7. Hoover Dam & Red Rock: An Unforgettable Self-Guided Tour
Start by downloading the Action Tour Guide app, which will function as your personal tour guide, audio tour, and map all in one. Purchase one tour per car, not per person. Everyone listens together! Once downloaded, your Hoover Dam tour begins at the enchanting Bellagio Fountain in the heart of Las Vegas. Roll down the strip and dig into the city’s wild past, replete with gambling, feuding, and backstabbing. Then cruise out toward the Hoover Dam and learn about the powerful Colorado River and the early efforts to control it. Plus, get to know the infamous Frank Crowe, who spearheaded the dam-building project. Stop for scenic views at the Lake Mead Viewpoint, then hear about the Colorado River Compact and the struggle to distribute this precious resource. Take an optional detour to the Historical Railroad Hiking Trail, which follows the path of old and now decommissioned railroad tracks. Or visit the Lakeview Overlook for further views of Lake Mead’s splendor. As you near the Hoover Dam, you’ll stop at Boulder Dam Bridge Overlook, offering an unparalleled view of the dam. Then, choose between driving across the dam or parking to walk along its mighty rim. Finally, you’ll arrive at the Hoover Dam Lookout, for another great look at this massive structure. Your tour concludes here. Your Red Rock Canyon Tour starts at the park entrance on the outskirts of Las Vegas. From there, you’ll head to the Calico Hills, mounds of hard, red rock that were once shifting sand dunes! You’ll then proceed to the Sandstone Quarry Overlook, where miners once harvested sandstone. Find out what made Red Rock Canyon’s sandstone so valuable and unique. Then hear about the plentiful wildlife you might encounter during your visit and how to spot them! Hear about battles between conservationists and developers, and discover how the conservation zone that protects the canyon was created. Next, stop at High Point Overlook, the highest point on the tour at 4,780 feet above sea level! If you want a detour, you can visit the petroglyphs and pictographs at Petroglyph Wall. They’re thought to be over 800 years old! Then swing past the Ice Box Canyon Trail, a trail flanked by narrow cliff walls that make it much, much cooler than the surrounding desert. Next is the Red Rock Wash Overlook, a haven for birdwatchers. Then learn more about the canyon’s fossils. Find out that what could be the oldest land animal fossil was discovered here! Finally, you’ll reach Red Rock Canyon Overlook, where your tour concludes.