Sunday, February 3, 2013

Las Vegas Vacation: Road Trip To Hoover Dam

If you are keeping track of my travels, you will probably recognize that this is a really late post!!  In October of 2011 my family took a mini vacation to Las Vegas.  To add to the fun for our little kiddos, I wanted to visit Hoover Dam (an area where their age wasn't a huge factor - well maybe....).    

Here's our experience:

Hoover Dam is not far from Las Vegas and is actually a fun drive to get out of the busy city for a bit!  There is a parking ramp on the Nevada side with just a small fee ($7).  I was very willing to pay.  If that ramp wasn't there the parking would be extremely limited!

Meet Harry!  He is a family member that is very loved by my son.
Harry loves to travel!  This is one of the many areas to take a look down the dam
and take pictures.

This is the opposite side of the damn.
Notice the white on the rocks?  That is where the water line used to be.
Unfortunately, low water over the past couple of years has impacted a lot of areas.

This is a memorial bridge that runs over the dam area.
I was confused when I saw it because my husband and I had visited this
area before and I was sure it wasn't there.  I later found out that it was new ;-)

In this picture you can see the parking ramp to the left.
There are some great views from the ramp too!

Such a great view!

Remember these from the first Transformers movie?

As you walk along the road you will see these.
Some have restrooms in them.
Did you know that the Hoover Dam falls on the state line for Arizona and Nevada?  There's a little fun in the fact that you can be standing in two states at one time and in two different time zones!!!

Arizona Side

Nevada Side

At the state line/divide.
Notice the labels at the bottom front of the stone?

Of course this is a must take picture!
Dam tours are offered - although they are not exactly like the tour shown in National Lampoons Vegas Vacation ;-)  Unfortunately my kiddos were not old enough to go on the tour.  You must be at least 8 years old to go on the official tour (and it is not wheelchair accessible).  The tour was $8 per person but walking across the dam and back is free and is wheelchair accessible.

Headed to the tour office.

This is as far as a person can go unless you are going to participate in a tour.
Yes - security is high!

This is an old picture I found from a few years back when my husband
and I toured the dam.

There's a very nice visitors center, restaurant, and restrooms.
I mentioned earlier the memorial bridge that was new to us.  On the way to the dam we passed an area to hike to the bridge.  Since we had no clue what it was we didn't stop.  Well, we decided to stop on the way back to Las Vegas.  There was no cost to parking or to hike.

"Rules" of the area.

The paved and curvy area is the path up to the bridge.  It is wheel chair accessible
and very friendly to those who have a hard time with stairs.

I don't have pictures but there are a few places to rest along the way and entertain visitors with facts of the bridge and surrounding area.  There's also a "Welcome to Nevada" sign that is in perfect position to take a picture of your group.

The walk area on the bridge (only on the side facing the dam).

The view from the bridge!

We weren't sure how long the hike would be and if our kiddos would be able to make it.  So, originally we decided to just drive over the bridge.  That was pointless!  The bridge is built so you can't see anything over the sides...  Maybe if you were in a semi but surely not from a regular car.  I'm glad that we did go back to do the hike.  It wasn't bad at all and was well worth it for the sites we saw!

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