Friday, January 24, 2014

Historic Railroad Tunnels, Hoover Dam and Bridge - 1/24/14

Historic Railroad Tunnels Used During the Construction of Hoover Dam

O'Callaghan-Tillman Bridge from Hoover Dam

Side View of Hoover Dam

 By the time Judy gathered all of her hikers from around town, she had fifteen attending today's hike through the historic railroad tunnels and continuing to either Hoover Dam or the O'Callaghan-Tillman Bridge. The trailhead is located off of Highway 93 and Lake Shore Drive at the Lake Mead NRA Alan Bible Visitor Center. It was an energetic group and the 7 miles of the hike lasted only 3 hours.

Morning View of Lake Mead and Marina
 The hike is divided into 2 or 3 portions. The first part is the 5 miles of five different tunnels cut into the mountains for a railroad train that transported dam workers between the dam construction site and Boulder City.

Entering Second Tunnel
 After construction was completed, the train tracks were removed and the huge tunnels remained for recreational use.

Lake Mead

 Since the new bridge by-pass was completed and highway security procedure was changed, the trail from the tunnel section to the dam and bridge was polished to include a picnic table and restroom at the northeast end of the tunnels. Also, a new section of trail has been opened to allow hikers and bikers to pass by the dam equipment boneyard from where you can get your first view of the bridge.

Fifteen Fast Hikers
 The group of hikers split in half and headed off in their respective directions depending on whether they wished to visit the dam or the bridge ... the 2nd and 3rd portions of the hike. Those that were particularly hungry chose to head down to the dam and its cafe!

View from Maintenance Yard to Dam Grid
 The dam group circled around the boneyard and dropped down through the electrical grid to the upper garage parking lot. There were not many people milling around on the visitor level.

Dam Boneyard

 We explored the dam or just sat for our snack break while the other group walked across the bridge and back. We could see that group on the bridge from where we sat at the dam cafe. After photos were taken and hot dogs were eaten, we started back. The bridge group reached the new picnic table and restroom area before the dam group and waited. The remaining hike back through the tunnels was long but fast.

Dam Visitor Area
 This is a very nice and interesting hike. Lake views are beautiful and it's always fun to visit Hoover Dam and the O'Callaghan-Tillman Bridge by-pass.

Dam and Bridge Area

Dam Visitor Area

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