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Old 05-23-2010, 12:27 PM
 
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We are looking to do the dam this Saturday as our one off-strip activity and want to know first- if it is worth seeing, and if so, what is the fastest, and/or best way to go (excluding $$$$$ helicopter tours- unless you know of a less expensive one).

Thank you!
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Old 05-23-2010, 01:32 PM
 
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FueledByBlueBell View Post
We are looking to do the dam this Saturday as our one off-strip activity and want to know first- if it is worth seeing, and if so, what is the fastest, and/or best way to go (excluding $$$$$ helicopter tours- unless you know of a less expensive one).

Thank you!
Depends on whether you think two of the engineering wonders of the world are worth seeing (don't forget the new bypass bridge). Millions of people before you have thought so, and most locals go often, especially with guests from out of town. From the dam, you don't see a lot of Lake Mead, but you could take the drive along the North Shore Road just outside of Boulder City. Lake Mead is the largest man made lake in the U.S. if not the western hemisphere.

Best way to go is to drive. There is covered parking right across the road from the visitor center, which BTW, cost more, and took longer to build than the dam itself. There are elevators on the dam where you can buy tickets for the tour inside the dam. It is well worth it to do that. You probably can buy tickets for the tour in the visitor center but I don't know for sure.

The low water level hinders some of the beauty a little bit as far as pictures go, but it's still pretty spectacular.
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Old 05-23-2010, 03:18 PM
 
Location: Jonquil City (aka Smyrna) Georgia- by Atlanta
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Originally Posted by Buzz123 View Post
Depends on whether you think two of the engineering wonders of the world are worth seeing (don't forget the new bypass bridge). Millions of people before you have thought so, and most locals go often, especially with guests from out of town. From the dam, you don't see a lot of Lake Mead, but you could take the drive along the North Shore Road just outside of Boulder City. Lake Mead is the largest man made lake in the U.S. if not the western hemisphere.

Best way to go is to drive. There is covered parking right across the road from the visitor center, which BTW, cost more, and took longer to build than the dam itself. There are elevators on the dam where you can buy tickets for the tour inside the dam. It is well worth it to do that. You probably can buy tickets for the tour in the visitor center but I don't know for sure.

The low water level hinders some of the beauty a little bit as far as pictures go, but it's still pretty spectacular.
Basically we found out that the bus "tour" is not really a "tour" by the tour company. They just transport you to and from the dam and the driver might give you some info or show a short movie on the way. But the tour is conducted by the Hoover Dam people- not the tour company that brings you. This is different than the Grand Canyon tour that we also went on where your bus driver IS your tour guide as well. You can drive yourself there too. The bus just transports you there. You have 2 options which are to see the part of the dam that makes electricity or the whole tour. I think we paid $30 for the whole thing. It is worth it.
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Old 05-23-2010, 05:32 PM
 
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They used to have a 'hard hat' tour that was more detailed and you could see a lot more of the inside of the dam.
If they still have it that is the one to take.
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Old 05-23-2010, 06:14 PM
 
Location: Kingman AZ
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fyi Boulder dam was built in something like TWO years [as opposed to the bridge thats been going for like 8 yrs] andit was built UNDER BUDGET AND AHEAD OF TIME

AND used mostly unskilled labor I would NOT Pass it up
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Old 05-23-2010, 06:25 PM
 
Location: Beautiful Upstate NY!
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If you want to see possibly the only federally-funded project that not only came in on time and on budget, but actually paid for itself many times over, I would not miss it.
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Old 05-23-2010, 07:46 PM
 
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
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Originally Posted by dynimagelv View Post
fyi Boulder dam was built in something like TWO years [as opposed to the bridge thats been going for like 8 yrs] and it was built UNDER BUDGET AND AHEAD OF TIME

AND used mostly unskilled labor I would NOT Pass it up
Not to mention that they had argued over whether to even build the bridge for over 40 years. Of course, most of us thought a bridge would ruin the view, as well as take out a lot of the natural ecology, but I think everyone is surprised and pleased with the result. So maybe 40 years of "planning" is a good thing sometimes.

Actually the dam cost $175 million which has been paid back with lots of interest. I think the visitor center was about $120 million. The new by-pass bridge is about $240 million.

Here's some tour info from those dam people. Bureau of Reclamation: Lower Colorado Region - Hoover Dam: Visitor Center/Tour Information

and from the dam state of Nevada: Hoover Dam Fun Facts

In case you don't make it here's a pretty cool satellite image.
Google Maps
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Old 05-23-2010, 08:07 PM
 
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Wow, thanks everyone! You've sold me. I think we are going to do the bus that stops at Ethel M's. Only 4-5 hours round trip. Still gives us enough time for a nap and dinner that night. Can't wait!
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Old 05-23-2010, 08:38 PM
 
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
12,686 posts, read 34,312,088 times
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Originally Posted by FueledByBlueBell View Post
Wow, thanks everyone! You've sold me. I think we are going to do the bus that stops at Ethel M's. Only 4-5 hours round trip. Still gives us enough time for a nap and dinner that night. Can't wait!
Promise you'll come back here when you get home and let us know if you enjoyed your vacation.
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Old 05-23-2010, 08:51 PM
 
1,153 posts, read 2,419,700 times
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You got it!
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