Hoover Dam, one of Las Vegas’ most in-demand attractions, lies only 30 miles from the City. Nestled between the walls of imposing Black Canyon, the Dam’s massive retaining wall stops the Colorado River in it’s tracks, thereby creating the U.S.’s largest reservoir and generating over 4 billion kilowatts-hours of electricity. You can tour the structure by foot. However, if you really want to experience the magnificence of the Dam, you should think about booking a helicopter trip.
You’ll probably see the Dam as part of a Grand Canyon helicopter tour package. Just out of Vegas, your approach to the Dam will be low, giving you views that travelers on the ground can only dream of.
To make your flight over the Dam more profound, it helps to know that the Dam is 726.4-feet high, 1,244-feet long, and 660-feet thick at the base. It’s these types of statistics that draw more than 8 million people to the Dam each year; during a typical day, up to 16,000 people cross it.
To the west of the Dam you’ll see new construction. That’s the Mike O’Callaghan – Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge. Once completed, all traffic will flow over it; only pedestrians will have access to the top of Hoover. The huge project is estimated to cost $ 240 million. It’s dimensions aren’t paltry, either: 1,900-feet across and 840-feet high above the Colorado River, making the new bridge an attraction as well.
The Grand Canyon segment of the helicopter tour will take you to the West Rim, located 90 miles east. This particular Rim is full of things to do, and offers visitors a multitude of ways to experience it. Here are some recommendations:
1. Stay in the air above the rim; fly back to Las Vegas
2. Land at the Rim and check out the Skywalk, a “Glass Bridge” that extends 70 feet over the edge, the Colorado River roaring nearly 4,000 feet below.
3. Land in the bottom of the Grand Canyon. This is the only place in the Canyon where this can be achieved.
On the return, you go back to the heliport, or choose to fly over the Las Vegas Strip.
Helicopter tours leave from Las Vegas, and include hotel pick up and drop off (ask about the limousine option if you’re really looking to make it a special occasion). In the air, you’ll find yourself ensconced in comfort: Most helicopters are accommodate up to six passengers, are climate-controlled, and come with wrap-around windows for panoramic views. Usual “in-air” time will be and hour and a half, and packages range between $ 300 to $ 400. Book on-line if you want the absolute lowest price.
Hoover Dam is an absolute must-see for the Las Vegas visitor. And why not. It’s nearby and is one of the West’s most iconic landmarks. It’s a great day trip by helicopter, and some people do an air-ground package. But why stop at the Dam when the Grand Canyon is only 90 miles away? It’s the proximity of one of the natural Seven Wonders of the World that compel most people to book a Grand Canyon tour, which includes the famous Skywalk. Whatever route you pick, you will not be disappointed.
Ready to see Hoover Dam and the NEW bridge from the air? Travel writer Keith Kravitz recommends these tours http://www.grandcanyondaytrips.com/hoover-dam-tours