The massive dam was named one of America’s Seven Modern Civil Engineering Wonders, and it explains why more than a million visitors take the dam tour every year.
Hoover Dam, History, Facts, Tours Inside, Times & Schedule, Cost, Map
Hoover Dam spans the Black Canyon along the majestic Colorado River right between Arizona and Nevada, with the latter explaining why the dam is a popular attraction for visitors to Las Vegas. What makes a tour of Hoover Dam truly unforgettable is that you can get an up-close view of the giant structure and learn the history behind it.
Some impressive facts of the Hoover dam include that it is 726.4 ft high (221.4 m), 1,244 ft long (379 m), has an elevation of 1,232 ft (376 m) at the crest and has a width 45 ft (14 m) at the crest and 660 ft (200 m) at the base. Additionally, Lake Mead has a total capacity of 28,537,000 acre-ft (35.200 km3) (15,853,000 acre-ft (19.554 km3 is active, while 10,024,000 acre-ft (12.364 km3) is inactive), a catchment area of 167,800 sq. mi (435,000 km2), surface area of 247 sq. mi (640 km2), maximum length of 112 mi (180 km) and maximum water depth of 590 ft (180 m).
As for the powerplant, it has an annual power generation of 4.2 TWh (15 PJ), hydraulic head of 590 ft (180 m), turbines that consist of 13 x 130 MW, 2 x 127 MW, 1 x 68.5 MW, 1 x 61.5 MW Francis-type, 2 x 2.4 MW Pelton-type – all adding up to an installed capacity of 2,080 MW.
The dam tour costs $30 per person, after which, you can drive along the winding road and drive over the top of the dam. This scenic drive provides a wonderful experience – on one side lies the azure Lake Mead, and on the other side is a contrasting, but breathtakingly beautiful canyon.
Look out for The Colorado River Bridge (the Hoover Dam Bypass), officially referred to as the Mike O’Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge. This bridge is ideal for taking photos of the Hoover Dam as it is directly opposite the face of the dam and is the second-highest bridge in the United States and the world’s highest concrete arch bridge.
Don’t miss out on seeing the ‘Winged Figures of the Republic’ statues either. These unique sculptures celebrate the triumph of scientific advancement, coupled with the charm of intellectual resolution. Fun fact – more than four tons of bronze were used in the design.
Do not pass up the opportunity to enjoy a tour of the Power plant. During this tour, you will have a chance to enjoy exhibits, audio, and video presentations that tell the story of the dam and how it came to be. After that, visitors are guided to the specific part of the plant converts the flowing water into electricity. The elevator here takes you 160 meters inside the plant.
These unforgettable tours are a great way to explore Hoover Dam with the whole family.