Las Vegas Gateways: Hoover Dam, Lake Mead

2.23.2016 Hoover Dam, Nevada 89005, USA

The grandeur of the Hoover Dam and the black canyons made us sit back and enjoy the magnum opus. Ask us, if we wanted to further drive down to Grand Canyon. Hell yes! But something in us, stopped us, and we thought why don’t for this time we just do Hoover Dam and surrounding areas. Doing Hoover Dam and Grand Canyon in a day would have been very hectic.

 Today was our second day in Vegas and we were longing for a drive. We had heard from friends that the drive is very scenic with boulders on both sides. Luckily renting a car in Vegas comes very cheap. As our eyes got hooked to convertible($75) we thought why not!

There wouldn’t be any other place we would have enjoyed the lovely weather plus the road side beauty that will take us to the destination. The Budget car rental at Fremont street gave us a sheet with the list of places nearby. One of which was Lake Mead. I googled it, but there were hardly any directions listed. Strange!

View from Hoover Dam. In front is Mike O'Callaghan–Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge
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 I often end up using Google Maps, when GPS keeps asking for specific House Numbers! It seems it contains stored data and not everything is stored in there. Sometimes useful when Google maps don’t work, but most often confusing or may be the car we had hired was equipped with Old GPS. As we started driving down, it was a straight road without much twists and turns, and along the way we got to know that the roof of the convertible can only be opened at less than 30 miles/hour.

The scenery was worth driving to. In fact, in 3 days in Vegas, Hoover Dam was a pleasant distraction. We parked our car at the plaza where there was paid parking, and ate at the plaza.Then we started walking towards the bridge.There are two monuments in the form of 30 foot high bronze figures that honors men who died during its construction and represents physical strength used to create the dam, an engineering feat the sculptor compared to the construction of Egypt’s pyramids.

View of the dam from Mike O'Callaghan–Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge

In honor of those who died during construction

 Hoover Dam is as tall as a 60 storey building. And It protects southern California and Arizona from the disastrous floods for which the Colorado had been famous. It provides water to irrigate farm fields. It supplies water and power to Los Angeles and other growing cities in the Southwest. The bridge is on the border between Nevada and Arizona and hence you could see two time-zones there listed as Nevada Time and Arizona Time.

The Arizona Time Zone

Once you cross the bridge, there are many free parking slots. In fact, we wondered why we did paid park at the first place and shots from each parking lot is beautiful. After we had a great time, it was a time for us to return. As we were returning back, I saw a sign board of Lake Overlook in between the canyons.We didn’t go there, instead we headed straight to Lake Mead which was really a very peaceful and quaint place.Lake Mead, when full, is the largest reservoir in the United States in terms of maximum water capacity.Lake Mead offers year-round recreational opportunities for boating, fishing, hiking, photography, picnicking and sightseeing.

Tip: An alternative to renting a car is packaged tours to Hoover Dam and Grand Canyon in a day by viator($79). They start pretty early in the day, and you reach late back to Vegas, but if you want to cover both in a day, its a good option.A lot of my friends have done it that way. We woke up late(thanks to late night partying) and we enjoyed our drive! Grand Canyon will be on our next visit..

Lake Mead

 Let’s take you to a quick photo essay!

To know more, you can visit official sites of Vegas and Tourism USA

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