One Huge Dam

The last post was titled “Slow Down and Catch Up”. We have been at Canyon Trail RV Park since Tuesday.  We took yesterday off to do just that, slow down and catch up.  It seems we have been constantly on the go the last little while and I had a pile of pictures to review.

Today we were back at being  tourists, we headed back down the highway to the Hoover Dam.  Here is another link for the dam.  The other day we were at the beginning of Lake Mead, today we were at the end.  We couldn’t find any parking close to the visitor centre on the Nevada side of the lake so we drove across the dam and parked for free, but some distance from the action, on the Arizona side.

I walked back across the dam and snapped a few photos.  I also walked across the new traffic bridge which provided a great view of the dam.  Here are some pictures you might enjoy.

The Arizona Spillway, overflow side.

The Arizona Spillway, lake side.

There is also a spillway on the Nevada side.  They are used to divert excess water that the dam can’t handle.  You will notice a white section around Lake Mead, this is the high water line.  There has been an extended drought which has lowered the lake by almost 50 metres, hence the bathtub ring. But when full, the lake would have enough water to cover the entire state of Pennsylvania to a depth of 1 foot. Reading the information plaques around the dam, these spillways have only needed to be used in 1983.

Spillway tunnel to the Colorado

When the water does flow over the spillway, it has to get back to the Colorado River.  These tunnels allow that to happen.  The plaques mention that this tunnel, as well as the one on the Nevada side, can handle the same amount of water as that flowing over Niagara Falls.

Arizona Intake Tower

There are two more towers on the Nevada side of the lake. A picture of the dam, shows a full lake and the water level is way up the tower, close to the horizontal walkway.

A look down the lake

A look down the Colorado River

View of the dam from the highway.


2 thoughts on “One Huge Dam

  1. Once again your pictures are fantastic! Coincidently, the movie “San Andreas” was on TV earlier today. One of the scenes shows the effect of an earthquake on Hoover Dam. In the movie, the earthquake causes the dam to fail. Good thing it was only a movie. lol
    It’s amazing to see how much the water level has decreased in the lake. I wonder what the odds are of it ever returning to it’s earlier level? Did they mention anything about this on your exploration of the dam?


    • I did not go on any “tours”, there were two offered, one of the dam and one of the power plant. It seemed to overwhelming and unorganized for us to take part. I do know the lake water is supplied from mountain snow melt, so if there is a lot of snow, the water will go up. Only if the output is less than the input. It would have been nice to have seen the spillway in operation.


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