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Kayaking & Canoeing Black Canyon
Black Canyon Expeditions
Description Itinerary Photos Reviews Questions Packing List

Itinerary - Bighorn Classic
Day 1

Hotel transportation is available free of charge as a courtesy to our guests. At our location in Boulder City, you will check in, and meet your Guide. Once your gear check is complete, you will travel to Willow Beach, where your journey begins. Along the way, you are afforded fabulous views of Lake Mead and Fortification Hill. At Willow Beach you'll divide group gear and pack your kayaks as you prepare for the adventure that awaits!

After a short safety briefing and basic paddling instruction, you'll become familiar with your boat. Take a few moments on the water to get comfortable as you begin kayaking into Black Canyon. Along the way, you will pass the historic Gauger's homesite and a fish hatchery. Watch for great blue herons, eagles, osprey, and egrets, which frequent the area in search of fish.

Your destination is a nice big beach in the heart of the canyon, which will be base camp for the remainder of the expedition. Many hot springs will be accessible by a short paddle or hike, and you will enjoy a hearty dinner by campfire as the stars shine in the night sky.

Day 2

Start your morning with a delicious breakfast, followed by a paddle upriver toward the Hoover Dam. Experience Sauna Cave; a hidden tunnel filled with steam. Take some time to explore the cave before kayaking closer to the Hoover Dam for a once-in-a-lifetime photo opportunity.

Kayak to Gold Strike canyon, where miles of slot canyons and hot springs are tucked away for quiet soaking. Gold Strike offers hikers a variety of terrain, including some technical rock scrambling up, over, and around large boulders. The majestic walls of the canyon tower hundreds of feet above, as you search for the perfect pool.

A few miles down river is Boyscout Canyon - another stunning slot canyon, great for hiking. Explore the narrow passageways, as you scramble up waterfalls and splash through streams of hot water. Keep an eye out for Bighorn sheep and peregrine falcons. When you feel satisfied with your explorations, paddle down river toward base camp.

Relax by the river, read a book, or write in your journal. The afternoon is yours to enjoy as you wish. In the evening, soak in one of the natural hot springs near camp before crawling into your sleeping bag. Drift away to the sounds of the river churning softly in the background.

Day 3

Awake to chirping birds, as the aroma of fresh coffee drifts through camp. Breakfast is served, and those up for an early morning hike will be rewarded with some fantastic views. Native Americans who lived in this area are known for their rock art, and with a keen eye you might spot petroglyphs on the canyon walls.

Perhaps you'd rather soak in the hot springs and loosen any sore muscles. After the morning activities, pack up camp and load the kayaks for several miles of paddling.

The crystal green waters of the Colorado river push you past Weeping Springs Cove. If the river allows, you can paddle into the cove and explore. Just down river is a great example of a gravity fault, and geology buffs will appreciate the "Great Unconformity". Keep watch for Bighorn sheep today, as well as coyotes and kit fox.

Several miles of kayaking reveals a sandy beach where you'll enjoy a picnic lunch. Just down river is Emerald Cave, and the old cableways to the gauging station. The rusty catwalk clings to the canyon wall, and the cable cars sit abandoned. Stop for a refreshing swim before hiking to the historic homesite. Bring your camera - the vantage point is spectacular. Your journey ends just a short paddle from here, where a vehicle will transport you back to the Las Vegas Strip.


Trip Rate: $649 person
Permit: $32 person

Departs: Daily
Offered: All Year

paddling hiking / scrambling swimming & hot springs wildlife viewing fishing campfire tent camping meals

Activities: Kayaking, Hiking, Swimming, Hot Springs, Wildlife, Fishing, Camping, & Meals

Details: Three full days on the Colorado River. Water conditions are mostly flat, but can be choppy depending on wind, waves, and weather. Some sections have strong eddy lines and currents.

Equipment: Kayaks are high end, stable, and have rudders for steering. All equipment is provided, along with dry bags. Single or tandem boats available.

Hot Springs: 85F - 120F

Hiking: Terrain is flat gravel washes, and volcanic rock, wet and slippery. Narrow slot canyons, with some rock scrambling on giant boulders.

Distance: 25 miles
Class: Moving Flatwater

Difficulty: Moderate
Skill Level: Adv Beginner +

Have an extra day?
Take a peek at our 4-Day
Eldorado Gold...

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Kayak Hoover Dam

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