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One of the greatest dams of its day and an Arizona landmark, the Hoover Dam is situated in Black Canyon between Arizona and Nevada on U.S. 93, around half an hour from Las Vegas, at the bottom of Lake Mead. Filled with history and a colossal view, the Hoover Dam makes for an awe-inspiring stop on your Arizona sightseeing trip.
History & Nature
During the Great Depression, thousands of men and their families came to Black Canyon to build the Hoover Dam – a project designed to transform the raging Colorado River into a hydroelectric power source for the region’s growing population.
Before the dam was built, the Colorado River flowed freely though Black Canyon. Today, the entire area is transformed into the Lake Mead National Recreation Area, and is a frequent stop for boaters and water-sport fans of all types.
Construction of the dam began in 1931 and the last piece was poured in 1935, two years ahead of schedule. Originally called the Boulder Dam, it was later renamed after President Hoover, who had been one of the original proponents of the project. In 1994, the American Society of Civil Engineers named the dam one of America’s Seven Modern Civil Engineering Wonders, and it also stands as a National Historic Landmark.
Things to Do
Even if you don’t stay for long, it’s easy to be awed by the Hoover Dam – just drive over it. If you have just a few minutes, stop for a moment along one of the many roadside viewpoints – perfect for snapping a photo and taking in the immensity of the dam.
But if you have some time, a tour is truly the best way to experience the dam. The power plant tour offers presentations and exhibits on how the dam operates, while guided tours will take you on an exploration of the dam’s lesser-known areas.
All tours start at the Hoover Dam Visitor Center, which houses exhibits of the dam’s history and its role in agriculture, electrical power and recreation. For tour times and ticket information, see the official website or call before you go.
Hotels, Lodging & Camping
Located in Northwestern Arizona, there are plenty of places to stay near the Hoover Dam. For hotels, Kingman – 75 miles away – offers plenty of options. You can also find plenty of campsites at nearby state parks and Arizona campgrounds.
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Phone: (702) 494-2517
Visit the Official Website
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