Hoover Dam Observation Deck

One of the modern marvels of the world, the Hoover Dam is open to the public daily from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. On the Arizona side of the Dam, there are many free parking lots. After parking, enjoy the breathtaking architecture as you cross the dam to the Nevada side, which is chock-full of amazing Art Deco sculptures. On the Hoover Dam Bypass Bridge walkway--the world's tallest concrete arch bridge--enjoy spectacular views of the Dam and the Black Canyon from 890 above the Colorado River.

But for the most breathtaking views, access the Overlook from the stairs or elevator next to the Exhibit Gallery. There, the Observation Deck offers panoramic views from Lake Mead to the Colorado River. If you're visiting as part of a tour, a guide will be there to point out significant features of the dam and the surrounding area. The Observation Room is complete with a sculpture from the water and power users of the Lower Basin States of the Colorado River. Those businesses cover the costs to operate the dam.

Photo-lovers won't want to miss the picture opportunities from the deck, so don't forget to bring your camera (just imagine all of the Instagram likes). Other landmarks along the way include theater-level displays that introduce the dam. In the theater, view "How the West was Won," a presentation illustrating the Bureau of Reclamation's role in taming rivers of the west and helping to settle previously desolate areas.

Nearby, large elevators take visitors down 500 feet to the wall of the Black Canyon, where a 250-foot long tunnel in the rock leads to the 650-foot Nevada wing of the power plant. From there, view one of the massive pipes that transport water from Lake Mead to the generators. At the plaza level of the visitor center, the Exhibit Gallery tells of the natural history of the region and those who worked to construct the dam. From there, take the elevator up to the best feature--the breathtaking overlook.

The Reclamation Bureau's Dam tour is $15 for adults, $12 for seniors and children ages four to 16, and free for children three and under. U.S. military in uniform can also enjoy the tour for free. Most passenger vehicles can cross the dam, but be prepared for an inspection at the Nevada Security Checkpoint, where visitors may be requested to open the trunk, hood, and storage areas of the car. Vehicles are prohibited from stopping on top of the dam or loading/unloading passengers. There are designated parking lots for pickups and dropoffs. Parking in the garage and the Arizona Parking Lot 9 is $10, but the upper lots on the Arizona side offer free parking.

For those who just want to enter the visitor center and observation deck, without a tour, tickets are $10 for all and free for children three and under. Admission includes the visitor center exhibits, observation deck, and the original 1940s topographical map presentation.

Firearms, explosives, and fireworks are prohibited, as are flying drones and marijuana. Animals are also prohibited, with the exception of service animals trained to aid a person with a disability. The tour, visitor center, and original exhibit buildings are all accessible to mobility devices and wheelchairs.