After a brief stay in Las Vegas, we hit the road to drive 33 miles to the Hoover Dam. We had rented a car at the airport in Vegas because we wanted to see some sites along the way to Los Angeles. The Hoover Dam, located on the border of Nevada and Arizona, does not have a street address. For driving directions and GPS coordinates, click here.
The Hoover Dam was built between 1931-1936 during the Great Depression. As the southwest began to develop, it was built to divert the Colorado river in an effort to control the flow of water, provide power and for irrigation purposes. Today, it provides water and hydroelectric power to over 20 million people and to farmland in Nevada, Arizona and California. It forms Lake Mead which is the largest reservoir in the United States in terms of volume. Originally named the Boulder Dam, it was renamed the Hoover Dam for President Herbert Hoover.
Some interesting facts about the Hoover Dam:
- Thousands of workers contributed to building the dam and more than 100 died during construction.
- The average temperature during construction was 119.9 ℉.
- The dam is 726 feet high, 650 feet thick at the bottom and 45 feet thick at the top. It is 1,244 feet long.
- 6 million tons of concrete were poured to build the dam
- The power capacity of the Hoover Dam is 1,345 megawatts. In one year it can create 4.2 billion KWh (kilowatt hours).
- Over 100 million people tour the dam each year.
The Hoover Dam is considered an engineering wonder and there are several lookouts around the dam for viewing. It is definitely worth a visit, but if you go, hold on to your hat. I found it to be quite windy and almost lost my hat a few times!