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Hoover Dam, Boulder City

Must see · Dam · Nature / Park
Hoover Dam is a concrete arch-gravity dam in the Black Canyon of the Colorado River, on the border between the U.S. states of Nevada and Arizona. It was constructed between 1931 and 1936 during the Great Depression and was dedicated on September 30, 1935, by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Its construction was the result of a massive effort involving thousands of workers, and cost over one hundred lives. It was referred to as Hoover Dam after President Herbert Hoover in bills passed by Congress during its construction, but was named Boulder Dam by the Roosevelt administration. The Hoover Dam name was restored by Congress in 1947.

Since about 1900, the Black Canyon and nearby Boulder Canyon had been investigated for their potential to support a dam that would control floods, provide irrigation water and produce hydroelectric power. In 1928, Congress authorized the project. The winning bid to build the dam was submitted by a consortium called Six Companies, Inc., which began construction of the dam in early 1931. Such a large concrete structure had never been built before, and some of the techniques were unproven. The torrid summer weather and lack of facilities near the site also presented difficulties. Nevertheless, Six Companies turned the dam over to the federal government on March 1, 1936, more than two years ahead of schedule.

Hoover Dam impounds Lake Mead, the largest reservoir in the United States by volume when full. The dam is located near Boulder City, Nevada, a municipality originally constructed for workers on the construction project, about 30 mi (48 km) southeast of Las Vegas, Nevada. The dam's generators provide power for public and private utilities in Nevada, Arizona, and California. Hoover Dam is a major tourist attraction; nearly a million people tour the dam each year. The heavily traveled U.S. Route 93 (US 93) ran along the dam's crest until October 2010, when the Hoover Dam Bypass opened.

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
9,320 reviews
  • We arrived on a miserably hot day, coming from Las vegas. Someone had given us the hint that if we drove past the dam that there was free parking, and they were right. We walked in the sweltering...  more »
  • We were vacationing in western Arizona and decided to go to the Hoover Dam, since we were so close. Pictures do not do it justice. This is an awesome structure. The tours weren’t available that day...  more »
  • I had a business conference in Vegas and took a side trip to the Dam. It's shocking how low the water level is. There are 2 places to park, one lot on either side of the bridge. The fee was $10 to...  more »
  • It’s good place to visit. Nice open area. East parking. Wasn’t that busy during the week. They said it’s very busy weekends. We were luck to visit easy. Must visit during Vegas trip !
  • Super cool experience! Actually a lot more fun than I thought it would be. The views were breathtaking. The gift shop there isn't too bad either. I got a cute shirt that wasn't too expensive. Not a place I'd thought would be cool, but I really liked it 👍
  • Beautiful scenery and the best part is that it is free! To get free parking, make sure you park passing the Arizona side and then you can take a 10 minute walk down towards the main attractions of the Hoover Dam. Also, if you are coming on a weekend make sure you get there early as parking can get full.
  • It is so pretty here, and a bit cold in the winter! Security was kind of weird and watch my husband and I the whole time we were there but we still had fun.
  • You don’t realize how magnificent this place is until you see it. And then you have to comprehend that it was built nearly 100 years ago. And don’t miss the view from the Pat Tillman memorial bridge.

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