The Hoover Dam is one of the modern man-made marvels. Not only did it revolutionize life in the West after the Great Depression, but it also continues to play a pivotal role today.
Given its historic significance and mammoth size, it's no surprise that the Hoover Dam is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the region. Those who want to see the dam for themselves and learn a little more about it will find that there are several Hoover Dam tours to choose from. Our guide will help you decide which Hoover Dam tour is best for you and your travel party.
Types of Hoover Dam Tours Available
Interested tourists will be pleased to find out that there are several types of Hoover Dam tours available, allowing the experienced to be customized to the preferences of the individual traveler. Here are some types of Hoover Dam tours that you might be interested in:
The Power Plant Tour — The Power Plant Tour is a short, comprehensive tour that is best suited to those who want to learn about the inner-workings of the dam and how it provides power as well as water to the region.
The Dam Tour — The Dam Tour is a longer tour that begins in the power plant, but then extends into the tunnels and passageways within the structure of the dam itself. This tour provides more insight into the operations at the dam as well as additional history about the development of the dam.
How Long Does it Take?
The Power Plant Tour is the ideal option for travelers who want to squeeze in a quick tour as part of their overall vacation itinerary. This tour lasts for half an hour. The Dam Tour is a longer tour that lasts for about an hour.
How Much Does it Cost?
Both the Power Plant Tour and the Dam Tour begin in the Hoover Dam Visitor Center. The shorter Power Plant Tour costs $15 per person, while the longer Dam Tour costs $30 per person.
Those who wish the visit the Hoover Dam Visitor Center yet not embark on a tour will be required to pay a $10 entrance fee, so it's particularly valuable to enjoy one of the tours.
What Will I See?
What you will see on your tour will vary greatly based on which tour you choose. Here's a breakdown of what may be included in the tour that you select:
Power Plant Tour — This guided tour begins in the power plant, where visitors will see several of the commercial generators that are located there. The tour guide will provide additional information about how the power plant works and the impact that it has on the community. Those on the Power Plant Tour also will be able to walk through the tunnels that were part of the original construction of the dam. The tour concludes at the viewing platform, where guests can see and feel the power of the dam. This is the best spot to take a photo on the tour.
Dam Tour — The Dam Tour begins with the guided tour of the power plant, but then continues to offer guests additional experiences within the dam. This tour takes guests through some of the original tour tunnels and allows them to take an elevator to the top of Hoover Dam. Visitors who opt to take this tour also will have the opportunity to walk through the inspection tunnels located in the center of the dam, giving them a truly immersive experience. They have the opportunity to view the mighty Colorado River through one of the inspection shafts.
Is It Worth It?
As guests walk into the Hoover Dam Visitor Center, they will see that for just $10 they can enjoy a self-guided tour of the center that includes photographs, historical documents, and information about the construction of the dam. This may leave many wondering if it's worth it to invest additional time and money into a tour.
However, there's no other way to get inside the dam and experience the inner-workings of this manmade wonder. It is well worth the time and money to embark on one of the two tours available, as these tours provide unique experiences that you won't soon forget.
Which One is the Best?
There is no right answer to this question. The best tour for you will depend on the amount of time that you have available, your personal budget and your own interest in the dam itself. For some, they learn all that they need and want to know on the Power Plant Tour, and they are able to get that coveted photo opportunity with the dam. For others, they simply need to explore more and get additional information about this iconic American site, so they opt for the Dam Tour. No matter which tour you choose when you visit the Hoover Dam, you won't be disappointed.
Alternative Ways to Experience the Hoover Dam
While the two official tours available at the Hoover Dam are well worth it, you may also want to consider alternative ways to see Hoover Dam. One of the only ways to see the magnificent Hoover Dam from the water is to book a Black Canyon river tour. This is a guided tour that takes visitors on a raft through the Black Canyon on the Colorado River. It is an exciting adventure, allowing you to enjoy a whirlwind trip through the walls of the canyon as a guide provides you with insight into the formation of the canyon and the wildlife that call it home. The river tour concludes in the Lake Mead National Recreation Area, where you will have the rare opportunity to enjoy breathtaking views of the Hoover Dam from the water.
The Hoover Dam is an attraction that you simply have to see during your next vacation in the American West. To get the most out of your experience, make sure you allocate time for a tour — it's not enough to take a quick selfie with the dam behind you. You will want to learn more about how this dam was built, and how it continues to fuel the region today.
For more information on experiencing the Hoover Dam and seeing it from every angle, contact us at Black Canyon River Adventure today.