvel at its engineering and learn about its history.

Things to do at Hoover Dam

1.) Cross the Memorial Bridge

hoover dam bridge - mike ocallaghan-pat tillman memorial bridge

Officially named the Mike O’Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge, it was the first concrete and steel composite arch bridge in the United States. More common names are Memorial Bridge or Freedom Bridge. Its primary purpose is to bypass traffic around the Hoover Dam.

This bridge was opened to traffic in 2010 by Hoover on the 75th anniversary of his dam. Since then, much has been done to alleviate some of the traffic congestion. Other awards include the widest double-rib bridge in the Western Hemisphere and the tallest concrete arch bridge ever built.

It also offers great views of the dam like the one at the top of this page.  

Take a tour

If you’re planning a visit to the Hoover Dam, taking a tour is a must-do activity. The dam offers three tour options: 

  • Self-guided tour

Walk through narrated exhibits and discover the history of the dam.

  • Power plant tour (30 minutes)

Start by walking through the original construction tunnels, see 30-foot diameter penstocks as you feel the vibration of the water running through the pipes, and see eight commercial generators. (includes self-guided tour)

  • Hoover Dam Tour (1 hour)

This is a fully guided tour that covers some of the lesser-known parts of the dam. His two tours above do it all, visiting historic tunnels, taking an elevator to the top of a dam, going through an inspection tunnel, and looking out over the river through a ventilation shaft.

Pro tip: People with pacemakers or who are claustrophobic may not be able to participate in these tours. The generator emits electromagnetic frequencies and the tour goes through closed areas. 

2.) Go to the Visitor Center

visitor center at hoover dam

The visitor center is open most days (closed Thanksgiving and Christmas). Before entering, check out the bronze sculpture entitled “The Winged Statue of the Republic.”

Be sure to visit the observation deck for panoramic views of the dam 600 feet above the Colorado River. Overlooking both the river and Lake Mead. Weather is not a factor here as there are both indoor and outdoor viewing areas.  

3.) Kayaking on the Colorado River

kayaking on the colorado river - hoover dam from las vegas

If you want to kayak solo, you will need to contact the Reclamation Bureau to have a boat delivered to you, as only the Reclamation Bureau provides road access. So the tour will be easier and more informative.

Jumping in for us is this 8-hour tour that starts in Las Vegas and goes to the Hoover Dam, from where he embarks on a 12-mile adventure along the Colorado River. Highlights include wildlife viewing, relaxing in hot springs, hidden canals, and the lush waters of Black Canyon. Light refreshments are included.  

Things to do near Hoover Dam (within an hour’s drive)

things to do near hoover dam - hoover dam tour from las vegas

1.) Boulder City

There’s so much to do in Boulder City, Nevada, just 15 minutes away. Whether you’re looking for historic sites, the Nevada State Railroad Museum, restaurants, or “alien artifacts,” Boulder City has it all. If it’s the latter, you might want to check out these other weird and weird things to see in Nevada.  

2.) Seven Magic Mountain

seven magic mountain - las vegas to hoover dam

The colorful and random looking Seven Magic Mountains is his installation of desert art by Swiss artist Hugo Rondinone. It consists of his seven boldly painted rock totems that reach heights of up to 35 feet.

3.) Lake Mead

visit lake mead near Hoover dam

Lake Mead was the first National Recreation Area and the largest reservoir in the United States. Its source is the Colorado River formed by the Hoover Dam. Camping, swimming, boating, hiking, biking, and fishing are popular activities at Lake Mead.

4.) Red Rock Canyon

red rock canyon from las vegas near hoover dam

Located in Nevada’s Mojave Desert, Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area is best known for its red sandstone peaks and other geological features. There are also Native American petroglyphs here.

5.) Shopping at the outlet mall

Las Vegas may not be famous for shopping, but it’s actually a discount paradise. In fact, here are his three major outlet malls.

Extension of North and South Premium Outlets and Outlet Centers.

6.) Las Vegas

wonderful las vegas - hoover dam tour from las vegas

In one word, what can you say about Las Vegas? Bold and energetic, Las Vegas is both an experience and a destination. If you’re staying in Las Vegas and planning a Hoover Dam Tours, be sure to check Las Vegas out.

Go City All-Inclusive Pass. Half-Day Hoover Dam Highlights Tour is one of his 30 items included on the pass.  

7.) From Las Vegas to Hoover Dam

The Hoover Dam is an easy day trip and is only 33 miles from Las Vegas. The driving time is 45 minutes. If you don’t have your own car, prefer narration, or have limited time, check out:

  • Hoover Dam Highlights Tour

Departing from the Las Vegas Strip, this 4-hour premier tour tours the Hoover Dam snaps photos at the Memorial Bridge, and stops at the highest vantage point on the Arizona side. You’ll also visit historic Boulder City and the Lake Mead Visitors Center. Check prices and reviews


Visit to the Hoover Dam is an unforgettable experience that offers a glimpse into the impressive engineering feats of the past. With so many things to do in and around the dam, including tours, attractions, and activities, there’s something for everyone.

If you’re planning a trip to the Hoover Dam, make sure to check out Christianson Tours’ Hoover Dam Tour services. Their knowledgeable guides will take you to explore the lesser-known parts of the dam and provide you with fascinating insights into its history and construction.

Don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity to explore one of the world’s most famous landmarks. Book your Hoover Dam Tour with Christianson Tours today and create memories that will last a lifetime.


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