The Whole Dam Tour


We landed in Las Vegas in the early AM, knowing that check-in wasn’t until later afternoon. As much as we wanted to concentrate on seeing the strip for first trip to sin city, we also didn’t want to miss the chance to see Vegas beyond the strip. So, our early arrival was a perfect excuse to meet up with a friend whom lived in the city, to do a little sightseeing.

Our first stop was to see the famed Hoover Dam, yet part of the charm was getting there. A perfect opportunity to see the suburbs and life outside of the main tourist area. When traveling, take in all the differences than what you are used to. Things like houses to restaurants, shops to the landscape – it’s the appreciation of the ‘new’! That, is the true essence of the word, travel.

las vegas hoover dam nevada

Las Vegas is rolling hills of dessert, lots of concrete with the sporadic sprinkle of manicured lawn. I love that before we arrived to the chaotic core of the city, I was able to take in the peace of the areas around.

When you see Hoover Dam for the first time, it’s a ‘holy crap’ reaction. Much bigger that you’d imagine, despite expecting it to be quite massive.

hoover dam nevada travel

Man-made and an engineering masterpiece {for it’s time and for today}, you need to take the Dam Tour. Even if you aren’t the ‘history’ type, understanding the literal foundations for the dam is something that wow, guaranteed.


Here are my tips and must-do’s when taking the whole dam tour.

  • Yes, when walking the corridors, please do stop and re-enact ‘National Lampoons Vacation’ with a piece of gum and water squirting out a crack. You just have to.
  • As well, take many photos. Even though you’d be tempted to just listen to the tour, get your multi-tasking hat on and do your best at both.

A body of water, at hoover dam

  • After the tour, plan to spend time on the observation deck. I hope you are not deathly afraid of heights, the full experience is leaning over and seeing just how massive this dam is. The views are nothing short of spectacular, and you can get a great view of Memorial Bridge.

hoover dam tour

  • Don’t miss the chance to take a stroll on the Dam, where pedestrians and vehicles can cross. Oh, and the very road that the Transformers traveled, heh.

hoover dam

  • The middle of this dam marks the Nevada-Arizona border, so yes, please do jump back and forth with a ‘I’m in Arizona, I’m in Nevada, I’m in …”. I did this many times, so now I can say I did a lot of state hopping on this trip. Literally.

A close up of a stone building, at hoover dam

Taking the whole dam serious tour, finding fun in a new location and appreciating the differences from what you are used to. It’s all apart of the wonder of traveling. The beauty of adventure. Adding a damn great stamp in that passport.

Also, my watermark on these photos is like damn graffiti on the dam. Sorry about that.

Signed, I was here.

A bridge with a mountain in the background, with hoover dam 





  1. Besides my kids, i’m the only one in my family that hasn’t been to the Hoover Dam, and I’m so jealous! I’d love to go there one day. Definitely breathtaking. I love your pictures. It is amazing!

    1. So many people just go to the strip, which is fine, yet I always love to explore beyond. More adventure!

  2. I went on that tour last year during a visit with my Dad and sisters. It’s a nice tour that I know my family would enjoy. We plan to take a family trip there next summer. It’s beautiful!

    1. You have a couple options with the tour too, depending on how much time and money you want to spend. I like the video to start too, the old pictures of it being built are astounding!

  3. Las Vegas is on my to do list, just haven’t made it there yet. Will add the dam to the list of things to see when we do get there!

  4. Amazing pics. Now I want to go ‘state hopping’ too. We went to LV once and only considered going to Hoover Dam, but now I wish we had actually gone.

    1. I have some regrets too though, would have loved to see more, but with only 4 days … we’ll just have to plan to go back!

  5. Those pictures are stunning! I’ve been to Vegas a few times and have never checked it out- a must see for my next visit.

    1. I think you’d like it. Especially just the drive there, I’m a sucker for seeing a city beyond the touristy areas!

  6. doh! I think I commented on your last post twice. Oh well. Hey, these photos are so impressive! My parents honeymooned there in 1939 and have a darling b&w photo of them standing next to those posts on the top. I have always loved that little 3×5 snap-shot. Thanks for the memories.

    1. Oh wow, that would be stunning!!!
      And thank you for your comments, I enjoy reading each and every one of them!

  7. SO cool! I have been to Vegas a few times, but have never had the chance to make it out to see Hoover dam – but it is on my list to DO next time I am there! It’s certainly something to see!!

  8. I went once as a child, never fully understood the meaning. I need to go back soon, I’d love to learn the history while actually there.

  9. I’ve been to Vegas once and would love to go back and see more of the city. We never got to see the Hoover Dam so that’s one of the things I would like to do on our next trip.

    1. Oh yes, plan a new trip with new adventures. So many say they’ll never go to the same place twice, yet I think you can make it a whole new experience,

  10. I have been to Las Vegas once and did take a tour bus to the Hoover Dam with my husband and daughter. It was amazing.

  11. That brings back major memories. I lived in Vegas for 12 years, and I can’t tell you how many times we got stuck going 5 mph by the Dam, heading for Arizona. BTW, you HAVE to check out Valley of Fire and Red Rock!

  12. Wow those are amazing pictures, you all must have had a great experience. I’m sure everyone will remember it forever!

  13. Such a great write up – I have been to Vegas many times (even got married there) and never made it off the Strip – so this was interesting, especially the National Lampoon photo op suggestion. Next time, take me please.

  14. Truly an amazing site! It is huge isn’t it? We were wowed too. I love Vegas, but it is sometimes nice to get away from the lights and sounds. One of my favourite sites was Red Rock Canyon 🙂

  15. That looks so incredible! My partner and I are such big fans of “how things works” that we’d totally do that tour for sure! Thanks for sharing!

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