Boulder City, Nevada

Established in 1931 as a temporary home for the builders of Hoover Dam, Boulder City was intended by the federal government to serve as a model city that would represent a better, brighter future for a nation in the midst of the Great Depression. To that end, Boulder City was established with an anti-gaming ordinance that still stands today.

With more than 1 million visitors touring Hoover Dam every year, Boulder City is today a welcoming green oasis just a few miles away. The hospitable town combines a quaint atmosphere with surprising amenities and attractions, such as the historic Boulder Dam Hotel, which was built in 1933 to host visiting government officials and dignitaries during the dam’s construction. Its Dutch Colonial walls have housed celebrities from Bette Davis to Shirley Temple, business tycoons from Howard Hughes to George Pepperdine, and dignitaries from Archduke Otto Hapsburg to Cardinal Pacelli, who later became Pope Pius XII. The hotel is on the National Register of Historic Places and definitely worth a visit.

Also worth a tour is the Boulder City/Hoover Dam Museum, which walks visitors through the stock market crash, the Great Depression and, of course, the impact of the mighty Hoover Dam. Then there’s the, Nevada State Railroad Museum, plus walkable sections of the original track used to ferry materials from the town site to the dam during construction years.

The layout of Boulder City itself lends itself for an interesting stroll, offering a glimpse of how dam builders lived and how the town was constructed in a distinctly structured fashion to separate citizen classes of the period. Boulder City has also developed a reputation as an outdoor activity center, with an impressive system of mountain bike trails in Bootleg Canyon, aptly named as the place where bootleggers produced liquor during Prohibition. And the town boasts quite the line-up of annual events, including the Best Dam Barbecue, Fourth of July Damboree and Santa’s Electric Light Parade.

Besides the in-town interests, Boulder City is a great launching pad for another nearby wonder. Beautiful Lake Mead was created with the completion of Hoover Dam and is now a recreational paradise for boaters and water-sports enthusiasts. Houseboating, water skiing and wakeboarding are all activities you can find virtually year-round on the lake. On the other side of Hoover Dam, the Colorado River still flows free and offers visitors exciting rafting options.

Other options:

  • River Mountains Loop Trail
  • Bootleg Canyon Flightline

Explore

Entrance to the Flightlinez zipline office
Boulder City, NV

Soar from the top of Red Mountain in Bootleg Canyon Park on a series of four thrilling ziplines.

Boulder Dam Hotel
Boulder City, NV
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Built in 1933 to accommodate visiting government officials and project managers supervising the construction of Hoover Dam, the Boulder Dam Hotel quickly gained a global reputation from a steady flow of dignitaries and celebrities. Today, the boutique hotel offers guests an experience of a classic era with modern comforts and amenities. On-site, visitors can visit a museum, shop, indulge in one of three distinct dining establishments, enjoy live entertainment, or hold their next event with the convenience of on-site event planning and coordination.

Boulder City, NV

Located in Black Canyon on the Colorado River about 30 miles southeast of Las Vegas, at more than 700 feet tall Hoover Dam is an amazing Nevada spectacle, especially considering it was built more than 70 years ago. Each year, about a million people take the tour of the dam and millions more drive across it. Nearby Streets / Hwys: U.S. Hwy. 93 @ AZ/NV Border.

Boulder City, NV

For year-round outdoor adventure, the Lake Mead National Recreation Area in southern Nevada can’t be beat. Both water and land lovers will find things to do and places to visit in the 1.5 million acre recreation area, which is the first of its kind to be established by a congressional act. Both Lake Mead, which is formed by Hoover Dam, and Lake Mohave, formed by Davis Dam, can be found at Lake Mead National Recreation Area.

Boulder City, NV

The Nevada State Railroad Museum, Boulder City preserves the heritage of the historic Boulder Branch Line, commissioned by the Union Pacific Railroad in 1931 to haul equipment and material needed to construct the Hoover Dam.