Hoover Dam is a 45-minute drive from Las Vegas, so you can carve out a few hours and visit this engineering wonder on your own, and we did that many times.
But to get a different perspective and let someone else do the driving, I decided to go with Comedy on Deck tours for a VIP experience that included a visit to the new bypass bridge, the power plant, the visitor center, and a hot lunch.
The tour started with a pickup from our hotel, and we had to endure four more pickups before we were on our way. Our guide entertained us with jokes and a running commentary about Vegas and Hoover Dam.
Our first stop was at the Mike O'Callaghan–Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge (better known as the bypass bridge).
This bridge was built to offer an alternate route for travelers between Nevada and Arizona, who had to cross over the dam in the past, creating nightmare traffic.
As a bonus, this bridge offers a fantastic view of the dam from a height of 900 ft. A pedestrian walkway makes it possible for tourists like us to hike to the middle for a commanding view.
At our next stop and the main attraction, we entered the visitors center for a movie about the dam construction and then descended to the bypass tunnels and the powerplant.
The official Hoover Dam tour was impressive. It was great to see how the engineers first built tunnels to reroute the Colorado River before they started pouring massive quantities of concrete.
They also had to cool the concrete blocks using pipes with refrigerated water to speed up the setting process.
It was also sad to hear about the work conditions, accidents, and deaths during construction.
After the dam tour, we got the chance to view the whole area from atop the new observation deck and then walk along the dam.
On the way back, we had lunch at a popular diner. The food was good but nothing special, and we stuck with something that couldn't go wrong, cheeseburgers and chips.
I really enjoyed this tour and would go with Comedy on Deck again on their other tours.