Hoover Dam Discovery Tour

The Discovery Tour replaced the traditional tours and hardhat tour previously conducted in the power house. The new on top of the dam interpretative tour will provide visitors more information on the dam than ever before.

The Discovery Tour is a way to see, learn and appreciate what Hoover Dam is all about. This self-paced tour was created to meet the public interest in visiting the dam and provide a quality, informative visit, while recognizing that certain security precautions must be taken to protect the facility, the workers and the visiting public. Talks by our guide staff, are presented at a number of separate locations, within the visitor facilities and on top of the dam. A ticket is required to explore the Visitor Center and top of the dam exhibits.

While those of you visiting Hoover Dam in the past may remember our traditional and hard hat tours, we think you will find this new leisurely way of discovering the dam to be educational, informative, and a pleasant way to enjoy this national landmark. New information not previously included in our previous tours has been added to make this a memorable experience even for those of you that may have visited us before.


Visitor Center Presentations and Exhibits

Theater Level Displays: The Marble, a boat used to explore the Colorado River is on display as well as murals, maps, photos and other displays to provide an introduction to Hoover Dam history...yesterday and today.

Theater One: The Construction Film: This 25-minute film features original footage of the construction of the dam, and moves you back in time to get an understanding of the enormity of the task.

Theater Two: "How the West was Won": This presentation describes the contribution of the Bureau of Reclamation in taming the rivers, making the desert bloom, and its contribution in helping grow the food that feeds the nation.

The Power Plant Generators: Take the large elevators 500 feet down into the wall of Black Canyon, walk through the 250-foot tunnel drilled out of living rock, and view the 650-foot long Nevada wing of the power plant and its eight huge generators.

The Exhibit Gallery: Located on the Plaza Level of the Visitor Center, these exhibits highlight some of the natural history of the region and present a picture of how Hoover Dam operated in the past and the present. It may be reached by taking the stairs or elevator located in the center of the theater level.

The Overlook: May be reached by taking the stairs or elevator adjacent to the Exhibit Gallery. There is a beautiful panoramic view from the observation deck taking in both Lake Mead and the Colorado River. Those of you with cameras will want to stop by to see if you can capture the view. A guide will point out significant features of the Dam and its surroundings. Inside the observation room is a sculpture presented by the water and power users of the Lower Basin of the Colorado River. These are the businesses whose customers cover the cost of operating the dam.

Street Level Displays and Exhibits

Winged Figures of the Republic: This bronze masterpiece is directly across the street from the Visitor Center. A talk at this site discusses the concepts the artist had mind in creating the statues, as well as the star map located at its base.

The Old Exhibit Building: Used as a headquarters for soldiers during World War II, this building is located around the corner from the winged statues. Inside are two separate exhibits. In the first room is a photo display and a 1930's era model generator. In the adjoining room is a map depicting the Colorado River along with the dams from Colorado to the Mexican border.

The Nevada Intake Tower: From this location on the Nevada side of the dam, visitors will learn about the power of water in generating electricity and some of the artwork incorporated into the towers surrounding the powerplant elevators.

Take a Break

It takes about two hours to see all there is as you discover Hoover Dam. Since you are able to visit the various sites in your own time frame, you may want to take a break to purchase some refreshments or a souvenir. Food, beverages and souvenirs are available adjacent to the parking garage and in the Spillway house located across from the Old Exhibit Building.

Talks by guides are presented on the hour and half-hour from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Restrooms are located on Level 1 of the garage, the Theater level, next to the Exhibit Gallery and adjacent to the Old Exhibit Building.

Hours of Operation:

The parking garage is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The visitor center is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The front door wil be closed at 4:45 p.m., but visitors may remain inside until 5:00 p.m.

Tickets may be purchased on site from 9 a.m. until 4:15 p.m.

Talks will be presented up to 4:30 p.m.

Due to heightened security, visitors will not be permitted on top of the dam during hours of darkness.

On behalf of the Bureau of Reclamation and our staff here at Hoover Dam, thank you for visiting.

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Webmaster: George W. Gorum
Last updated: March 2002