Black Canyon-Colorado River: Kayaking & Hiking - hike paddle travel (2023)

Black Canyon-Colorado River: Kayaking & Hiking - hike paddle travel (1)

More than a million tourists visit Hoover Dam each year. For outdoor travelers, however, the main attraction at Hoover Dam is not the engineering, but the kayaking and hiking. Here’s how you can explore the Black Canyon of the Colorado River below Hoover Dam, by boat and by foot.

Black Canyon Water Trail

The Black Canyon lies below Hoover Dam on the Colorado River, just 45 minutes from Las Vegas on the Nevada-Arizona border. The Black Canyon Water Trail extends thirty river miles down to Lake Mojave/Eldorado Canyon. But the signature river trip is the 11.7 mile paddle from Hoover Dam to Willow Beach, Arizona.

The Black Canyon paddle is a permit-only trip (details below) that launches from a restricted area below Hoover Dam. With an advance permit, paddlers will enjoy exclusive access to the Colorado River in a rugged, desert canyon.

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The Colorado River is best known for its world-class white water, but the Black Canyon section is moving flat-water. For the most part, the paddling itself is pretty easy. There are no rapids–just fluctuating currents with occasional boils to avoid.

But the scenery here is pretty special. For starters, your paddle literally starts in the shadow of Hoover Dam, which towers more than 700 feet above you. It’s worth exploring the flatwater below the dam–there’s plenty to see here before you paddle down stream. Once you leave the dam, you’ll be floating down the Colorado River. For several miles, you’ll be looking up at rugged cliffs–and gazing down into the clear waters of the Colorado, which appears emerald green in the sunlight.

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(Video) Black Canyon of the Colorado River kayaking and camping

It’s worth scanning both the Nevada and Arizona shores for small coves, caves, and waterfalls carved into the Black Canyon’s stark, volcanic cliffs. You’ve also got great odds of spotting desert bighorn sheep along the cliffs.

Hiking the Slot Canyons

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Hoover Dam, desert cliffs, and the Colorado River make for scenic paddling. In many ways, however, the Black Canyon is more of a hiking trip than a paddling trip. The paddling itself is pretty basic–the entire trip would only take a few hours of casual paddling. The real draw of the Black Canyon is hiking the slot canyons.

The fun and difficulty pick up a notch when you pull into the slot canyons, especially Gold Strike Canyon and Boy Scout Canyon. Look for both canyons on river right within the first 1.5 miles of the trip. Tie up your boat, tighten your sport sandals, and head up the washes for waterfalls, boulders, funky algae, and some difficult scrambling.

The first 1/2 mile of each slot canyon should be accessible for most hikers. With some wading and scrambling, everyone should reach some hot springs and slimy algae cliffs–both of which turn fifty shades of green, due to the minerals and geothermal activity in the Black Canyon.

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(Video) Kayaking the Colorado River | Hiking to Hot Springs | Exploring the Black Canyon

However, the hiking soon shifts from easy to difficult. Gold Strike Canyon and Boy Scout Canyon are strenuous hikes with scrambling and bouldering, some of which involves fixed ropes. Rock climbers and canyoneers won’t find this particularly difficult, but some waterfalls, boulders, and rock walls will be challenging for casual hikers, especially with wet footing. Difficult or not, this entry-level canyoneering is definitely fun.Just head up the canyon as far you can–and turn around when you reach a waterfall or rock wall that seems too difficult or risky.

Black Canyon Hot Springs

For me, the hiking is the Black Canyon’s biggest draw. But many people travel here to soak in the natural hot springs. The geothermal attractions begin within a few hundred yards of Hoover Dam at the Sauna Cave. Look for a small lagoon on river right and scramble up the bank to find the cave’s semi-hidden entrance. With sport sandals and a headlamp, you can wade through shin-deep hot water until the steamy tunnel dead-ends after a couple hundred feet.

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You can experience several hot springs in Gold Strike Canyon, Boy Scout Canyon, and Arizona Hot Springs. The biggest pools are at Arizona Hot Springs, which is the most popular camping spot in the Black Canyon. River runners can access Arizona Hot Springs by hiking up the wash a quarter mile and climbing a metal ladder to enter a series of red rock pools.

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Arizona Hot Springs can be overrun on the weekends. If you like privacy, you might choose to camp in another canyon. If you do opt for AZ Hot Springs, however, you can enjoy the hot springs, luxurious pit toilets, and a scenic campsite:

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AZ Hot Springs to Willow Beach

The main attractions of the Black Canyon are concentrated between Hoover Dam and Arizona Hot Springs. Motivated hikers can easily spend a whole day in this short stretch of river–or maybe two–scrambling up the slot canyons and dipping in the hot springs. However long you’re here, you should spend at least 2/3 of your time in the first four miles of the canyon.

(Video) Kayaking the Colorado river: Hoover Dam to Willow Beach (Black canyon water trail)

The trip isn’t as interesting below AZ Hot Springs. The canyon opens up, the current slows, and the slot canyons disappear. You’ve got good odds at spotting desert bighorns on the cliffs. For the most part, however, there’s not much to savor along the flat-water stretch above Willow Beach. The main highlight in the lower stretch of the Black Canyon is Emerald Cave, which glows best in the afternoon sunlight:

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You’ll miss this view of Emerald Cave if you paddle in the morning. However, many paddlers leave early in the morning to avoid headwinds that frequently pick up in the afternoon. If you choose to paddle early, you may miss Emerald Cave, but you may have miles of the Colorado River all to yourself.

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Black Canyon Trip Rating

This trip has a little bit of everything: one of the world’s largest dams, scenic slot canyons, desert hot springs, sea caves, wildlife–even brain-eating amoebas (seriously–see below)! It can be a relaxing overnight trip with easy paddles and lazy soaks in hot springs–or a fairly aggressive trip with hours of slot canyon scrambling. It’s a great trip, either way. Make this an overnight trip to leave enough time for hiking and the springs.

They say that what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. However, if you stay in Las Vegas–and don’t sneak off to the Black Canyon for a couple days–you’ll be missing out on a top outdoor travel destination in the Southwest.


Is this your kind of trip?

If so, here’s more detailed information on permits, reservations, approved outfitters, safety tips, and recommendations to make the most of the Black Canyon:

Permits & Reservations

The Department of Homeland Security has restricted access to Hoover Dam for national security reasons, and the Bureau of Reclamation limits daily access to 45 paddlers to maintain the watershed. Thus, to launch a kayak from below Hoover Dam, you must first

  1. book a reservation through an outfitter approved by the National Park Service (list here). Make reservations well in advance, especially for weekend trips.
  2. Once you’ve booked a reservation with an approved outfitter, you then can apply for a launch permit.*

You have the option of renting boats through these livery services or having them shuttle your personal watercraft. I’ve had good luck with Desert River Outfitters.

(Video) Best Kept Secret 🤫 of the Colorado River | How to Kayak or Paddleboard + Camp | No Permit Required!

* You do not need a permit to paddle upstream from Willow Beach. It’s possible to paddle upstream when the dam is not generating electricity (low flow). However, this may be nearly impossible when the dam is generating electricity (especially from AZ Hot Springs to Hoover Dam).

hiking and camping safety

The desert is dangerous–especially in summer. Here are some tips for minimizing your risks of heat related illnesses, accidents, and flash flooding:

  • The best time to visit is October through April. Due to extreme heat, skip the Black Canyon in the summer (where the slot canyons regularly reach temperatures of 120 F/49 C). Due to heat-related illnesses and fatalities, the National Park Service now closes the trailheads to Goldstrike Canyon and Arizona Hot Springs from May 15 through September 30. (Seasoned desert hikers may be able to manage the heat in May and September, but the hot springs are better in cooler weather, anyway.)
  • The slot canyons are vulnerable to flash floods, particularly during the summer monsoon (when you should avoid the canyon). Don’t camp in the slot canyon washes when there’s a chance of rain, and be prepared to scramble to higher ground in the event of a rainstorm.
  • Rattlesnakes are common here. Watch where you put your hands and feet, and leave snakes alone if you do see them. If you’re lucky, you may spot a diamondback, sidewinder, or California king snake.
  • Enjoy the slot canyons! But know your ability, and don’t hike alone. People die each year in these canyons, and the number of rescues in Goldstrike Canyon and Arizona Hot Springs have more than doubled in the last five years. Don’t take unnecessary risks, pack plenty of water, hike with buddies, and turn around if you’re not confident about getting up–and down–any waterfall, boulder, or rock wall.
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Water Safety

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This stretch of the Colorado River may be basic, recreational paddling, but the water also poses some risks:

  • Current. Hoover Dam has mostly tamed this stretch of the Colorado, but water levels can change rapidly depending on the hydroelectric activity. Strong paddlers will be able to paddle upstream in lower water conditionsbut not if the dam is producing electricity. Expect flow rates to change at any time without warning. There are not many water features on this stretch of river, but avoid visible whirlpools/boils on the surface.
  • Tie up your boats. (You don’t want them to float away when the Colorado River rises 5 feet in 15 minutes to generate electricity.)
  • You’re not likely to capsize. But if you do, things could get tricky–the current often runs fast, there’s little shoreline, and the risks of hypothermia are very real (even on hot days) with year-round water temps in the low 50s. You should know how to perform an open water self-rescue–or, at the very least, paddle in a group who can assist in an open-water rescue. Always wear a PFD (and opt for a sit-on-top kayak if you’re inexperienced).
  • Powerboat traffic. If possible, request Sunday and Monday reservations on the Black Canyon, when powerboat traffic is not permitted. Otherwise, paddle in groups and make yourself visible to approaching boats.
  • Finally, the hot springs can pose another rare danger: Naegleria fowleri. This lethal amoeba can enter your body through the nose, eat its way into your brain, and cause a fatal infection. To avoid the risk of death-by-brain-eating amoeba, keep your head above the water in the hot springs. This infection may be rare, but naegleria fowleri are “common” in the hot springs and have caused deaths in Arizona.
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Go for it

The Black Canyon is a great place to hike, paddle, and travel. This is a great side trip on your Vegas vacation. And it’s a unique outdoor experience that may be worth an annual trip if you live in the Southwest. Slot machines have nothing on slot canyons. So get outside and enjoy this unique paddling and hiking experience below Hoover Dam on the Nevada-Arizona border.

FAQs

Can you paddle board Black Canyon? ›

You can paddle the Black Canyon Water Trail on a paddleboard or in a kayak or canoe.

Where is the Black Canyon water trail? ›

The 26-mile long Black Canyon Water Trail is located along a rugged and remote portions of the Colorado River in Nevada and Arizona within the Lake Mead National Recreation Area. The trail begins at the base of the Hoover Dam and meanders through Black Canyon along 26 miles of the Colorado River.

How long does it take to paddle from Hoover Dam to Willow Beach? ›

The paddle from Hoover Dam to Willow Beach can be done in one long day, but I think three days and two nights is perfect. And if you want to explore the side canyons further or spend more time relaxing in camp, you could extend it even more. For an even longer trip, one can paddle 63 miles from Hoover Dam to Davis Dam.

Can you kayak from Willow Beach to Hoover Dam? ›

The Colorado River canoe trip from Hoover Dam to Willow Beach is 12-miles from point to point. Along the way, you'll experience the beautiful canyon walls, hot springs, caves, beaches, and hikes.

Can you paddle the entire Colorado River? ›

Considering this, kayaking the entire Colorado River in one go is not possible. Generally, paddlers take 14 to 21 days to complete the tedious journey from Lee's Ferry to Diamond Creek. However, people with class III-IV skills can only kayak through these rivers.

What is Black Canyon City known for? ›

Black Canyon City: Settled in the 1870s, Black Canyon City has served as a stage stop and supply center for prospectors in the Bradshaw Mountains. Jack Swilling, one of the founders of Phoenix, once lived here. His cabin, the oldest building in the area, still stands.

Can you hike in Black Canyon? ›

This trail allows many excellent views of the Gunnison River as well as the sheer walls of the canyon. The trailhead is near the entrance to Campground Loop C and ends at the South Rim Visitor Center.

How long does it take to kayak from Willow Beach to Emerald Cove? ›

If you're staying near Willow Beach, can you reach Emerald Cove? Willow Beach is only about a few miles from the cave itself. You can kayak or use a small boat to get into the area. It is only a short kayak trip of about 4 hours to do so.

Can you raft through the Black Canyon of the Gunnison? ›

Due to the technical nature and numerous difficult portages, the Gunnison River through Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park is not raftable. Rafting opportunities are available in the Gunnison Gorge National Conservation Area west of the National Park.

Can I boat from Willow Beach to Hoover Dam? ›

The waterway from the Hoover Dam to Willow Beach is narrow. To provide a wilderness experience in this part of the park, there are rules restricting certain watercraft at various times of the year. Houseboating, water-skiing and wakeboarding are prohibited year-round for safety reasons.

Where is Black Canyon Las Vegas? ›

The breathtaking Black Canyon Water Trail, located only about 45 minutes from Las Vegas, flows along the flat, green Lower Colorado River through Lake Mead National Recreation Area between famous Hoover Dam and Arizona's Willow Beach.

What is the canyon below Hoover Dam? ›

The Black Canyon of the Colorado is the canyon on the Colorado River where Hoover Dam was built. The canyon is located on the Colorado River at the state line between Nevada and Arizona. The western wall of the gorge is in the El Dorado Mountains, and the eastern wall is in the Black Mountains of Arizona.

Can you kayak at Hoover Dam? ›

Hoover Dam Kayaking: The Nuts & Bolts

A number of area outfitters provide those permits. Furthermore, only authorized vehicles can access the Hoover Dam launch site, so if you're doing an independent paddle here you'll have to use a designated livery service to get your boat in the water.

How far is Willow Beach from Hoover Dam by water? ›

Directions. Willow Beach is located 15 miles south of the Hoover Dam in Arizona off of U.S. Highway 93.

How far is Cottonwood Cove from Willow Beach by boat? ›

Cottonwood puts you 20 miles closer to Willow Beach by water. Launching at Cottonwood Cove can be a quicker launch with a large ramp, able to get you on the water and out of the water quick and safe. You don't have to deal with the Laughlin crowd here!

Do you need a permit to paddle down the Colorado River? ›

Paddleboard Through the Canyons of the Colorado River (No Permit Required)

Do you have to have a permit to kayak the Colorado River? ›

A river permit is required for noncommercial river travel on the Colorado River through Grand Canyon National Park.

Can you kayak Horseshoe Bend without a tour? ›

Short Answer: Yes! It is possible to visit Horseshoe Bend without a tour or guide. Many visitors to Horseshoe Bend make a point to see the neighboring Antelope Canyon, which requires you to book a tour through a certified Navajo tour company.

How long is the Black Canyon Trail? ›

The 80 mile Black Canyon Trail provides mountain bikers with a long range back country trail riding opportunity. This historic National Recreation Trail is of national significance, following a route used since the times of pre-historic Native American travelers and traders.

Is Black Canyon Az a good place to live? ›

Black Canyon City is a nice quiet town. There are limited jobs here so commuting to Phoenix or Prescott is necessary. The restaurants here are good but a bit pricey. The school is small but the teachers truly care about your children and want to see them succeed.

Why is Black Canyon City called Black Canyon? ›

Prepared by the ARIZONA DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

Black Canyon takes its name from the malpais (Spanish: "bad land," i.e. volcanic) formation of its walls which have a black appearance. The canyon was used by stage drivers and freighters, since the road along its bottom connected military forts in the early days.

How many days do you need to see Black Canyon of the Gunnison? ›

You can explore both the North and the South rims of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison. To do this, you need about two full days. Sure, the distance between the two rims is small (only about 1,100 feet in the narrowest section), but it takes two and a half hours to drive from the South Rim to the North Rim.

Is Black Canyon worth visiting? ›

Black Canyon of the Gunnison was impressive, and it's definitely worth a stop if you are traveling on Highway 50 through Colorado. You can hit the highlights of this park in as little as 1-2 hours, or stay longer and dig deep. It's uncrowded and low-stress.

How long does it take to visit Black Canyon of the Gunnison? ›

Allow 2-3 hours for a leisurely tour. Information is available at the North Rim Ranger Station, open intermittently in summer. The North Rim Road is closed in winter.

Can you kayak to Emerald Cove without a guide? ›

The only way to get to Emerald Cove is by boat, either through kayaking, canoeing, SUPing or your own motorized boat. It is only 2 miles from Willow Beach shore, and if you only wanted to do Emerald Cove you could easily do the trip in 1.5-2 hours.

Can you kayak from Willow Beach to Emerald Cove? ›

If you're looking for a short day trip, your best option is to kayak from Willow Beach to Emerald Cave. Willow Beach is an access point in Lake Mead Recreation area on the Arizona side of the river (entry fee required). The beach is 2 miles downstream of the cave, so you'll paddle 4 miles total.

Do you have to pay to go to Willow Beach? ›

There is an entrance fee daily $25 or they also have $45 annual pass and that also lets you get into the other areas such as Lake Mead. Willow Beach is about an hour away from Las Vegas straight shot on new fwy 11.

How do I get to Black Canyon of the Gunnison? ›

From CO Highway 92, turn west on Black Canyon Road approximately 3 miles south of Crawford. The physical/GPS address is 7295 Black Canyon Road, Crawford. Follow the road signs to the park. The last 7 miles are unpaved.

Can you kayak the Gunnison River in Colorado? ›

In late summer and early fall, the Lower Gunnison River between Delta and Whitewater flows at a lazy pace—perfect for a beginner canoe trip.

What is Gunnison Colorado known for? ›

If you enjoy alpine skiing, ski mountaineering, or snowboarding, Gunnison is the place to be. Western has some of the best winter sport teams in the state.

Do you need a license to drive a boat in Lake Mead? ›

All persons who operate vessels powered by a motor over 15 horsepower and who were born on or after January 1, 1983, must take and pass a boater education course or proficiency exam. The course exam must be one that is approved by NDOW. A person operating a personal watercraft must be at least 14 years of age.

Can you drive a boat up to the Hoover Dam? ›

Yes you can boat on the water above and below the damn.

Do you need a permit to kayak at Willow Beach? ›

You don't need a permit to access the river. However, since the marina and campgrounds at Willow Beach are located within Lake Mead National Recreation Area, you'll need to purchase a national parks pass online ahead of time or at the entrance station upon arrival.

Is Black Canyon Lake Open? ›

Area Status: Open

The entire Black Canyon area was heavily affected by the Rodeo-Chediski fire in 2002. View lake information updated daily by Arizona Game and Fish.

How do I get to Gold Strike Hot Springs? ›

The most popular way to access the trailhead is off Highway 93. Park your vehicle in the free parking lot near the trailhead, then embark on a gravel trail that begins just before the Hoover Dam Mike O'Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge.

What is Boulder City Nevada known for? ›

Fewer than 30 miles southeast (but an entire world away) from Las Vegas, this charming southern Nevada burg is a hub for history at Hoover Dam and the Boulder City / Hoover Dam museum, as well as for outdoor action at Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Black Canyon, the Colorado River, and beyond.

How cold is the water in the Black Canyon? ›

An area within Lake Mead NRA rich with springs is Black Canyon, located downstream of Hoover Dam. Here, you can find springs of both the thermal (hot) and non-thermal (cold) variety with water temperatures ranging from about 55° to 136° Fahrenheit. Some of the springs are pools while others are seeps.

What National Park is emerald cave in? ›

Black Canyon National Water Trail - Lake Mead National Recreation Area (U.S. National Park Service)

Are there trout below Hoover Dam? ›

Hoover Dam to Cottonwood Cove

Clear, cold water flowing out of the Hoover Dam provides ideal trout habitat. The hatchery at Willow Beach and the state of Arizona stocks trout throughout the winter months.

Can you kayak down the Colorado River? ›

Kayaking the Whole Colorado River – Upper and Lower. While you can't kayak the entire Colorado River from start to finish without exiting your boat and hiking a great deal, you can kayak most of it. Most people choose a popular section to kayak and park transportation at either end.

Can I bring my own paddleboard to Lake Las Vegas? ›

In short, yes you can bring your own paddleboard to Lake Las Vegas, but it will still cost you. There are two ways to use your own paddleboard on Lake Las Vegas without violating the resort's rules, but both come with associated expenses. One is to pay the $30 daily launch fee for a single outing.

Can I bring my own kayak to Lake Mead? ›

Kayaking on Lake Mead is a great way to experience the surrounding park. You can bring your own kayak or sign up for a Vegas kayak tour with Blazin' Paddles to make the most of your kayaking adventure.

How long does it take to paddle from Hoover Dam to Willow Beach? ›

The paddle from Hoover Dam to Willow Beach can be done in one long day, but I think three days and two nights is perfect. And if you want to explore the side canyons further or spend more time relaxing in camp, you could extend it even more. For an even longer trip, one can paddle 63 miles from Hoover Dam to Davis Dam.

Is it safe to swim at Willow Beach? ›

Willow Beach is a small beach that is a great place to swim. This park offers drinking water, picnic tables, a playground and public washrooms (May-August).

How cold is the water at Willow Beach? ›

Willow Beach is a pretty spot, but strange. The water here is a rock solid 55 degrees, cold by desert standards, because the Hoover Dam power plant intakes are deep in Lake Mead.

Do you have to pay to get into Cottonwood Cove? ›

Cottonwood Cove Marina at Lake Mohave. The National Park Service is adding an entrance fee station at Cottonwood Cove, meaning visitors will have to pay a fee before gaining access to the marina.

Can you drive across Davis Dam? ›

THE ROADWAY OVER DAVIS DAM IS CLOSED TO PUBLIC TRAFFIC. As of April 2004, the roadway across the dam is closed to all vehicles; pedestrian and bicycle access to the dam is still allowed.

Can you kayak in Lake Mohave? ›

Grab your kayak, canoe or paddleboard, and paddle along the smooth, calm waters of Lake Mead or Lake Mohave surrounded by colorful mountains. Or experience a peaceful float down the Black Canyon National Water Trail along the Colorado River. If you don't have your own paddlecraft, that's no problem.

Where is Black Canyon Las Vegas? ›

The breathtaking Black Canyon Water Trail, located only about 45 minutes from Las Vegas, flows along the flat, green Lower Colorado River through Lake Mead National Recreation Area between famous Hoover Dam and Arizona's Willow Beach.

What is the canyon below Hoover Dam? ›

The Black Canyon of the Colorado is the canyon on the Colorado River where Hoover Dam was built. The canyon is located on the Colorado River at the state line between Nevada and Arizona. The western wall of the gorge is in the El Dorado Mountains, and the eastern wall is in the Black Mountains of Arizona.

Is Black Canyon Lake Open? ›

Area Status: Open

The entire Black Canyon area was heavily affected by the Rodeo-Chediski fire in 2002. View lake information updated daily by Arizona Game and Fish.

Can you swim in Emerald Cove? ›

Yes you can swim, the tour we went on stopped quite a few times for breaks, swimming and photos. over a year ago.

Can I boat from Willow Beach to Hoover Dam? ›

The waterway from the Hoover Dam to Willow Beach is narrow. To provide a wilderness experience in this part of the park, there are rules restricting certain watercraft at various times of the year. Houseboating, water-skiing and wakeboarding are prohibited year-round for safety reasons.

How do I get to Gold Strike Hot Springs? ›

The most popular way to access the trailhead is off Highway 93. Park your vehicle in the free parking lot near the trailhead, then embark on a gravel trail that begins just before the Hoover Dam Mike O'Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge.

What is Boulder City Nevada known for? ›

Fewer than 30 miles southeast (but an entire world away) from Las Vegas, this charming southern Nevada burg is a hub for history at Hoover Dam and the Boulder City / Hoover Dam museum, as well as for outdoor action at Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Black Canyon, the Colorado River, and beyond.

How cold is the water in the Black Canyon? ›

An area within Lake Mead NRA rich with springs is Black Canyon, located downstream of Hoover Dam. Here, you can find springs of both the thermal (hot) and non-thermal (cold) variety with water temperatures ranging from about 55° to 136° Fahrenheit. Some of the springs are pools while others are seeps.

Can you kayak Hoover Dam? ›

Hoover Dam Kayaking: The Nuts & Bolts

A number of area outfitters provide those permits. Furthermore, only authorized vehicles can access the Hoover Dam launch site, so if you're doing an independent paddle here you'll have to use a designated livery service to get your boat in the water.

How far is Willow Beach from Hoover Dam by water? ›

Directions. Willow Beach is located 15 miles south of the Hoover Dam in Arizona off of U.S. Highway 93.

Is Black Canyon of the Gunnison worth it? ›

Black Canyon of the Gunnison was impressive, and it's definitely worth a stop if you are traveling on Highway 50 through Colorado. You can hit the highlights of this park in as little as 1-2 hours, or stay longer and dig deep. It's uncrowded and low-stress. Stay in Montrose or Gunnison nearby.

What is the deepest part of Lake Pleasant? ›

Lake Pleasant is a power boater's dream.

Its pristine waters cover over 10,000 acres of water surface with 116 miles of shoreline. The average depth is 70- feet and the deepest point of 260 feet is at the dam.

Is Black Canyon Lake open for camping? ›

Area Status: Open

Black Canyon Rim Campground, set among towering ponderosa pine, is a favorite stopping place for those traveling on the General Crook National Recreation Trail.

Can you paddleboard to Emerald Cove? ›

The only way to get to Emerald Cove is by boat, either through kayaking, canoeing, SUPing or your own motorized boat. It is only 2 miles from Willow Beach shore, and if you only wanted to do Emerald Cove you could easily do the trip in 1.5-2 hours.

Can you kayak from Willow Beach to Emerald Cove? ›

If you're looking for a short day trip, your best option is to kayak from Willow Beach to Emerald Cave. Willow Beach is an access point in Lake Mead Recreation area on the Arizona side of the river (entry fee required). The beach is 2 miles downstream of the cave, so you'll paddle 4 miles total.

Do you have to pay to go to Willow Beach? ›

There is an entrance fee daily $25 or they also have $45 annual pass and that also lets you get into the other areas such as Lake Mead. Willow Beach is about an hour away from Las Vegas straight shot on new fwy 11.

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