My main memory of the Hoover Dam was heat. It was blisteringly hot and that’s coming from someone who had just spent a day or too baking in the Vegas sun. The problem with the Hoover Dam is that there is no shelter, none at all. So if you are planning to visit, lather up on sunscreen – trust us it’s worth it!
Once you get past the heat, it’s easy to be blown away by the sheer size of the Hoover Dam. It. Is. Huge! If you have vertigo / get dizzy with heights, this could be a challenging place. One peak over the edge of the wall had my head spinning. But it was worth it. The views are incredible and as we visited on such a sunny day, the colours of the dam walls against the blue of the water and sky was striking.
Wandering Beeb was enthralled with the sheer engineering feat of building something so huge. Being a bit of a history buff, he was completely fascinated with the history of the build and there was plenty of information dotted around the dam to keep him busy. He worked his way around the site, absorbing information on the construction and the stories behind the dam.
I’m a bit more visual, so I spent my time snapping pictures and taking in the site. I also wanted to get my geek on by spending time looking at the place where they stored Megatron’s body in Transformers (the dam was the base for Sector Seven in the Transformers movie).
I’ve heard a number of people talk about the costs at the Hoover Dam, and it’s true, you can be charged for everything; a tour inside the building, a tour around the site, for drinks (don’t forget that heat I mentioned before – make sure you take loads of water!). However, if you want to go on a budget, just don’t take any of the tours! We spent an hour or so there and didn’t spend a penny. The site has lots of information dotted around and there is plenty to see without paying for a tour.
A product of a design competition winner, the winged statues guard the entrance to the dam. The unusual method of installing the statues involved using blocks of ice, which melted in the sun to help the engineers to get the placement and finish for the statues just right. Known as ‘Winged Figures of the Republic’, they sit on jet black bases, reminding me of those two statues Atreyu had to pass through in ‘The Neverending Story’.
With over one million visitors each year churning through the Hoover Dam site, you can expect any visit to be busy, however I think that we were quite lucky. We stopped off at the dam fairly early in the morning on our route to the Grand Canyon. It was a long day but it was well worth it to avoid the crowds.
Whether your visit is due to an interest in the history of the dam, to wonder at the sights or (like me) to see where the AllSpark is hidden (Transformers again!), Hoover Dam is a great place to visit and is guaranteed to get you some great photos.