Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Hoover Dam: An Engineering Marvel #LasVegasTrip

We've heard about Hoover Dam prior to our visit to  Las Vegas but we did not know that it is actually a tourist attraction.  After we  saw the beautiful Lake Mead, we still have time to kill before  checking in to the hotel so we proceeded there.  It takes 12 min  to drive from Lake Mead to Hoover Dam.

It's amazing to know that Hoover Dam was built during the great depression.  It is also amazing that it supplies electricity to  more than 20 million people.  Kudos to all the men who have worked so hard in completing this  awesome project.  
Now there  are tours that you can take to see the Hoover Dam but we figured, we will just discover it ourselves  and learned  from what we can see.  I mean who needs a tourist guide if you can just explore the place, right?
According to the videos that I have watched, this Dam was called Boulder Dam then changed it to Hoover Dam.  The dam was named after President Herbert Hoover. But Secretary of the Interior, Harold Ickes, changed the name back to "Boulder Dam." Then after 14 years,  congress felt compelled to pass a joint resolution to change the name back to "Hoover Dam" in honor of the United States 31st president, Herbert Hoover.  Imagine the confusion  of it's name, I am glad they finally gave it  a permanent name.  
t is amazing how much work those dedicated men have put into doing this  project.  What a great accomplishment considering  that it was done during the  Great Depression.
Hoover Dam is described as a concrete arch-gravity dam in the Black Canyon of the Colorado River, it is located on the border between the U.S. states of Nevada and Arizona
The most exciting part of seeing the Hoover Dam is crossing between the Sate of Nevada to Arizona.  It is a unique feeling that you can be at two states  for a matter of  minutes.  My children thought it was  pretty cool.  
Here are some HOOVER DAM FACTOIDS FOR KIDS from the Reclamation website.

  • 1. Hoover Dam is 726 ft. tall. That is 171 ft. taller than the Washington Monument in Washington D.C. and twice as tall as the Luxor Casino (338 ft.) in Las Vegas, Nevada.
  • 2. At its base, Hoover Dam is as thick (660 ft.) as two footballs fields measured end-to-end.
  • 3. As many as 20,000 vehicles a day drive across the 45 ft. wide top of the dam between Nevada and Arizona.
  • 4. There is enough concrete in Hoover Dam (4 1/2 million cubic yards) to build a 2 lane road from Seattle, Washington to Miami, Florida or a 4 ft. wide sidewalk around the Earth at the Equator.
  • 5. During peak electricity periods, enough water runs through the generators to fill 15 average sized swimming pools (20,000 gallons each) in 1 second.
  • 6. Each of the 30 ft. wide penstocks (water pipes) can carry enough water to fill 900 bath tubs (100 gallons each) in 1 second, or 960,000 (12 oz.) cans of drink in 1 second.
  • 7. Hoover Dam is shaped like a huge curved axe head, 45 ft. wide at the top and 660 ft. thick at the bottom.
  • 8. Lake Mead is the largest reservoir in the USA and contains enough water to flood the entire state of New York with 1 ft. of water (26 million acre ft.).
  • 9. If you drink water from the tap at Disneyland, Anaheim or Sea World in San Diego -- that water is coming from the Colorado River and Lake Mead, 300 miles away.
  • 10. Each of the 17 generators can supply electricity to 100,000 households.
  • 11. When operating at full power, the 17 generators can supply all the electricity needed by a city of 750,000 people.
  • 12. Each generator weights (4 million pounds) as much as 4 1/2 fully loaded Boeing 747-400's.
  • 13. The Colorado River is more than 1,400 miles long and supplies water to Los Angeles, San Diego, and Phoenix. Las Vegas gets almost all its water from Lake Mead. Lake Mead was made by Hoover Dam when it blocked the Colorado River and flooded the Mojave Desert.
  • 14. Between 1931 and 1936 when the dam was built, 96 men were killed in industrial accidents. None were buried in the concrete.
  • 15. The mascot dog and favorite pet of all the construction workers during the building of the dam was buried at Hoover Dam. The grave is near the Hoover Dam Tour Center and can be visited.
  • 16. It would take $2,000,000 worth of copper pennies to make the copper buses (4 inch in diameter hollow square wires) that carry electricity inside the powerhouse.
  • 17. Every state in the USA furnished supplies and materials for the construction of the dam.
  • 18. More than 8.5 million pounds of dynamite was used to blast the foundation for the dam and 8 miles of tunnels through the canyon walls.
  • 19. There are 2700 miles of transmission lines sending electricity from Hoover Dam to Los Angeles.

This was a very nice surprise during our vacation in Vegas.  We didn't know that we would learn so many things by visiting the Dam.  Remember  the romantic comedy movie "Fools Rush In"?  I believe there is a part of the movie that was  filmed  there and some parts in Grand Canyon too.  I was  trying to imagine  those scenes when we were visiting the places.  
It was super hot when we  went there but seeing how beautiful  it was is totally worth being burned by the heat of the sun lol.  I don't normally sweat but  man, I sweat like a hog in Vegas especially during our  time exploring the beauty of Hoover Dam.
We  parked all the way on the Arizona side  so when it was time to  go back, the kids  retreated so hubby decided, he was just going to the car alone and we waited at the bottom of the hill.  
Going to Hoover Dam was really educational for the four of us.  We did not know much about it till we visited.  It's awesome because both of their social studies teacher was telling them about Lake Mead, Grand Canyon, and Hoover Dam and the kids  were excited because they know what the teacher was talking about.  
If you have a spare time, try to watch the following videos I have included of how the Hoover Dam was completed.  Just by watching them, you will learn a lot.  Video credits to

Below are short clips I took while we were driving around and enjoying  the gigantic boulders  scenery.

If you haven't seen this place, I encourage you to do it, you will be amazed. I would suggest not to do it during the summer though, it was so hot when we were there. We thought of going back there during the evening but it wasn't cool either so we thought maybe the next time we visit, we will do it in the Fall or Spring when it is not so hot. I hope you enjoy this Hoover Dam post. Coming up next will be the Hoover Dam bridge.

18 travelers' comments:

Masshole Mommy said...

I visited the Hoover Dam about 15 years ago and I remember being amazing at the whole thing. It truly is an engineering marvel.

Unknown said...

I have never been to the Hoover dam. What an impressive marvel of engineering. Sounds like a fun family road trip.

AiringMyLaundry said...

This would be a cool place to visit. I've always heard of the Hoover Dam but have never been yet.

Alli Smith said...

I've always heard about it but never visited Hoover Dam. What an interesting site! I know the kids would love to visit.

Heather @ Girl Gone Mom said...

Vegas isn't high on my must do list, but if I ever go that way the Hoover Dam will be our first stop.

Jeannette said...

I have always wanted to visit the Hoover dam! It looks like such a great place to explore! I love anything to do with history!

candy said...

Hoover Dam is some engineering accomplishment. Be prepared to do tons of walking when you visit but totally worth visiting.

Natalie Loves Beauty said...

I visited the Hoover Dam four years ago, on our way from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon. I found the history so fascinating!

Tomi C said...

We've visited the Hoover Dam a few years ago and it is quite the site to behold. The sheer size of it is massive and something you'll never forget. The staff was really helpful in sharing interesting tidbits of info about the construction and history of the dam.

Pam said...

My husband visited the Hoover Dam when he was in Vegas. He says our whole family has to see it some day.

Anonymous said...

We visited Hoover Dam when I was a kid. I would love to take my own kids here to check it out. It's quite impressive in person.

valmg @ Mom Knows It All said...

I've never been to the Hoover Dam but have heard it's quite impressibe. I either didn't know or forgot that it sat on a state line.

Bonnie G said...

I've heard about Hoover Dam before but have never been. Thanks for sharing your experience, hope I get to visit someday.

Lisa said...

That is pretty cool that they supply water up to 300 miles away. And the size alone is impressive.

Liz Mays said...

This really was an incredibly impressive project. I can imagine how breathtaking seeing it in person must have been!

Adrienne said...

Every time I see the Hoover Dam I just think of the National Lampoon's Chevy Chase movie. LOL Glad you had fun and that you had a much better experience there than they did!

Amanda said...

I can't believe that in all the times I have visited Vegas I have never made the trip to the Hoover Dam. It really needs to be included on my next vacation!

Anosa said...

To be honest, I never knew this place yet until I get to read this blogpost. Now, I learn about this and definitely be added on my what to visit whenever I head to Vegas then. Glad to know it.

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