Hiking Trails Near Hoover Dam

by Jeremiah Blanchard
The Hoover dam is a tourist attraction surrounded by popular recreation areas.

The Hoover dam is a tourist attraction surrounded by popular recreation areas.

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The Hoover Dam is located in the Black Canyon region of the Colorado River, on the border of Nevada and Arizona. The dam is a source of hydroelectric power and water irrigation for parts of Arizona, Nevada and California. Being situated in desert canyon country and within the Lake Mead National Recreation area, a few hiking trails can be found near the dam.

Historic Railroad Tunnel Trail

The Historic Railroad Tunnel Trail was built to preserve the tunnels which were used non-stop during the construction of the Hoover dam. Five tunnels, all approximately 300 feet long and 25 feet in diameter can be explored along a 3.7 mile hike from the trailhead at the Alan Bible Visitor's Center to the Hoover dam parking garage. Other lesser traveled spur trails leading from Lake Mead to the Dam cover about five miles, and offer a different perspective of both the lake and the dam. Along the trail you can view Lake Mead, Desert bighorn sheep, old relics from abandoned pioneer trails and old plugs removed from the dam during its construction.

Arizona Hot Springs Trail

Just 3.5 miles south of Hoover dam across the Nevada state line along U.S. Highway 93, you'll find the trailhead leading to the Arizona Hot Springs. This three mile trail is located adjacent to a large parking lot on the east side of U.S. 93, used as a part of the Hoover Dam Bypass project. The trail begins along a stone lined wash at the rim of White Rock Canyon, then passes under the U.S. 93 overpass. The trail widens and follows the winding canyon which eventually leads to Lake Mohave. After passing Lake Mohave the trail climbs to a high ridge-top, and drops back down to a small canyon below the hot springs. The trail then leads through the canyon and stops near a cascading 20 foot waterfall flanked by a metal ladder which leads up to the four hot spring pools. Make sure you bring plenty of water on this hike, especially during the hot summer months.

Gold Strike Hot Springs Hike

Just a few miles from the Hoover dam, situated near Boulder City Nevada, the Gold Strike Hot Springs trail offers a picturesque hike near the Colorado River leading up to hot spring pools. The trailhead is clearly marked and is accessible off of U.S. 93 about 1.5 miles west of Boulder City. The trail is approximately four miles and slightly difficult to hike, with scrambling over boulders and a few points where single-pitch rope climbing is required near the end of the trail. Swimming or soaking is allowed in the geothermal pools, however, signs warn to keep your head above the water and refrain from ducking or splashing. Warm waters are ideal breeding areas for deadly amoeba that can cause amoebic meningitis, and these amoeba thrive in the pools.

River Mountains Loop Trail

The Alan Bible Visitor's Center, otherwise referred to as the Lake Mead Visitor's Center is located four miles northeast of Boulder City off of U.S. 93 near the Hoover dam. This is home to the trailheads for the Historic Railroad Tunnels Trail and the River Mountain Loop Trail. The River Mountain Loop trail is often used as a connection to the Railroad tunnels trail and several other spur trails. The trail loops a 35 mile length surrounding the River Mountains, connecting the Lake Mead National Recreation Area and the Hoover Dam, Henderson, Boulder City and the rest of the Las Vegas Valley. Camping is a popular activity while on this lengthy trail and is best done during spring or fall, when temperatures aren't so hot.

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