Las Vegas to Hoover Dam is a trip your family will never forget. With or without the kids, a Las Vegas trip is on most people’s bucket lists because of its iconic entertainment and sights along the Strip.
It’s easy to spend your whole vacation in one area of Vegas, but Nevada has more to offer just outside of the busy city. Hoover Dam is a one-of-a-kind landmark that’s convenient for Vegas visitors. So, how can you get there and what can you expect?
Should You Include Hoover Dam on Your Las Vegas Trip?
The Hoover Dam is a massive, iconic dam on the border between Nevada and Arizona. It has been around since 1935, and it’s about 220 acres large. It’s a short road trip from Las Vegas, but it’s a much different attraction from the flashy shows and packed casinos.
So, if you’re looking for a change of pace during your Las Vegas trip, you should carve some time out of your itinerary to see the Hoover Dam.
How Far is Hoover Dam From Las Vegas?
According to Google Maps, it takes 39 minutes to get from Las Vegas to Hoover Dam by car. However, you’ll need to consider traffic if you’re visiting in the summer since that’s the busy season. The journey is about 37 miles, and most of the trip is on the interstate.
How to Get to Hoover Dam From Las Vegas
Several transportation methods will get to you to Hoover Dam from Las Vegas. Here are a few options to consider.
You can make it to Hoover Dam via car within 45 minutes, but it can be difficult to navigate because the landmark doesn’t have one specific address. You can map it to the Hoover Dam visitor center or one of the parking lots if you’re not familiar with the area. The lots close to the visitor center charge $10 for parking, but the lots that are further away are free.
Taxi or Rideshare
If you don’t have a personal or rental car on vacation, you can use a taxi or rideshare service to get there. It will take the same time, but it will cost about $60 to $100 each way, depending on the company you choose.
It’s easy for public transportation to drop people off at Hoover Dam, but since it’s a remote landmark, finding a taxi or rideshare to pick you up may be trickier. Consider reserving a return trip from Hoover Dam to Las Vegas in advance if you’re worried about having a ride.
Transportation is provided when you book some Hoover Dam tours. Most major hotels on the Strip allow tour guides to pick you up early to shuttle you to your destination. You’ll get a private walking tour of the dam and the power plant, and then return transportation is also provided.
Most tours include meals, beverages, and snacks. It’s the most convenient transportation option, but it will be more expensive than a car, taxi, or rideshare.
Boulder City Express is a bus shuttle company that takes visitors from most of the Strip’s hotels to the Hoover Dam. It has lots of other stops at tourist attractions, including the Lake Mead Visitor Center, Boulder City, ziplining tours, and lake cruises.
The HDX public buses are cheaper, but they stop at Boulder City and turn around. It’s another 10 minutes from Boulder City to Hoover Dam, so you can take another shuttle, taxi, or rideshare the rest of the way. When you arrive in Las Vegas at the start of your trip, you can ask the concierge about bus options.
If you’re willing to spend the extra cash, a helicopter is the best transportation experience. You’ll get high angles of Las Vegas and Hoover Dam as you fly from one location to the other. Helicopter tours give you great photo opportunities, but they’re not ideal for people afraid of heights.
Some helicopter tours fly over the Hoover Dam and point out the landmarks but don’t land. It’s a good alternative if you want to see the dam but not spend the whole day doing so.
What to Do at Hoover Dam
The Hoover Dam is more than just an impressive structure. Of course, looking at it is amazing enough, but here are some things you can do there while you’re visiting.
Take a Tour of the Dam
You’re free to explore and take pictures of the dam, but many visitors benefit from tours. A tour guide will share facts about the landmark’s history while walking from the visitor center to the Hoover Dam observation deck. Admission to the visitor center is included with the price of a tour. A guided tour is $30 per person, and a self-guided tour of the visitor center alone is $10.
Tour the Power Plant
If you’re interested in more history, you can also tour Hoover Dam’s power plant. You’ll get to see where power is created and walk through all the original construction tunnels. Guided tours are $15 per person. The visitor center tour is included with the power plant tour.
Kayaking allows visitors to experience the dam up close, and it’s less crowded than the other spots. A few companies offer Hoover Dam kayak tours of varying prices and lengths. Some are professionally guided and others are self-guided.
Walk on the Memorial Bridge
The Memorial Bridge is a newer structure near the Hoover Dam, constructed in 2010. It goes above the Colorado River, and it connects the Nevada and Arizona sides. It’s a great photo opportunity and a scenic walk.
Hike Around Lake Mead
Lake Mead is a 10-minute drive from the visitor center. It’s a gorgeous lake with lots of hiking trails around the water. You can take kayaks, wakeboards, or jet skis out on the water. Swimming and fishing are also allowed in certain areas. It’s a great outdoor adventure before or after admiring Hoover Dam.
Visit Hemenway Park
Hemenway Park is in Boulder City, so it’s about 12 minutes from the visitor center. Hiking around the park will give you lots of opportunities to spot wildlife, such as bighorn sheep. The sheep are used to being around people, so they’re not afraid to get close. There are also picnic areas and a playground for families traveling with children.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are a few common questions from visitors.
Can You Visit the Hoover Dam for Free?
It’s free to visit Hoover Dam, but any experiences outside of exploring and admiring the dam will cost extra. The visitor center, tours, and kayaking opportunities are all additional fees. There is free parking available, but the most convenient lots will cost extra.
What Are the Hoover Dam Hours?
The Hoover Dam is open daily from 9 am to 5 pm. The visitor center closes earlier at 4:15 pm.
How Much Time Do You Need at the Hoover Dam?
Guests might spend anywhere from two hours to all day at Hoover Dam. If you just want to walk around and admire the dam, then you might spend less time at the attraction than on the commute. Yet, if you want to enjoy the many attractions at and near Hoover Dam, you may want to make a day trip out of it.
Start Planning Your Trip!
Hoover Dam and Las Vegas are two US destinations worth seeing. There are lots of family-friendly Vegas hotels that allow tour shuttles to transport you to and from Hoover Dam. Traveling from one to the other during your next vacation will give you a nice variety of attractions to enjoy.