Amongst National Landmarks and stops must see for travelers when passing through Arizona and Nevada is the Hoover Dam. This mammoth manmade feat which began construction in 1931 and ran for 5 years stands an astounding 726 feet in height and at its thickest portion is 650 feet.
But why stop?
The sheer numbers alone are astounding!! Sure the $49 million of the time which now would be the equivalent of $811 million are pretty substantial. As are the 10,000 workers the project utilized to accomplish such a massive endeavor. But more than it all the foundation of what now is the Las Vegas community finds its deep roots filtering back to this project which changed the way we receive and produce so much of the electricity which has filtered through the area and made possible an ongoing resource which has spanned the ages.
The theory behind the dam had its own promise well beyond the electricity it now is known to contribute to the area. Flood control, irrigation and creating recreational facilities were a product which quickly became apparent in addition to providing water sources for not only nearby Las Vegas but also the newly constructed Boulder City which housed all the workers of the project and became a boom town. Now days people most know it for the attraction of Lake Mead, a byproduct of the dam as the Colorado river was held back and created what is known as the largest water reservoir in the United States.
Now many years removed from construction the dam plays host to thousands of tourists a year from all over the world as people come to take tours, walk across and take in the views of one of the most significant dams in the world.
Tours are available and take you deep into the bowels of the dam where the humming of the generators and the pumping of the motors roll water through at an astounding breakneck pace. Busiest during the summer months, tours leave throughout the day but are not wheelchair accessible. Tickets are required for those taking the tour inside the dam itself, however for those wanting just to get a quick peek they can do so by stopping just before the visitor center parking at the recently added Pat Tillman walking bridge.
This bridge allows guests to walk just across from the dam and see grasp some of the best overall views of the dam at no charge. While it is windy and does not have as much information as the dam tour itself the photos from this location are absolutely breath taking.
For those wanting the full picture, both stops are a must on your trip making this one of the most history filled day trips away from the Las Vegas Strip you can make.