"The Hoover Dam and Lake Mead" Top 5 Page for this destination Lake Mead National Recreation Area by johngayton
Lake Mead National Recreation Area Travel Guide: 34 reviews and 98 photos
Considering that The Hoover Dam was built in the 1930's during a period when the US was suffering from what is termed "THe Great Depression" following the stock market crash of 1929, it is amazing that the resulting construction has superceded the basic utility of what is, at the end of the day, a hydro-electric project.
To my mind the dam has an aesthetic which is timeless, there is a beauty to its lines and the way that it adds to the surrounding landscape rather than dominates, even though it is the dam itself which is responsible for its own environment.
The dam was built with a triple purpose: firstly, as an electicity provider; secondly as a means of flood control and irrigation and thirdly, as an added bonus the dam forms a bridge over the Colorado. Estimates of the final costs of the dam range from $165 to $204 million with the initial contract having been awarded for $48.9 million and during the peak building period the monthly payroll was in excess of 1/2 a million dollars. This was the most expensive building project of its time but when translated into modern figures actually reveals itself as a bit of a bargain.
For more pics see travelog below:
As with its more Easterly sibling Lake Powell, further upriver, Lake Mead is primarily designed as a water sport activities area with several marinas dotted around the banks. There are however several easily accessible picnic areas and several hiking trails.
- Pros:Ideal for a picnic lunch and a beer!
- Cons:Not really a day trip sort of place.
- In a nutshell:Man-made Magnificence
I didn't actually do this but the Bureau of Reclamation offers self-paced tours of the dam called The Discovery Tour... more travel advice
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