If you’re planning what to see and do in Las Vegas, you may be considering a daytrip to the Hoover Dam – the National Historic Landmark that diverts water from the Colorado River to various corners of the southwestern United States. Authorized by President Calvin Coolidge in 1928, the dam took around five years to build. At the time of its completion in 1935, dam workers used 6.6 million tons of concrete, more than 5 million barrels of cement and 45 million pounds of steel.
Tours of the facility are available on-site and include access to the power plant and the dam’s tunnels. However, independent tour companies – many of which depart from Las Vegas – also make stops at the dam. Many of the Hoover Dam tours from Las Vegas include additional experiences, such as a stop at the Las Vegas welcome sign or the Seven Magic Mountains public art installation.
Considering both traveler sentiment and expert input, U.S. News selected six of the best Hoover Dam tours from Las Vegas.
Comedy on Deck Tours – Hoover Dam Ultimate VIP Tour
Price: Adults from $90; kids from $80
Duration: 7 hours
Guides double as stand-up comedians on this approximately seven-hour Hoover Dam bus tour. In addition to round-trip transportation from your Las Vegas Strip hotel and a dedicated driver, this full-day tour includes a 45-minute walk across the top of the dam, the chance to see interior generators and learn how they work, and a sit-down lunch at a local restaurant. Plus, you’ll stop at the iconic Las Vegas welcome sign for a photo-op and drive through historic Boulder City, Nevada. Tourists call it a great way to spend a day and the best “dam” tour around thanks to the entertaining and talented guides.
This tour departs daily between 7:25 and 8:20 a.m., depending on your hotel’s location on the Strip. Tickets cost approximately $90 for adults and $80 for children ages 11 and younger. The company also offers a Grand Canyon West tour.
Gray Line Las Vegas – Half Day Hoover Dam from Las Vegas Tour
Price: From $72
Duration: 4.5 hours
An ideal option if you’re short on time, this half-day Hoover Dam tour from Gray Line Las Vegas promises round-trip transportation from the Strip to the dam, plenty of photo opportunities and two hours to explore at the dam. During the 4 1/2-hour excursion, you’ll also enjoy access to the museum and visitor center, as well as a guided tour of the power plant. Plus, the tour includes time for a photo-op at the famous Las Vegas welcome sign. Reviewers rave about the views and the entertaining, informative guides. They also say this is a convenient tour for travelers based in Las Vegas.
Tickets start at $72 per person and include Las Vegas hotel pickup and drop-off. Infants up to 23 months old ride for free. Two departures are available daily at 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Gray Line also offers tours to see the Grand Canyon.
Vegas Trike Adventures – VIP Deluxe Hoover Dam Trike/Slingshot Tour
Price: From $300
Duration: 4 hours
Explore the area surrounding the Hoover Dam behind the wheel of your very own Rewaco trike, a three-wheeled motorcycle. During the four-hour guided trip, you’ll take in spectacular views of Lake Mead (one of the most well-known lakes in Arizona), the Hoover Dam, Boulder City, the Mike O’Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge and more. Along the way, your guide will point out landmarks and allow time for you to stop for pictures. Travelers call this journey an amazing experience thanks to the seasoned guides and recommend the activity if you’re looking for an adventurous experience away from the Strip.
Tours start at 8 a.m. Monday through Saturday and conclude around noon. Tickets cost approximately $300 per two-person trike with a combined passenger weight of 400 pounds. No motorcycle license is needed. You can also take this tour via the company’s Slingshots, or three-wheeled vehicles. Prices for Slingshot use start at $375. Helmets are an additional $10 fee. Vegas Trike Adventures also offers tours of the Las Vegas Strip and Red Rock Canyon.
Pink Adventure Tours – Hoover Dam Tour
Price: Adults from $114; kids from $104
Duration: 3 hours
Take in views of Lake Mead, the Hoover Dam and the Colorado River on this three-hour tour that’s capped at 10 participants. You’ll get picked up from your Las Vegas hotel in one of the company’s air-conditioned “Tour Trekker” vehicles, which features oversized windows, leather captain’s chairs and an onboard audio system so you can easily hear the commentary from your driver, who doubles as your guide. Along your drive to the dam, you’ll learn about the Mojave Desert, as well as early mining in the area and housing for dam workers. Upon reaching the dam, you’ll enjoy 360-degree views from the observation deck before descending to the Power Plant. Guides from the Bureau of Reclamation will take you through the inspection tunnels and the generator room. Most reviewers give this tour high marks, praising the knowledgeable, entertaining tour guides and comfortable vehicles.
Take your pick between an 8 a.m. or 1 p.m. departure. Ticket prices start at $114 for adults and $104 for children ages 3 to 12; this experience isn’t suitable for kids younger than 3. Pink Adventure Tours also offers tours of Red Rock Canyon and the Strip.
MaxTour – Hoover Dam Walk On Top Tour with Seven Magic Mountains
Price: From $80
Duration: 5 hours
You’ll see more than just the Hoover Dam on this jam-packed, five-hour itinerary. After being picked up from your Las Vegas hotel, you’ll stop at the Las Vegas welcome sign to snap some photos before heading to Seven Magic Mountains, a public art installation by Ugo Rondinone that features a collection of colorful stacked boulders. Next up is a walking tour across the Hoover Dam and the Mike O’Callaghan–Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge. Along the way, your guide will make bonus stops at some of their favorite “hidden gem” spots. Participants laud the knowledgeable guides, who reviewers say make the experience fun and memorable. Others appreciated the guides’ willingness to take photos for them, and their many restaurant recommendations.
Tours, which are capped at 14 people, are offered Monday, Wednesday and Saturday at 8 a.m. Tickets cost about $80 per person. The company also operates tours that combine a visit to the Hoover Dam with a stop at the Grand Canyon.
Mr. Las Vegas – Hoover Dam Mini Tour
Price: Adults from $70; kids from $65
Duration: 3 hours
If you don’t want to devote an entire day to seeing the Hoover Dam, consider this approximately three-hour small-group tour operated by Mr. Las Vegas. It includes round-trip transportation from the Strip on a 14-person vehicle, a drive through Boulder City, and stops at Lake Mead and Hemenway Park (known for its big horn sheep). You’ll also enjoy plenty of panoramic views and photo-ops at the Hoover Dam, including at the Mike O’Callaghan-Pat Tillman Bridge. Reviewers praise the length of the tour and applaud the guides for their informative, engaging delivery. They also praise the views to and from the dam.
Hoover Dam tours are available twice-daily at 8 a.m. and noon. Note that tour lengths may stretch to four hours based on where you are picked up or dropped off on the Strip. Tickets cost approximately $70 for adults and $65 for kids ages 3 to 17; children 2 and younger can join for free. Mr. Las Vegas also operates tours that combine a visit to the Hoover Dam with a stop at the Grand Canyon.
Frequently Asked Questions
The length of a Hoover Dam tour depends on which one you select; the Bureau of Reclamation offers two. If you opt for the Guided Power Plant Tour, it takes about 30 minutes. The Guided Dam Tour lasts about one hour. A tour with an independent company – which provides round-trip transportation from Las Vegas and may stop at other locales – will likely last several hours.
Yes, you can see the Hoover Dam without a tour. The exterior of the dam is open to visitors daily from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. You can take a self-guided tour of the visitor center for $10, which includes access to the center’s exhibits and access to the observation deck and Original Exhibit Building. You can also view parts of the Hoover Dam for free from the pedestrian plaza, which features panoramic views of the Colorado River, Lake Mead and the dam. However, if you’d like to see the historic construction tunnels, walk through the inspection tunnels or take a tour of the power plant, you’ll need to purchase tickets for one of the guided tours.