Hoover Dam - Arizona
Arizona is perhaps best known for being home to the Grand Canyon, but it is also home to another impressive American icon. The Hoover Dam, constructed in the 1930’s during the Great Depression years, was primarily constructed to control floods, provide irrigation water and produce hydroelectric power in the desert state. In recent years though it has become an increasingly popular tourist attraction, as it offers fantastic views of the Black Canyon and the Colorado River. Originally called Boulder Dam, visitors can tour the inside of this giant concrete arch-gravity dam and get a fascinating insight into the mechanics of the hydroelectric plant within. There are also various viewpoints, including the Penstock Viewing stop, which sits atop one of the four 30 foot pipes which transport vast quantities of water from Lake Mead to the Dam’s generators. Lake Mead is the largest reservoir in the United States, and can be best seen from the impressive Hoover Dam Bypass Bridge. This bridge gives unrivalled views of the Dam, making it the perfect spot for photographing this man-made marvel.
Where is it?
The Hoover Dam was installed in the Black Canyon of the Colorado River, and sits on the border between the U.S. states of Arizona and Nevada on the west coast of the U.S.A. It is only half an hour’s drive from Las Vegas.
What is it?
The Dam is an example of an arch-gravity dam, which harnesses the power of falling water to create electricity through hydroelectric generators. The stored water is also used for irrigation in the famously dry surrounding desert States.
Best time to visit?
The best time to avoid the sizzling desert heat is to visit from November through to March.
The nearby Boulder City is definitely worth a visit. Originally built for construction workers and their wives at the time of the Dam’s construction, the charming old-fashioned town has been preserved thanks to it being one of only two towns in Nevada where gambling is not permitted. Skydive Las Vegas also operates out of Boulder City Airport, and offers the chance for a truly unforgettable view of the Dam and Lake Mead, as well as the famous city.