Las Vegas Day Trip

If you want to venture on a day trip from Las Vegas but don’t want to go as far as the Grand Canyon, then the following attractions might be of interest to you. We did this day trip when we were there in September of 2006.

1.  Hoover Dam

Hoover Dam is only 35 miles or 56 kilometres from Las Vegas. Frankly, there’s not much to see aside from the dam, however, it is quite a site to see! What a beast of a structure! Its enormous size is mind boggling.  The photos below simply don’t do it justice. You can actually take a tour down to the depths of this beast.

Hoover Dam is named in honour of Herbert Clark Hoover, the 31st President of the United States (I got that info from a plaque that we found on the site). It was constructed between 1931 to 1935 in the Art Deco style. The dam controls the mighty Colorado River and lies between Arizona and Nevada (you can see the state line running through the middle).

Height: 726.4 ft (221.4 m) | Length: 1,244 ft (379 m) | Base Width: 660 ft (200 m)
(Info courtesy of Wikipedia)

Penstock Towers on the Arizona side.

Penstock Towers on the Nevada side.

This is a view upstream from Hoover Dam. Can you see where the water has receded?

2.  Lake Mead

The creation of Hoover Dam resulted in the largest man-made lake in North America – Lake Mead, extending “112 miles (180 km) behind the dam, holding approximately 26,134,000 acre feet of water. Lake Mead was named after Elwood Mead (1858–1936), who was the commissioner of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation from 1924 to 1936 during the planning and construction of the Boulder Canyon Project that created the dam and lake.” (The stuff in quotes straight from Wikipedia.) I suppose all you really need to know is that there is a recreational area just 25 miles outside of Las Vegas. We didn’t stay here long because we wanted to get to our next destination.

3.  Valley of Fire State Park

This was the highlight of our day and I didn’t know until today that Valley of Fire is the oldest state park in Nevada, dedicated in 1935. Valley of Fire is 50 miles (80 kilometres) northeast of Las Vegas. It’s name is appropriate as the park is covered in red sandstone formations. You will even find petroglyphs in the park most likely drawn by Ancient Pueblo Peoples (aka Anasazi).

“Three cabins built by the Civilian Conservation Corps (C.C.C.) soon after the Valley of Fire became a state park in 1935. They are constructed of native sandstone and were used for many years to shelter campers and travelers visiting the park.”


About May Dayao

Carpe diem!
This entry was posted in Nevada, Travel, USA and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Las Vegas Day Trip

  1. Annette says:

    Great photos of the dam! It’s been quite a few years since I’ve been there and I didnt take any pictures. These bring back memories 🙂

    • May Dayao says:

      Thanks Annette! Glad to be able to take you back down memory lane. I was going through some archived photos and I was surprised that I had these because I don’t seem bother or put in the effort of taking good photos to places that I visit often – like New York, Vegas or California! Have a great day and thanks for stopping by 🙂

  2. zelmare says:

    Wow! It really is huge! Love the built structure, as well as the natural structures. 🙂

    • May Dayao says:

      Such a contrast though, isn’t it? And as impressive as the Hoover Dam is, you can’t forget the environmental consequences it has brought not just to the immediate region but also those places that the Colorado River and its tributaries would have reached. it is what it is and I can’t help but admire the skill of its construction. Have a great day 🙂

  3. Malou says:

    Great post, May. My husband and I were there many years back. Never heard of this Valley of Fire State Park or we would have visited that as well. I love the parks out there and would love to come back again in the future. 😉

  4. Karen says:

    Next time I’m in Las Vegas when the weather is not so hot, I’ll have to visit the Valley of Fire.

    • May Dayao says:

      The weather wasn’t so bad in September. We found the Valley of Fire a good break from the casinos. We also visited a museum not too far from there. Just a small one with Native American artifacts but I can’t remember the name and I’ve lost the brochure.

  5. ivanterzic says:

    Amazing post! I always admired Anasazi’s drawings and achievements, I definitely must visit this place

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