Hoover Dam Tour vs Power Plant Tour – Which One Is Right For You?

During a recent vacation to Las Vegas, we decided to take a day trip to the Hoover Dam. Having done some research online in advance, we were confused as to which tour would be right for us; the dam tour or the power plant tour.

The Hoover Dam tour costs $30 each and is significantly better than the power plant tour (which costs $15) as it allows you to visit the power plant but also additional exclusive areas where you’ll be able to take incredible photos and gain additional information about this engineering marvel.

In this post, we’ll be sharing our experience of both the Hoover Dam tour and the power plant tour to help you decide which one is right for you.

Touring Both The Power Plant & Hoover Dam

Before we get started, I wanted to ensure you’re aware that you can visit both the Power Plant and Hoover Dam should you wish to do so. Tickets for this tour can not be booked online as it’s a general admission ticket that provides you with a tour of both areas – unlike the separate tours that can be booked online below.

This is ideal if you have the full day to experience everything Hoover Dam and its facilities has to offer, and have a great interest in how the entire process works.

The Hoover Dam Power Plant Tour

The Hoover Dam Power Plant tour is a guided tour that lasts around 30 minutes and includes audio-visual presentations at various points.

You’ll begin the tour at the Penstock viewing area. Here you’ll be able to see how the large pipes transport the water from the lake below (Lake Mead) down into the dam’s hydroelectric generator.

From there you’ll go down to the feedwater tunnel where a pipeline was built to hold the generators. You’ll also get to experience a ride in the dam elevators which are used to take you from one place inside the dam to another. Therefore, this tour is not recommended for anyone with issues of claustrophobia.

A tour of the Power Plant costs $15 for adults (discounts are available for children, disabled, students and military) and can be purchased online up to 90 days in advance. Which is highly recommended, considering that it’s on a first-come, first-serve basis otherwise which can often mean you’re left hanging around waiting for your tour during busy periods.

This tour comes with complimentary access to the visitor centre.

Hoover Dam Tour

The longer of the two tours is the Hoover Dam tour which provides you with a more in-depth look at the innermost part of the dam. This tour costs $30 per person and lasts around one hour. Tickets for this tour can only be booked upon arrival at the Hoover Dam visitor centre, and are given on a first-come, first-serve basis.

On this particular tour, you’ll be able to walk along the dam balcony which offers a breathtaking view of the 650-foot-long Nevada wing of the whole dam as well as 8 of the 17 generators in the dam.

This tour focuses not only on the positive impact the dam has on the surrounding areas today, but the building conditions, and innermost workings of the facilities as a whole.

This tour comes with complimentary access to the visitor centre.

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