A Visit to the Hoover Dam Overlook and the Lake Mead Recreation Area Visitors Center

Friday February 14th 2020

The nice weather of the last couple of days continued today. The temperature peaked a little above yesterday in the mid sixties. Tomorrow is forecast to be just a little bit better.

Today was a mixture of routine living and being a tourist. It started with an oil change for my Honda CR-V at the nearby Jiffy Lube. The online reviews for the Jiffy Lube were better than the ones for the Valvoline Instant Oil Change brand that I usually use. They both perform the same basic services at roughly the same price.

Lake Mead from an Overlook on Interstate 11.

This afternoon I drove out of the Las Vegas valley to the southeast. I was doing a little scouting of my escape route at the end of the month. A big section of highway US95 from Henderson through Boulder City has been replaced by a new high section of Interstate 11 since I was last in the area. The new route makes traveling to the Hoover Dam bridge much easier.

While I was out there I did some of the tourist things. I visited the Hoover Dam overview area on the Mike O’Callaghan–Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge and the Lake Mead Recreation Area visitors center. Security going to the dam seems to have increased since my last visit two years ago. Every vehicle has to open all their windows so the security people can look in and more vehicles seem to be getting additional inspection. I didn’t have any problems and reached the parking lot below the highway bridge without a problem.

Hoover Dam from the bridge.

A tour bus full of people were climbing the walkway up to the bridge when I arrived. It made it difficult to navigate out onto the bridge walkway. I’m not real comfortable with heights, but usually do OK. With all the pushing and bummping along the walkway today I found myself hugging the cement barrier on the road side away from the drop off until most of the bus load of people moved back toward their bus. The view was as impressive as always. The traffic on the actual dam was very heavy considering it’s a dead end road, so I didn’t continue my drive down to the dam.

Lake Mead marina from the overlook.
Tour boat getting ready to leave the marina.

My second stop was at the Lake Mead overlook for a view of the marina in the lake. It hasn’t had to move any further into the lake during the last two years, but it is still much further out in the lake than the first time I saw it twenty years ago. The lake level has gone down so much in that time. From the overlook I continued back toward the city and stopped at the Lake Mead Recreation Area Visitors center. I was hopping their desert garden would be in bloom, but it’s still a little early. The center hasn’t changed much since my last visit.

Desert flower blossom at the Lake Mead Recreation Area Visitors Center.

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