Hoover Dam Tours
Two tours are offered at Hoover Dam. The most popular tour is the 30-minute Power Plant Tour, where you descend into the power plant and view the eight huge Nevada-side turbines as they produce electricity for Las Vegas and other cities.
You begin the tour at the Visitor Center. To enter, take the escalator or the elevator across the road to the underground ticketing area. Tickets may be purchased from 9 a.m. until 5:15 p.m. (4:15 p.m. in winter) Pacific Time, or visit Vegas.com to purchase in advance. Tickets cost $11 adults; $9 seniors (62+); juniors (4-16) and U.S. military active duty and dependents; free for children (0-3) and U.S. military in uniform.
At the Visitor Center’s theater level, you can watch the Hoover Dam introductory film and see informative exhibits before joining your tour group. Then, a 70-second elevator ride takes you 530 feet down through the rock wall of Black Canyon to a tunnel drilled in the 1930s.
Your Bureau of Reclamation guide will explain Hoover Dam’s construction and operation at the penstock viewing platform, located on top one of the four 30-foot-diameter pipes that transport nearly 90,000 gallons of water each second from Lake Mead to the hydroelectric generators.
Next, you take an elevator to the Nevada power plant balcony and view the 650-foot-long Nevada wing. You’ll also see the intricate terrazzo floor designs. The returning elevator ride takes you to the exhibit level, where you can see many informative displays and visit the outdoor observation deck.
The one-hour Hoover Dam Tour (9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. $30, payable on site only) also allows visitors to explore rarely seen areas of the dam, including inspection markings written on the walls and a set of stairs reaching into the dark depths of the dam’s mass of concrete.