Tuesday, October 22, 2013

We went to Hoover Dam!

When I asked my dad what he wanted to do in Vegas, he gave me three suggestions.

1) Visit Hoover Dam
2) Jack in the Box
3) In 'n Out Burgers

LOL. Obviously, Jack in the Box and In 'n Out Burgers are not available in MN. We did squeeze in each of those, and they were delicious!

But this post is all about visiting Hoover Dam.

It was after biking to Hoover Dam in June 2012 that Jeff and I decided to stay in Vegas for awhile. At first we were just planning on staying for 6 months or so, but we're here for the foreseeable future now.

Back to the dam.

We didn't bike this time. Though that would have been lots of fun, we don't have two extra bikes. And with the government shutdown, I don't think that the trail would have been open.

Lucky for us, the Hoover Dam website had this note up when we were checking for hours, etc.
NOTE: Hoover Dam Visitors services remain open to the public during the current government shutdown because the facility is not operated by appropriated dollars.

We missed the turn for the bypass around Boulder City, and I'm so glad that we did! We stumbled upon this view of Lake Mead and had to pull over for some photo ops.

Lake Mead, Boulder City
This was about as close as we could get to Lake Mead, since it is a National Recreational area, and therefore was closed during the shutdown.

From there we were just a few minutes from Hoover Dam.

Hoover Dam

We spent some time walking across the dam from Nevada to Arizona and back again. :)

It was pretty amazing to look down the dam and out across Lake Mead.

Jeff and Marna didn't feel like going on the tour, so it was just my dad and me.

hoover dam
Our docent explaining how the dam was built

It was really fascinating! I really like going on tours like that because I learn so much more than I would just walking around on my own. Plus, of course, you get to go to areas you wouldn't normally get to go - like through the tunnels used to construct the dam.

Lake Mead Hoover Dam

Before going on the tour, I thought the white rock was from the normal water level of Lake Mead. Actually it's from back in 1983 when the Colorado River flooded, giving Mother Nature the opportunity to test the spillways. :) The river flowed that high for 60+ days, resulting in the white rock.

Of course, the water level is still very low, compared to the hey day of Vegas. It used to sit about halfway further up the white wall.

A few years ago, the Hoover Dam Bypass was completed. Now motorists don't have to drive over the dam, and visitors to the dam, get this view.

Hoover Dam Bypass
Such a beautiful bridge!
There is a pedestrian walkway up on the bypass, but we didn't make it up there. I bet those views are even more fabulous!

Hoover Dam

Construction projects like the Hoover Dam are amazing to me! Especially considering the difference in technology from then compared to today.

After the dam tour, we met back up with Jeff and Marna and headed back into Boulder City for a late lunch.

We went to the Boulder Dam Brewery. It was very tasty, and many of their menu items had dam-related names, like the Turbine Turkey.

Boulder Dam Brewery

To see more pictures of our trip to Hoover Dam, click here to see my album on Facebook.

Have you ever visited Hoover Dam?
Do you like to go on guided tours or just explore on your own?

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  1. I've been to Hoover Dam many times, but I have never taken the tour, that would probably be fun! I've done a few guided tours at other places, and some are great and some I not so, guess it just depends on the place:) There is a beautiful Red Canyon nearby the dam that I love to visit and go hiking in the fall and winter if I am in the area. Glad you had a good time:)

    1. Ooh! I'll have to find that Red Canyon sometime. Sounds really beautiful. We have biked the Historic Railroad Tunnel Trail that ends at the Hoover Dam parking structure. It was super fun, though at the time we felt like we were dying since it was in late June and VERY hot.

      Guided tours are definitely hit or miss. I usually skip them - unless Dad is paying. LOL.

  2. Your photos are awesome! We visited a few years back when we were still travelling, and did the tour. I LOVE doing tours places like that - you learn so much 'bonus' stuff that you'd never pick up wandering around by yourself or in a book. I'd like to re-visit now the new bridge is there though - it certainly is impressive looking!

    1. We've been twice now, and have still never made it up to the new bridge. Next time for sure, because I really want to see the view from up there!

  3. What a fabulous view of Lake Mead! I really want to make it to Hoover Dam next time.