Discover the distinctive history of the men and women who braved the desolation of the southern Nevada desert to build Hoover Dam, settle Boulder City, and create the clean, green, adventure oasis that Boulder City is today.
Boulder City’s old-time vibe is a delightful surprise to visitors but hardly an accident. The town owes its existence to Hoover Dam, one of America’s man-made wonders eight miles up the road. Built with enough concrete to pave a two-lane road from San Francisco to New York City, the dam soars 726.4 feet high, far taller than the Washington Monument. It holds back Lake Mead, the country’s biggest reservoir.
To house the workers building the huge structure, the federal government designed and erected Boulder City on a site described by Franklin D. Roosevelt during the dam’s 1935 dedication as having been “a cactus-covered waste.” These days, the 408 residential and commercial buildings constructed between 1931 and 1942 make up the Boulder City Historic District, Nevada’s largest concentration of sites on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Coffee Cup Cafe packs ’em in with breakfast fare such as omelets bulging with pork chile verde or peanut-butter-and-bacon waffles. Order a burger piled with cheddar, bacon, and beef brisket at the Dillinger, in a 1940s bank building, or try the pub grub and a pint of Powder Monkey Pilsner at the Boulder Dam Brewing Co.
AAA's Via Magazine
History lives in Boulder City
Hoover Dam is a testimony to a country's ability to construct monolithic projects in the midst of adverse conditions. Built during the Depression; thousands of men and their families came to Black Canyon to tame the Colorado River. It took less than five years, in a harsh and barren land, to build the largest dam of its time. Now, years later, Hoover Dam still stands as a world-renowned structure. The Dam is a National Historic Landmark and has been rated by the American Society of Civil Engineers as one of America's Seven Modern Civil Engineering Wonders. -- U.S. Bureau of Reclamation
Hoover Dam Museum
Photographs, artifacts, oral histories, and the sounds of Hoover Dam construction ringing off the walls of Black Canyon provide a sense of the complexity, danger, and immense scale of the construction project, as well as a picture of ordinary life in an extraordinary time and place. Listen as these pioneers tell about their lives in Boulder City and down at the Hoover Dam construction site in the desperate years of the early 1930s. Located inside the historic Boulder Dam Hotel.
Lake Mead Visitor Center
See a full size relief map of the Lake Mead National Recreation Area. This map shows the park in amazing detail. Explore what the park has to offer from what animals make Lake Mead their home to the challenges the park faces into the future. If you have any questions about the Lake Mead National Recreation Area this is the place to find information on anything related to the park.
Boulder City's Historic District
Built to house Hoover Dam workers, Boulder City has a rich history and a unique, vibrant culture. Our visitors are quick to point out just how clean and safe the town is, as well as how friendly the locals are. Take the WALK BC audio walking tour or the Boulder City Artscape walk and you'll find an interesting way to experience the town and a convenient way to explore the specialty shops, pubs and restaurants that line the routes.
Hoover Dam Bypass Bridge
There, on the shore of Lake Mead, the venerable Hoover Dam and its dazzling new companion, the Mike O’Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge, represent a century of high-stakes engineering and construction work in this 1,500-foot stretch of Colorado River. The proximity of these man made marvels to major destinations in Nevada and Arizona make the site a must-see example of U.S. engineering on the grandest scale. -- Michael MacRae, ASME.org
Historic Railroad Tunnel Trail
There are over 50 miles of hiking and biking trails around Boulder City and the Historic Railroad Tunnel Trail is arguably the most interesting. You'll begin at the Lake Mead Visitor's Center where you can peruse the exhibits and garden before you begin your hike along Lake Mead and through the railroad tunnels used during the construction of Hoover Dam. The easy 4 mile trail will take you to the dam.
Historic Boulder Dam Hotel
Built in 1933 to accommodate dignitaries visiting the construction of Hoover Dam (then called Boulder Dam) the Boulder Dam Hotel has preserved the classic style of the era. In addition to its 21 well-appointed guest rooms, the hotel houses an excellent restaurant, the Boulder City/Hoover Dam Museum, the Boulder City Art Guild Gallery and the Dam Short Film Festival offices. Many of the hotel's historic features remain, including the mortar/masonry, the windows, and the gum wood paneled lobby. The hotel also serves as the starting and ending point of WALKBC, a self-guided audio walking tour of "the town that built Hoover Dam."
Eldorado Canyon Mines
The Techatticup Mine is the oldest and richest Gold Mine in Southern Nevada. It ran from 1861 until 1942. Steamboats on the Colorado River was the main way to arrive here for 40 years. This is a hard rock mine tour that takes you in to areas where you will see the quartz veins the gold and silver ran in. This is a walking tour approximately 1/4 mile long on gravel and only one level.
NV Southern Railway Museum
Ride the rails and experience history dating back to the 1930's - the time this Boulder Branch Line was constructed by the Union Pacific Railroad to service the Boulder Dam project. Ride in your choice of an open air car or air conditioned/heated Pullman coaches. We are wheelchair accessible. Also available on select weekends are model railroad displays and 7½" gauge trains that you can ride!