Hoover Dam on the Nevada – Arizona Border Built Starting in 1931
On July 3, 1930, President Herbert Hoover signed the appropriation bill for the Boulder Dam. Work started on the dam in 1931 and Las Vegas’ population swelled from around 5,000 citizens to 25,000, with most of the newcomers looking for a job building the dam. The casinos and showgirl theaters first appeared in Las Vegas to entertain the largely male-majority dam construction workers. The name of the dam was later changed from Boulder Dam to Hoover Dam.
Photo By: LasVegas360.com
Date Taken: November 26, 2011
Boulder Dam/Hoover Dam Dedicated by President Roosevelt Sept. 30, 1935
Hoover Dam, once known as Boulder Dam, is a concrete arch-gravity dam in the Black Canyon of the Colorado River, on the border between Arizona and Nevada. It was constructed between 1931 and 1936 during the Great Depression and was dedicated on September 30, 1935, by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Its construction was the result of a massive effort involving thousands of workers, and cost over one hundred lives. The cost of the construction was $49 million dollars and was completed two years ahead of schedule. The dam was controversially named after President Herbert Hoover.
5 Tunnels Hike to Hoover Dam
GPS 36.011096º N – 114.794076º W
The 5 Tunnels or the Historic Railroad hike to Hoover Dam is on the old historic railroad that was used to build Hoover Damn in the ’30. The trail has been removed of all the rail and ties it once had. The trail starts just off the US 93 (Great Basin Highway) on Lakeshore Road heading to Lake Mead from Boulder City. There is parking lot on the east side of the road. This trail to the dam take you through 5 larger size tunnels on the way to the dam. No flashlight are needed for this hike. The trail is a smooth gravel road and is very popular with runners, hikers and mountain bikers. It is about 3.8- 4 miles to the dam and you come out on the top level of the parking lot at the Hoover Dam visitor center. You can easily add a few more miles walking to the Arizona side of the dam and up to the largest concrete arched bridge in North America. On this hike we did both and the total distance was just over 10 miles round trip.
This is a good hike to do in cooler weather, summertime would be too hat as this part of Lake Mead tends to be about 10 degrees hotter that Las Vegas.
Trail map to Hoover Dam
A note about the tunnels, although they vary in length, generally they measure 300 feet in length and are at least 25 feet wide and at least 30 high. The trail is very easy to hike and loses elevation as you make your way to the dam (about 300 feet). Along the trail you will see great views of Lake Mead. as you approach the dam follow the trail markers though some large gates as the trail changes from the main road to a clearly marked side trail. You will also travel through the Hoover Dam’s large electrical yard. At the end of the yard is a designated spot to pick-up hikers and it is free to get in here opposed to tying to pick them up at the parking garage which cost $7.
Panoramic view of Lake Mead from the trail
If you want to get up to the new Mike O’Callaghan – Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge, also commonly known as the Bypass Bridge, you will need to make a right in the middle of the electrical yard south to the main road. From there, you cross the old highway and make your way up the 7 flights of stairs, or use the long sweeping ramps to access the top of the bridge.
The Historic Railroad Tunnel is a great hike near Las Vegas with a fabulous ending at Hoover Dam. Bring a camera, and plenty of water, for this historic hike.
Photos by: LasVegas360.com
Boulder City was built by the federal government to house the thousands of workers who were building the Hoover Dam project in the 1930s. In order to keep these workers away from the temptations of Las Vegas, Boulder City was founded and gambling was made illegal. This quaint town remains the only community in Nevada were gaming is still illegal.
Management and maintenance crews of Hoover Dam are now the predominant residents of Boulder City. This unique town is a vibrant community, with a movie theater, numerous gift shops, parks and a historic hotel. Call the Boulder City Chamber of Commerce for more information 702.293.2034
Hoover Dam- is one of the seven man-made wonders of the world. The dam is 727 feet high (70 stories) and 660 feet thick. Construction of the dam required 4.4 million cubic yards of concrete (which is enough to build a two lane highway from San Francisco to New York). In 1928 Congress appropriated $165 million in funds to build the Boulder Dam project for two purposes: flood control and the generation of electricity. Originally called Boulder Dam, it was renamed for Herbert Hoover, Secretary of Commerce, during the critical planning stages of the project. Completed in 1935, this gravity dam holds back the mighty Colorado River and forms the largest man-made lake, Lake Mead. Hoover Dam is located 40 miles from Las Vegas on Highway 93. Tours are available and they leave every few minutes from the exhibit building at the top of the dam. Regular Tours daily from 8-5:15pm Call (702) 293-8367
Lake Mead National Recreation Area
Lake Mead is the largest man-made lake in the country. It is created by Hoover Dam holding back the waters of the Colorado River. Its surface covers 229 square miles and its irregular shoreline extends 550 miles. Lake Mead is located off of Highway 93. The National Park Service can give you details on the lake’s recreational activities and facilities. (702) 293-8990