Valley of Fire State Park
29450 Valley of Fire Road
Overton, NV 89040
Valley of Fire State Park is a harshly beautiful and rugged desert area some 55 miles northeast of Las Vegas on exit 75 off Interstate 15, making it the perfect day trip for family visitors to Las Vegas. Once the bottom of a vast, shallow inland sea, it is bone dry today, scalding hot in the summer and mild in other seasons. The park is an incredibly colorful garden of sandstone spires, arches and other natural formations. A visitors’ center, constructed from rugged natural stone to match the surrounding terrain, is filled with exhibits on geology, ecology, prehistory and the history of the park itself. The park charges a $10 entrance fee per car with a $2 discount for Nevada residents. Hours: visitors’ center, daily 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; picnic areas close at sundown.
Bureau of Reclamation
P.O. Box 61470
Boulder City, NV 89006-1470
Phone: (702) 494-2517
Toll-free number: (888) 248-1249
Hoover Dam is an immense concrete structure 30 miles southwest of Las Vegas on U.S. 93 built in the 1930s to control Colorado River run-off, which annually caused millions of dollars of damage downstream. The dam has been called one of America’s Seven Modern Civil Engineering Wonders. In the Visitor Center, guests can view maps, videos, films and pictures of the huge undertaking to create the dam in Black Canyon. Just 30 miles southwest of Las Vegas. Power plant tours are available that allow visitors to go inside the huge concrete structure. This is a wonderful day trip for families. Entrance fees, which include access to the Visitors Center and power plant, are $11 for adults, ages 17 through 61, $9 for seniors 62 and up, $9 for juniors ages 4 to 16, and $9 for U.S. military. Hours: Visitor Center, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily except Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Mike O’Callaghan – Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge
Boulder City, NV 89006
The Mike O’Callaghan – Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge, opened Oct. 19, 2010, and is some 30 miles southwest of Las Vegas. It is the first concrete-steel composite arch bridge built in the United States. Towering some 840 feet above the Colorado River, it was constructed 1,600 feet downriver from Hoover Dam and is an awe-inspiring sight when viewed from atop the dam. Conversely, it is the perfect spot from which to view the ponderously massive Hoover Dam. It is the longest concrete arch in the Western Hemisphere. Also called the Hoover Dam Bypass, the 1,900-foot-long span links Nevada and Arizona and is the second highest bridge in the country. A parking area on the Nevada side of the bridge allows visitors to stop and walk across the bridge. Hours: open 24 hours daily unless the wind exceeds 50 mph.