The Hoover Dam is located on the Nevada – Arizona border about 30 miles southeast of Las Vegas. Completed in 1935, it harnesses enough water from the Colorado river to irrigate 2 million acres of farm land, provides municipal water for urban centers including Los Angeles, Phoenix, Tucson, and Las Vegas. It also contributes enough hydroelectric power to serve 1.3 million people each year. With 7 million visitors a year, the Hoover Dam is the most-visited dam in the world.
- Height of a 60-story building
- 660 feet thick at its base
- Wide enough on top to be used as a highway (as it once was)
- Required 5 million barrels of cement
- Contains 45 million pounds of reinforced steel
- The 6.6 million tons of concrete used for the dam would pave a road stretching from San Francisco to New York City
- Summer temperatures were often as high as 115 degrees in the day and cooled to only 95 degrees at night as the dam was being built
- The Colorado River is the river that carved the Grand Canyon
Just south of the Hoover Dam is the Hoover Dam Bypass Bridge. It towers 900 feet above the Colorado River’s Black Canyon. It now handles the traffic that once flowed directly over top of the Hoover Dam.
The new traffic flow reduces congestion, improves safety, and increases security at the Hoover Dam. The bridge also offers incredible views from its pedestrian walkway.
The nearby town of Boulder City was created specifically for workers on the Hoover Dam project. The city is still thriving today. Las Vegas had a population of ~ 5,000 people in 1931. Today, Las Vegas has ~ 2,700,000 residents.
If you are visiting Las Vegas, a Hoover Dam excursion is a relatively short trip and definitely worth the visit. If you are planning to visit the Grand Canyon during your trip Vegas, you’ll drive right by the Hoover Dam on your trip.