If you are a X-files fan or just a conspiracy theorist, this is the place for you to visit. Unfortunately, this area is supposed to be a secret military facility. So getting on the base might prove to be a little harder that you think. This secret hideaway is about 150 miles north of Las Vegas and is off what some call the “ET Highway.” It is so called because people started seeing lights and aliens long before anybody thought about them.
Don’t go thinking you will see much of anything. The topography of the land is quite scenic. However, there are no markers, monuments, or signs pointing you in the right direction. It is said when you get to the place where the base is located, there are signs that warn you against going any further for threat of bodily injury. They will also slap you with some jail time and fines.
As you ride down the road, notice the absence of animal life. The few cows you see in the fields don’t really look like any cows you seen before. Take note of the crater holes in the earth, and you will realize that this is really a nuclear test site and all the isolation makes sense. There are security guards at every gate to make sure you don’t get through. Take your look around and get on your way.
There is an Area 51 Research Center you can visit. Just look for a big yellow trailer.
There aren’t any hotels or inns out this far, so unless you brought your camping gear, you should make this an early morning trip. There aren’t many gas stations, so fill your tank before you leave. You should also bring plenty of water for yourself and your car as you will be going through a lot of desert to get to your destination.
If not for the Hoover Dam, Las Vegas may not exist. Construction began in 1931 and the workers needed ways to relax on their days off. 5200 laborers were assembled and proceeded working twenty four hours a day. The dam was finished in 1936. It helped conserve water for electrical, industrial, and irrigation purposes. The dam has become just one of the world’s major electrical generating plants that provided surrounding towns with a low cost and clean hydroelectric power. The $165 million Hoover Dam paid for itself by selling electrical power to the states of California, Arizona, and Nevada.
660 feet at the top tapering to 45 feet where the road crosses at the top, the dam is a massive curved wall. It is 726 feet tall which is about the height of a 60 foot skyscraper. The dam holds back 9.2 trillion gallons of water. This water is kept in Lake Mead, a reservoir facilitated by the construction of the dam. There are four intake towers on the lake that drop the water down about 600 feet to help drive turbines and create power.
The visitor center opened in 1995 and is built upon a three level circular structure with a rooftop overlook. You will enter into the Reception Lobby where there is a gift shop and you can purchase souvenirs of your visit to the dam. They carry photographs, articles, videos, and other paraphernalia relating to the dam and the people who built it.
There are thirty minute tours of the dam that leave every fifteen minutes. These tours go down about 561 feet into the bowels of the dam. You will see the massive turbines and even get to go outside on the downriver side for a look back up at the massive structure.