Boulder City

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Established in 1931 as a temporary home for the builders of Hoover Dam, Boulder City was intended by the federal government to serve as a model city that would represent a better, brighter future for a nation in the midst of the Great Depression.

Established in 1931 as a temporary home for the builders of Hoover Dam, Boulder City was intended by the federal government to serve as a model city that would represent a better, brighter future for a nation in the midst of the Great Depression. To that end, Boulder City was established with an anti-gaming ordinance that still stands today.

With more than 1 million visitors touring Hoover Dam every year, Boulder City is today a welcoming green oasis just a few miles away. The hospitable town combines a quaint atmosphere with surprising amenities and attractions, such as the historic Boulder Dam Hotel, which was built in 1933 to host visiting government officials and dignitaries during the dam’s construction. Its Dutch Colonial walls have housed celebrities from Bette Davis to Shirley Temple, business tycoons from Howard Hughes to George Pepperdine, and dignitaries from Archduke Otto Hapsburg to Cardinal Pacelli, who later became Pope Pius XII. The hotel is on the National Register of Historic Places and definitely worth a visit.

Also worth a tour is the Boulder City/Hoover Dam Museum, which walks visitors through the stock market crash, the Great Depression and, of course, the impact of the mighty Hoover Dam. Then there’s the Nevada State Railroad Museum, plus walkable sections of the original track used to ferry materials from the town site to the dam during construction years.

The layout of Boulder City itself lends itself for an interesting stroll, offering a glimpse of how dam builders lived and how the town was constructed in a distinctly structured fashion to separate citizen classes of the period. Boulder City has also developed a reputation as an outdoor activity center, with an impressive system of mountain bike trails in Bootleg Canyon, aptly named as the place where bootleggers produced liquor during Prohibition. And the town boasts quite the line-up of annual events, including the Best Dam Barbecue, Fourth of July Damboree and Santa’s Electric Light Parade.

Besides the in-town interests, Boulder City is a great launching pad for another nearby wonder. Beautiful Lake Mead was created with the completion of Hoover Dam and is now a recreational paradise for boaters and water-sports enthusiasts. Houseboating, water skiing and wakeboarding are all activities you can find virtually year-round on the lake. On the other side of Hoover Dam, the Colorado River still flows free and offers visitors exciting rafting options.

Other options:

  • River Mountains Loop Trail
  • Bootleg Canyon Flightline

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Boulder City

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Outdoor Adventure

Bootleg Canyon Trails, Boulder City

With names like “The Reaper,” “Dominatrax” and “Armageddon,”...

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History & Culture

Hoover Dam

Located in Black Canyon on the Colorado River about 30 miles southeast of Las Vegas, at more than...

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Desert Adventures

Offers kayaking, hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding and ATV riding in the Lake Mead...

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Lake Mead Cruises

The waters of Lake Mead are home to the beautiful, roomy, comfortable and smooth paddlewheel...

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History & Culture

Nevada State Railroad Museum, Boulder City

The Nevada State Railroad Museum, Boulder City preserves the heritage of the historic Boulder...

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Lake Mead National Recreation Area

For year-round outdoor adventure, the Lake Mead National Recreation Area in southern Nevada...

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Upcoming Events

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  • May3

    Boulder City - Spring Jamboree

    The annual Boulder City Spring Jamboree offers arts & crafts booths, entertainment, a car...

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  • Boulder City - Santa Train

    The annual Santa Train for kids comes to the Nevada State Railroad Museum in Boulder City on...

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  • Boulder City - Art in the Park

    The largest outdoor juried art festival in the Southwest will be held over two days in beautiful...

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