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Hoover Dam

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Hoover Dam, once known as Boulder Dam, is a concrete arch-gravity dam in the Black Canyon of the Colorado River, on the border between the US states of Arizona and Nevada. It was constructed between 1931 and 1936 during the Great Depression and was dedicated on September 30, 1935, by President Franklin Roosevelt. Its construction was the result of a massive effort involving thousands of workers, and cost over one hundred lives. The dam was controversially named after President Herbert Hoover.

Since about 1900, the Black Canyon and nearby Boulder Canyon had been investigated for their potential to support a dam that would control floods, provide irrigation water and produce hydroelectric power. In 1928, Congress authorized the project. The winning bid to build the dam was submitted by a consortium called Six Companies, Inc., which began construction on the dam in early 1931. Such a large concrete structure had never been built before, and some of the techniques were unproven. The torrid summer weather and the lack of facilities near the site also presented difficulties. Nevertheless, Six Companies turned over the dam to the federal government on March 1, 1936, more than two years ahead of schedule.

Hoover Dam impounds Lake Mead, and is located near Boulder City, Nevada, a municipality originally constructed for workers on the construction project, about 25 mi (40 km) southeast of Las Vegas, Nevada. The dam's generators provide power for public and private utilities in Nevada, Arizona, and California. Hoover Dam is a major tourist attraction; nearly a million people tour the dam each year. Heavily travelled U.S. 93 ran along the dam's crest until October 2010, when the Hoover Dam Bypass opened.

Note: All times are for the Pacific Time Zone.

Parking Garage: Open 8:00 a.m. -- Close 5:15 p.m.
Parking fee: $7.00

Visitor Center: Open 9:00 a.m. -- Close 5:00 p.m. (Tickets must be purchased by 4:15 p.m. for access)

Tours/Tickets:
Hoover Dam tours operate under Summer and Winter hours.
Winter: First Powerplant Tour departs at 9:25 a.m.
Last Powerplant Tour departs at 3:55 p.m.

First Dam Tour departs at 9:30 a.m.
Last Dam Tour departs at 3:30 p.m.
Dam Tours (limited to 20 people per tour) may sell-out a couple hours in advance of the last tour

Last Visitor Center ticket is sold at 4:15 p.m.
(Tickets sold from 3:45-4:15 p.m. are for Visitor Center Admission only)


Summer: First Powerplant Tour departs at 9:25 a.m.
Last Powerplant Tour departs at 4:55 p.m. (Last Powerplant Tour ticket is sold at 4:45 p.m.)

First Dam Tour departs at 9:30 a.m.
Last Dam Tour departs at 4:00 p.m. (Monday through Thursday)
On Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Federal Holidays, the last Dam Tour departs at 4:30 p.m.
Dam Tours (limited to 20 people per tour) may sell-out a couple hours in advance of the last tour

Last Visitor Center ticket is sold at 5:15 p.m.
(Tickets sold from 4:45-5:15 p.m. are for Visitor Center Admission only)

The Hoover Dam Visitor Center is open every day of the year except for Thanksgiving and Christmas days.
NOTE: The guided Powerplant Tour takes about 30 minutes, while the Dam Tour lasts nearly one hour. If you take one of these guided tours, and want to discover all the other features at Hoover Dam (not included on the guided tours), plan about two hours or more for your entire visit.

Tour Options and Admission Fees:
Powerplant Tour - Includes 30-minute guided tour and admission to the Visitor Center & Powerplant

Adults (Ages 17-61) $11.00
Seniors (62+) $9.00
Juniors (ages 4-16) $9.00
U.S. Military $9.00
U.S. Military (in Uniform) Free
Children (Ages 0-3) Free

More in this category: Lake Mead »

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