Hike-in Required
Open Year-round
ADA accessible
Guided tours
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

The Hoover Dam is perhaps the world’s most iconic dam. Located on the Nevada/Arizona border, Hoover Dam holds back the Colorado River and forms Lake Mead - the largest reservoir in the U.S. (by volume) when full. It is also an extremely popular tourist destination, drawing 7 million visitors every year.

In the early 1900s the government came up with the plan to build the dam to tame the Colorado River and provide the developing southwest with water and hydroelectric power. It was constructed during the Great Depression and dedicated on September 30th, 1935 by FDR. Originally known as Boulder Dam, it wasn’t until 1947 that the name was changed to honor president Herbert Hoover.

Today tourists can drive and walk on top of the dam, as well as take tours inside the dam. All visitors must first pass through a security check where vehicles are subject to inspection. Once past, continue driving down toward the dam. Drive past the $10 parking on the Nevada side, cross the dam, and park at one of the free lots on the Arizona side. This is the best place to begin your walk back across the dam.

You’ll first walk past the large spillway. This was used to divert water during construction, and can still be utilized to divert water in cases of high levels (the only time it has been used was in 1983). Continuing onward you’ll have a great view of Lake Mead and the four intake towers. On the other side of the dam is a very large drop down to the power plant area.

Continue across the dam, past the visitor area with restaurants/shops and to the far viewpoint - this is the best view of Hoover Dam without walking across the Memorial Bridge. This is also the turnaround point. Return back across the dam the way you came.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass



Iconic dam. No fees.



Pets allowed

Not Allowed


ADA accessible
Near lake or river
Historically significant
Family friendly
Flushing toilets
Big vistas
Potable water


Nearby Lodging + Camping


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