Wow, this is a realllllyyyyyy big beaver dam…at least that’s what kept going through my mind! If you’re in the area, this is kind of a “must do at least once in your life” kinda experience. It seriously is a wonder of modern technology! I’m glad I had a great tour guide in Karla to walk me around and show me the cool spots. I’ll write this blog in the order I took these pictures because that makes the most sense to me!
There are two little walks you can do around the Hoover Dam. One is on the dam itself; park in the designated parking structure (it was $10 for the day), and either take the stairs or elevator down to the main level. From there, you can walk across the dam on either side, which I’d definitely recommend doing!
The Hoover Dam Walk
This walk is just over a mile in length at about 1.3 miles, depending on where you start and where you end. There are some cooling stations that Karla and I took full advantage of since there isn’t shade on the bridge. The visitor center, gift shop, cafe, and tours don’t open until 9am, so be aware of your timing! We got here before the big rush and the weather was going to be a high of 111 degrees, so we weren’t crowded at all. It’s quite a beautiful sight to see!
We tried to take some selfies with my camera, trying to recreate a similar selfie we’d taken in Utah atop Bald Mountain, and uh, well, we never quite got them to be as good as we did before. Here’s a couple of our attempts…we’ll try again next time maybe??
Here are a couple photos we took on Karla’s phone. Maybe these are a little better? We’re still a quite chaotic duo, but hey, that makes everything that much more fun, right?
We waited for the visitor center and gift shop to open so we could check out the info (and cool off), so while we waited, we utilized one of the many cooling stations. They work pretty darn well, actually!
The Bridge Walk
After we had explored the dam from below and cooled off a little bit, we headed out of the Dam area up the road about a mile and turned left for the Hoover Dam Bridge Bypass Trail. We parked again and started the short, 1.3-mile trail up to the bridge. Alltrails reports this has nearly 1,400 feet of elevation gain, but the majority of it is concrete stairs. It also has a wheelchair-accessible ramp winding up and down to the bridge. I feel like there isn’t quite 1,400 of elevation gain…I’d probably go with 100 feet? I’m sure it feels like 1,400 feet on a hot day…
Once on the bridge, you can walk as far as you’d like, but you should at least walk to the middle of the bridge and try to find the plaque on the ground. It’s the state line between Nevada and Arizona, and it’s a cool little marker!
If you dare, make sure to look down…it’s a long way to the river bottom, but it’s quite pretty. You can even see the bottom of the river – the water was so clear when we went!
From here, we walked back to the car for some much-needed air conditioning. I would try to see both the dam and the bridge if you’re able – it’s a beautiful sight!
If you’re looking for more things to do in the Lake Mead area, check the Historic Railroad Trail and try to catch a sunrise at Sunset Point Overlook. I know, that sounds contradictory, but trust me, it’s totally worth it!
See you on the next blog!
Next blog: Done with Nevada. On to Capitol Reef!