Dam Good Canoe Adventure

Canoe the Black Canyon Outside Las Vegas

Bring your swimsuit to Vegas—but not for the pools. A self-guided canoe trip down the Black Canyon portion of the Colorado River is way better than renting a cabana by the pool. This day-trip is just 45 minutes from the Strip and gets you into some amazing solitude that’s the ying to Vegas’s yang.

Local outfitter Kayak Las Vegas sets you up for the day: maps, points of interest, drop-off and pick-up, and even a lunch. And they’re one of the only companies to have access to the put-in below Hoover Dam, that imminently photogenic architectural stunner.

Getting geared up in its shadow is awe inspiring—700 feet of human engineering makes for a dramatic backdrop. Your 11-mile journey is mellow and beautiful, no whitewater, just a paddle through the desert with plenty of places to stop and explore. Keep an eye out for bald eagles and desert big horn sheep. Hot springs can be accessed up some smaller canyons (marked on your map), with Arizona Hot Spring having the most eye-opening approach—a 15-foot ladder beside a waterfall takes you up to the hot stuff! In summer you’ll just want to wade through it, and there’s always the river (a chilly 54 degrees) to cool you back down!

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TIP: Kayak Las Vegas also offers guided tours.

Kayak Las Vegas meets clients in Boulder City, which is about 45 minutes from the Strip. They will outfit you and drive you to and from Black Canyon, as well as provide you with the information on all you’ll need for a day on the water. Canoe rentals are $55 per person plus $22 per person for a permit to float the river. No dogs. This adventure is part of our Nevada Road Trip from Las Vegas to Great Basin National Park.

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