South Lake Tahoe
Going on a road trip to Vegas and the Grand Canyon with some friends and thinking about checking out the Hoover Dam. Is it worth it or is it just a tourist trap?
Not only is it definitely worth seeing, the history behind the Hoover Dam is really cool. Especially if you're into engineering. I'd go for a short tour, it's informative and they go into good detail about how the dam operates. I've seen it in a lot pictures before, but nothing compares to actually seeing it in real life.
I would say yes. Definetly worth seeing it. I have been there many times now and with the completion of the bridge across the river, you get an even better look at the Hoover Dam.
But I would recommend you to take one of their tours. I really enjoyed it there. I also wrote a short section about it on my blog.
If you drive there, make sure you don't use the parking garage, drive over to the other side of the dam and you can park for free and dont have to pay 10 USD. You have to walk a bit to get to the visitor center, but if you are there, you might want to check out the whole area anyway.
As it is on the way between Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon National Park, I think it would be a missed opportunity not to stop. Parking (for an elevated view from O Callaghan Park O'Callaghan / Mike O'Callaghan – Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge) on the Nevada side is pretty easy and it's a short walk to get onto the bridge. If by checking it out you mean going down into the dam, then I'm afraid it will be whether things like that interest you. It's been around 8 years since I've actually been into the dam so not sure if it has changed, but as I knew little about it I really enjoyed it and found it interesting.
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If you're into touristy things, then yes. It's really an incredible marvel, and has a cool history. However, if you're more of an independent traveler, then you may consider a more unique way of seeing it. For example, Sky Combat Ace does some different cool biplane trips that fly over the dam. Not everyday you get to a birds-eye view of something like that.
It’s absolutely worth it. Not just for the sense of history but the beautiful Art Deco architecture.
Absolutely! It is very impressive and interesting. Take the shorter tour, it's worth it.
It would probably depend on how long your trip is. If it's a shorter stay, then there are lots of things you'll want to see but if you've got enough time to explore the strip and the surrounding areas in Vegas, then it's something that's definitely different and a good day trip to get away from the city - not too big of a tourist trap.
While neither of us have been to the Grand Canyon National Park, almost everyone we talk to says it is more of a "must-see" than the Hoover Dam but most people recommend driving yourself and avoiding the group tours to the Canyon.
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We just went out to Hoover Dam last August. Just before you get to the Dam you can pull off in a parking area and walk out on the Memorial Bridge that was put up since we were there the last time we went out to the Dam. You can get some amazing pictures looking towards the Dam if you walk out on the bridge (they made a secure walking area to walk on). And of course you can take a walking tour of the Dam if you want to learn more about it and how it was built. So in answer to your question is it worth it I believe it is worth it! It is part of our history.
Nope - if you have to drive over it - go ahead, but don't make a special trip... its anti-climatic kind of like Mount Rushmore... nothing to do there but stare at it and as yourself the question "how long do I have to stare at it and feel like i got my time/moneys worth?"