An aerial photo of the Hoover Dam with the Colorado River behind it.

Hoover Dam Tour and Destination Guide

Location

The Hoover Dam sits neatly between the state lines of Nevada and Arizona, just over 30 miles (48 km) from Las Vegas. This massive architectural feat stretches across the Colorado River, which it uses to create energy while regulating the water levels. The excess water removed from the river is redirected into Lake Mead, the second-largest manmade reservoir and popular nearby tourist attraction.

Climate

Due to its location within the Black Canyon of the Mojave Desert, temperatures range from a chilly 55 F (13 C ) in winter times to a scorching 115 ;F (46 C) in summertime. Visitors are highly encouraged to check the forecast before visiting this area and to wear light clothing, hats, and sunscreen when visiting in the summer.

Entrance Pass

The Hoover Dam charges visitors both a vehicle parking fee of $10 and an admission fee ranging from $12-$15. Travelers onboard one of Papillon’s Hoover Dam tours will have their admission fee included in the total cost of their tour purchase.

Your Hosts

The United States Bureau of Reclamation (USBR) is a division within the United States Department of the Interior. The USBR is responsible for managing water used for the production of hydroelectric power as well as irrigation and distribution across the nation. In the early 1920s, the USBR began a painstaking search for the perfect location to build what would later become the Hoover Dam, and found Black Canyon to be the perfect spot. The construction of this monolithic dam is considering an engineering masterpiece, managed by USBR chief design engineer John L. Savage.

Your Hoover Dam tour will be led by a Bureau of Reclamation employee and will include a trip through the generator room and to the observation deck.

Attractions

O’Callaghan-Tillman Memorial Bridge

Completed in 2010, the Mike O’Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge crosses the Colorado River and connects the states of Nevada and Arizona. Located directly across from the Hoover Dam, this impressive bridge offers a fantastic sightseeing opportunity from its vehicle pull-offs and pedestrian walkways.

Observation Deck

Discover the most incredible views of the Colorado River and Lake Mead from atop the observation deck, accessible through the Hoover Dam Visitor Center.

Air Tours

See incredible aerial sights of dam and bypass bridge as well as Lake Mead and the Colorado River when you soar over the area on a Hoover Dam helicopter tour or airplane tour! Enjoy panoramic views and photo opportunities of one of America’s proudest constructions.

Powerplant Tour

Take a Hoover Dam tour and visit the powerplant wing, where 17 massive generators work around the clock to create the hydroelectric power that is supplied to almost 8 million people in Arizona, southern California, and southern Nevada.

Accessibility

The Hoover Dam is a fully accessible destination for visitors to Las Vegas or the desert Southwest of the United States. The parking lot offers plentiful accessible parking spaces (free with placard or plates). An elevator is available to bring guests to the Visitor’s Center, where your fully-accessible Powerplant tour begins. Your Hoover Dam tour will show you the generator room, multiple exhibits, and offer sights of the Colorado River and Lake Mead from the observation deck. Also located within the dam is a movie theater with several spaces for wheelchairs or mobility equipment, and accessible restrooms.