POWER PLANT TOUR (Visitor Center Included)

THINGS TO SEE AND DO ON THE POWERPLANT TOUR

To get the most enjoyment from your visit to Hoover Dam, we recommend the following guide:

To enter the Visitor Center, take the escalator or elevator across the road from the Visitor Center down below street level to the security checkpoint/ticketing area:

Visitor Center Presentations and Exhibits – Theater Level

Theater Level Displays: After you purchase your ticket, you’ll find yourself in the lobby of the Visitor Center’s Theater Level. Displays, maps, photos and other displays provide an introduction to Hoover Dam.
Theater: The Visitor Center Theater is also on this level. A 10-minute film describes the contributions of Hoover Dam to the developing West, and the massive construction effort behind the engineering marvel.

Inside the Powerplant

After exiting the Theater, join the queue on this same level to enter the Hoover Dam Powerplant. From here, a 70-second elevator ride takes you 530 feet down through the rock wall of Black Canyon to begin a 30-minute guided tour. You’ll exit the elevator into a tunnel drilled in the 1930s for construction, and take a short walk to the

Penstock Viewing Platform.

Penstock Viewing: This location is atop one (of four) of the huge 30-foot-diameter pipes that can transport nearly 90,000 gallons of water each second from Lake Mead to the dam’s hydroelectric generators. An animated display helps describe the complexities of the construction of the dam, and how it presently operates.

Powerplant Generators: A quick elevator ride up to the Nevada powerplant balcony takes you to a panoramic view of the 650-foot-long Nevada wing of the powerplant and eight of the dam’s 17 huge generators. Also, don’t miss the beautiful and intricate terrazzo floor designs under your feet. A great spot for pictures!

Visitor Center Presentations and Exhibits – Exhibit Level

You’ll exit the powerplant balcony through the canyon tunnel and return to the elevators, which will carry you up to the Visitor Center Exhibit Gallery (one floor up from the Theater Level you departed from).

Exhibit Gallery: This gallery houses numerous audio, visual and interactive exhibits, including a full-scale model of the huge buckets used to move concrete for Hoover Dam construction, a walk-though model of generator, and a detailed diorama of the dam. Also featured are interactive exhibits that allow you to test your skill at managing power generation, conserving energy, and other skills.

Visitor Center – Observation Deck Level

The Observation Deck: You can access this top floor of the Visitor Center by taking either the stairs or elevator adjacent to the entrance of the Exhibit Gallery. This floor includes open and enclosed observation areas that provide panoramic (and camera-worthy!) views of Lake Mead, Hoover Dam, the Colorado River and other features. On the open/outside deck, an audio presentation offers significant facts about the dam and its surroundings. Inside, view a model of the Hoover Dam Bypass Bridge that is presently under construction, and a sculpture portraying many of the benefits that Hoover Dam gives to the Colorado River Basin states.

Street Level Displays and Exhibits

Winged Figures of the Republic: This bronze masterpiece is directly across the street from the Visitor Center. A presentation at this site discusses the concepts the artist had mind in creating the statues, as well as details related to the “star map” at its base. A detailed compass framed by the signs of the Zodiac, and bronze seals of the seven Colorado River Basin states are also featured in this area.

The Old Exhibit Building: If you continue walking toward Lake Mead from the Winged Figures plaza, around the corner, you will see the Old Exhibit Building. Originally used as a headquarters for soldiers protecting the dam during World War II, this building served as the dam’s first visitor center. It contains educational exhibits and offers a narrative overview of the Colorado River Basin highlighted through a topographical model showing the location of dams and reservoirs along the river and its tributaries.

Nevada and Arizona Spillways: On each side of the dam (toward the lake) are huge spillways that designed to direct high water from Lake Mead around the dam through tunnels in the canyon walls. The spillways are so large that a World War II battleship can be floated in each one!

The Nevada Intake Towers: On top of the Nevada side of the dam, an audio presentation offers information about the role these towers have in Hoover Dam’s power generation process, and details about some of the artwork incorporated into the towers on the downstream face of the dam.

Top of the Dam: A walk along the sidewalks on top of the dam provides awe-inspiring views of the dam face, Lake Mead, the intake towers, the Colorado River, and other features around the dam site.

For reservation information about Hoover Dam tours, contact us during operating hours at:

Tel: (702)494-2517

Fax: (702)494-2587

Toll Free: (866)730-9097

Note: If you have problems with the on-line reservation system, please email jmerchen@usbr.gov about your experience.


VISITOR CENTER

AMENITIES AND VISITATION HINTS

Restrooms are located on Level 1 of the Parking Garage, in the Theater and Exhibit levels of the Visitor Center, adjacent to the Old Exhibit Building, and on top of the dam.

Food is available through a concession service at the base of the Parking Garage.

Gift shop concession is located at the base of the Parking Garage.

Accessibility:

The Hoover Dam Visitor Center is wheelchair/scooter accessible. Guests with wheelchairs, strollers and other mobility equipment can enter the Visitor Center (one floor below street level) via an elevator inset into the canyon wall a few yards past the escalator entrance.

Denison Parking also has wheelchairs available for visitor use for the Visitor Center or visiting other locations around the dam site. There is a $5.00 charge for the use of this equipment.

Visitation Tips:

The busiest season at Hoover Dam is in the summer from Memorial Day until Labor Day.

The slowest months for visitation are January and February. The least crowded time of day for tours is from 9:00 a.m. until 10:30 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. until 3:45 pm.

Traffic around the dam during holidays and weekends can be extremely heavy with long delays on the roadways to the site.

To enjoy the site entirely, we recommend visitors arrive by 2:00 p.m. as pedestrians are prohibited from the top of the dam during hours of darkness.

Hoover Dam is located in a desert climate. It is extremely HOT in the summer. During summer months it is recommended that you wear light clothing and a hat, use sunscreen and sun glasses, and carry water bottles on the tour.

Rules

Discounts:

America the Beautiful, Golden Eagle or Golden Age Passports/discounts are NOT accepted for admission to the Hoover Dam Visitor Center or tours. They can be used for admission to parks and facilities that receive benefits from the Land and Water Conservation Fund (like Lake Mead National Recreation Area); however, Hoover Dam is entirely self-funded and does not receive the benefits from this Fund.

Traffic/Parking:

Hoover Dam is accessible via Exit 2 on US 93. Additionally, the dam is not open to through traffic, as the roadway on the Arizona side of the site has been closed. Vehicles can still cross the dam to visit the Arizona viewpoints and concessions, but all are required to turn around and re-enter Nevada to access Highway 93.

Most passenger vehicles are allowed access to the dam, but all are subject to inspection at the security checkpoints. (Note: Contents of moving vans and enclosed campers must be easily inspected.)

Motorhomes and other high clearance vehicles (with dimensions greater than 10.5 feet high and 23 feet long) CANNOT park in the Parking Garage and must use parking areas on the Arizona side of the dam. For more information, see “Crossing Hoover Dam: A Traveler’s Guide” (Acrobat .pdf file- 45 KB).

Security:

All visitors to the Visitor Center are required to enter the facility through a security checkpoint. Cameras, purses, small-size backpacks, and camera tripods are permitted. Knives and weapons are NOT ALLOWED in the Visitor Center. All carry-in possessions will be scanned.

Stopping on top of the dam in any vehicle is prohibited.

Pedestrians are not allowed on the top of the dam during hours of darkness.

Pets are not allowed anywhere on site.

Food, chewing gum, canned drinks and drinks in cups are NOT allowed on tour or in the buildings. Water bottles are permitted.

For reservation information about Hoover Dam tours, contact us during operating hours at:

Tel: (702)494-2517

Fax: (702)494-2587

Toll Free: (866)730-9097

Note: If you have problems with the on-line reservation system, please email jmerchen@usbr.gov about your experience.

Inside the Hoover Dam Tour – Video

Hoover Dam Tour – Video