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Located roughly 26 miles (42 km) from the heart of Las Vegas, Boulder City is a small town full of big adventure. Sitting in the desert near the shores of Lake Mead, the region is a prime spot for hiking, boating, fishing, biking, and other outdoor activities. Since 1935, the city’s biggest draw has been the Hoover Dam, a feat of construction named one of America’s Seven Modern Wonders of Civil Engineering. Whether you want to hike the canyons, cruise the waters, or dig into the history of the world-renowned dam, there are plenty of thrills to be had in historic Boulder City.
Downtown — Running on and around the main drag of Nevada Way, downtown Boulder City is a quaint destination lined with casual eateries, cool brewpubs, and charming antique shops. Here, find the Boulder City-Hoover Dam Museum, the Nevada State Railroad Museum, and the headquarters of the Lake Mead Recreation Area, where you can find information on the all the outdoor activities that the area has to offer.
Hoover Dam — Built between 1931 and 1935, the Hoover Dam—named after President Herbert Hoover —is a modern marvel constructed to tame the Colorado River. Running over the water where the river meets the southwest end of Lake Mead, the dam serves to provide irrigation, control floods, and produce hydroelectric power. Pay a visit to see the power plant, learn more about its operations, and gain a new appreciation for the features of the dam and everything it does.
Lake Mead National Recreation Area — Named America’s most diverse national recreation area, the region around Lake Mead is an outdoor playground spanning 1.5 million acres (.6 million ha) of mountains, canyons, valleys, and lakes. With 9 different wilderness areas spread across the park, you can hike the sand dunes, raft the river, bike over mountain trails, or simply admire views of the lake from any of the scenic overlooks.
Experience the spectacular sights of the fiery-hued desert on a helicopter ride above the Hoover Dam. Lift off from the Hoover Dam Heliport and soar to an astounding 2,500 feet (762 m) as you look out the window to enjoy the incredible views. Gaze out upon the massive arch of the dam, the canyon-spanning bridge, and the copper-colored cliffs and valleys for as far as the eye can see. During the flight, tune into your helpful audio-guide to learn more about the area’s fascinating history and majestic sights.
Uncover the rich history of the Hoover Dam on a guided tour of the engineering wonder. Step into the power plant to see the turbine generators at work and learn they how they turn flowing water into enough electricity to power a major part of the American Southwest. Take a walk through the facility as you hear historic details of the structure’s controversies, tragedies, and first-of-its-kind technology. If you choose, pair your tour with a cruise on Lake Mead aboard a Mississippi-style riverboat.
If outdoor activity is what you’re after, there’s plenty of that as well. Embark on a rafting adventure of the Colorado River, kayak through the magical waters of the Black Canyon, or go biking over the craggy trails of Bootleg Canyon. If you feel the need for speed, thrill-seekers can get their adrenaline pumping in a 3-wheeled sports car or on a zipline course at speeds of up to 65 miles per hour (105 km/h).
Aside from its own activities and attractions, one of the best things about Boulder City is its proximity to breathtaking nature in nearby states including Utah and Arizona. On a multi-day tour, admire the awe-inspiring rock formations in Bryce Canyon and Zion national parks, or camp out in the incredible landscape of the Grand Canyon.