We decided that visiting Hoover dam on our way to Las Vegas was another ‘must do’ trip. We had so many of those! Part of me did just want to scoot our way to the end of historic route 66. We had seen signs for Los Angeles – only another 400 or so miles!! So near yet so far, it was tempting but we decided against it.
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Goodbye to Route 66
Our last night on Route 66 was tinged with sadness, we’d loved the journey so much. We managed to just touch californian soil and had our last night in a hotel in Needles (Rio Del Sol motel, was very nice and had a nice pool :D). I remember looking out of our window at the palm tress and the sunset and it really felt very californian!
I was starting to become a bit fed up of travelling so fast though, it’s not something we do a lot of as a rule, much preferring to stay in one place and take trips from that point (except of course the grand road trip adventure of 2013 but we had a van to retreat to, could cook ourselves and relax in a different way)
So we said goodbye to the historic mother road and set off from route 66 to Las Vegas via Hoover Dam in Nevada – another state to tick off! We managed to visit 6 states on our first visit to the US – not bad!
Visiting Hoover Dam
Getting to Hoover dam is quite easy – it’s located about 25 miles from Las Vegas and is situated on Highway 93. It’s an amazing sight and spectacle of human construction and what we can do plus what effect we can have on wildlife (depending on your view point!)
We parked on the Nevada side in a multi storey car park which cost $10. You can park in some parking lots on the Arizona side for free, but it was a hot summers day and we appreciated the shade! The Hoover dam opening hours are 9am – 5pm and they state that no-one is allowed on the dam after dark.
While you’re there you can take a tour, which we didn’t do – we were content with just seeing the dam and walking round the area. However if you are interested in this the Hoover Dam tours cost around $30 per person (get up to date prices here) or you can just do the power plant tour which is a little cheaper.
If you don’t want to do a tour, but just want to learn a little bit more about the area then the hoover dam visitors centre is for you – it’s not free though, $10 each for access to it, although it’s included if you decide to do a tour. As I said though, we just enjoyed walking round, taking photos and feeling the wind on our face as we looked over the side of the dam (hold on to your hat!). It was incredibly hot when we were there – the air conditioning in the gift shop was a God send!
Don’t forget the bridge near hoover dam as well – it’s an iconic structure and you can even walk across that if you fancy it. We didn’t – I expect if we’d been there at a cooler time we might have done though!
Leaving Hoover Dam we headed to Las Vegas for our final two nights of our road trip. Can you believe that staying in the amazing hotels on the Las Vegas strip were some of the cheapest nights we had on our whole route 66 trip? We chose to stay in the Luxor. More about that in my next post!
Where to stay on your visit to Hoover Dam
Many people visit Hoover Dam when staying in Las Vegas and there’s plenty of hotels to choose from there.
I highly recommend the search engine HotelsCombined if you want to search Las Vegas hotels as it combs the booking sites and tells you which one is cheapest – I’m loving it! You can see Las Vegas hotels and prices here.
If you’re looking to stay a little closer to Hoover Dam or possibly Las Vegas isn’t your thing, then Boulder City is the nearest place for lodging. Quality Inn Boulder City is an excellent choice for families! Check out prices here.