Las Vegas is not only a paradise for entertainment and nightlife - it is also an excellent location for many outdoor sports. A few kilometers away from the urban perimeter of Las Vegas, you can explore deserts and canyons.
Kayak tours are the best way to experience the Colorado River. You can descend the waters of the river into the Black Canyon, exploring the caves and places of interest along the way. Leave Las Vegas for a day and enjoy an outdoor kayaking trip!
What are the best places to kayak in Las Vegas?
There are several natural places to kayak not far from Las Vegas.
The Black Canyon is the section of the Colorado River downstream of the Hoover Dam, located approximately 40 miles from Las Vegas. The Black Canyon is famous for kayaking and rafting activities. Along the 30-mile-long canyon, there are several caves, hot springs, and trails that can be walked.
The Emerald Cave is the most famous cave in the Black Canyon, which owes its name to the emerald green color of the waters inside.
Hoover Dam is a huge dam built at the mouth of the Black Canyon. The dam is over 300 meters high and offers a privileged viewpoint over the canyon and Lake Mead. Several kayaking tours depart from the Hoover Dam and traverse the Black Canyon downstream from it.
Lake Mead is an artificial lake created by the Hoover Dam on the Colorado River. The lake and the Boulder Island within it can be explored by kayak.
Arizona Hot Springs
There are several hot springs along the Black Canyon, referred to as Arizona Hot Springs. Several points of the river, like the Sauna Cave, are heated by the flow of hot water that comes out of the thermal springs.
Sand Hollow State Park
Sand Hollow State Park is a water reserve in Utah, built in a basin surrounded by red sandstone rock. The site is relatively new and is becoming famous as a camping spot or for water activities such as kayaking. Trips from Las Vegas to Sand Hollow also include a visit to the Snow Canyon.
What are the best kayak tours in Las Vegas?
Kayak Tour to the Emerald Grotto on the Colorado River from Las Vegas
This kayak tour is certainly the most popular in Las Vegas. Discover the Colorado River and its caves and waterfalls that line it.
The tour starts from Willow Beach, a small beach in Black Canyon which serves as a gateway to the waters of the Colorado River. You can reach Willow Beach by your own means, but the tour operator offers free hotel pickup in Las Vegas.
The kayaking itinerary starts from Willow Beach and goes north up the Colorado River until it reaches the Emerald Cave, a cave famous for the green color of the water inside. On the way, there will be a few stops to take photos, spot animals or swim. There will also be a short walk on a cliff by the river from which a beautiful landscape can be admired. The round trip kayaking trip is approximately 4.5 miles (7 kilometers) long.
Black Canyon Kayaking Day Trip to Hoover Dam from Las Vegas
Forget Las Vegas for a day and set out to explore the Black Canyon of the Colorado River. This full-day kayaking tour is a perfect excursion to see all the points of interest in the Black Canyon and to spend time in nature doing sports.
The tour starts from Hoover Dam, where you can admire the view from the other side of the dam before descending over 900 feet until you reach the river downstream of the dam. The kayaking tour will start from this point and travel 22 miles south on the river to Willow Beach. Even if the distance seems considerable, the kayak tour is also suitable for people who are not too trained because it follows the direction of the river flow and is facilitated by the flowing water force.
Several stops are made along the route to take pictures, spot local fauna, or short excursions. The first stop is made at Sauna Cave, where two optional excursions can be made. The second stop is used for lunch, which is included in the tour price.
Arriving at the Emerald Grotto, it is possible to make other excursions by land. Finally, the tour ends at Willow Beach, where there will be vehicles to transport you back to Las Vegas.
2-day / 1-night kayaking trip to Black Canyon under Hoover Dam from Las Vegas
This kayaking tour is an exciting journey that lasts 2 days and offers you the chance to camp under the stars on the riverbank next to a hot spring! The 35 kilometers of itinerary offer many sightseeing opportunities; therefore, it is a good idea to spread it over two days.
The kayaking tour begins at the Hoover Dam. Descend the 900 feet high dam to get to the river level downstream of the dam. The guide will explain all the information about the tour and the safety instructions.
The first interesting stop is at the Sauna Cave. You will explore several natural steam sources that can be reached along the Gold Strike trail.
Back to paddling in a kayak, you will pass along the Lone Palm Canyon and the Boyscout Canyon. Here you can enjoy various natural spas. You'll camp on a small beach on the riverbank, very close to the natural springs. You can spend the evening enjoying the springs under the moonlight or having dinner next to the bonfire.
The following day, the second stage of the Black Canyon is covered. You will reach the Emerald Grotto, famous for the color of its waters. There will be other stops along the way to take pictures, have lunch and rest. The last stop is Willow Beach, where you will exit the river to transport back to Las Vegas.
The tour includes lunches, dinner and breakfast, as well as all equipment for kayaking, cooking and sleeping in the camping tents.
Lake Mead Kayaking from Las Vegas
This kayak tour explores the upstream part of the Hoover Dam, Lake Mead. It is an enjoyable and relaxed kayaking tour on flat and calm waters.
Your tour begins with hotel pickup in Las Vegas and transportation to Lake Mead Marina. Your guide will provide safety instructions and you will mount the kayak.
The kayak itinerary goes to explore Boulder Island, located less than a mile from the coast of departure. The kayak tour will circumnavigate the island, with many stops in the island's bays for swimming, sunbathing and fun. Remember to bring a bathing suit if it's summer. Packed lunch is offered included in the tour price.
Day Trip by Kayaking and Trekking from Las Vegas to Sand Hollow and Snow Canyon in Utah
This kayaking excursion from Las Vegas is more unusual than the Black Canyon, but is becoming a trendy alternative.
Begin the tour with transportation from Las Vegas to Sand Hollow State Park, located 130 miles from Las Vegas. Sand Hollow State Park is a uniquely beautiful lake surrounded by red sandstone. It is definitely a lovely place for a kayak tour. You can explore the lake and its coves by kayak for about 3 hours.
After lunch, in the afternoon, the tour continues to reach Snow Canyon State Park. You will spend the afternoon hiking the Snow Canyon, which features fantastic photo opportunities in all seasons.
Guided kayak tour and helicopter tour to the Grand Canyon from Las Vegas
Combine two great outdoor activities you can do in Las Vegas. The experience includes a Black Canyon kayak tour and a Grand Canyon helicopter tour.
Begin your day with transportation from your Willow Beach hotel, where the kayaking tour begins. The itinerary develops towards the north, arriving at the Emerald Grotto.
After the kayaking tour, board a helicopter to fly over the Colorado River, then Hoover Dam, Lake Mead to Grand Canyon West, where you'll see scenic views of the canyon.
What is the best season to kayak in Las Vegas?
Las Vegas enjoys great weather all year round, especially in spring and fall. Winter can be cool, especially at night, while in summer, it can get scorching during the day. The climate is desertic with a strong daily temperature range.
Therefore, it is possible to kayak the Colorado River practically all year round. In the spring and fall, the weather is very pleasant, while in the summer, the river's microclimate will make you experience a much cooler day than staying in the city in Las Vegas.
How much do kayak tours cost from Las Vegas?
The price of kayak tours from Las Vegas varies according to the destination and duration. Please note that each tour also includes hotel pickup and round-trip transportation from Las Vegas to the starting point of the kayak excursion.
- Black Canyon Kayaking Tours to Emerald Cave cost $ 130 to $ 150 for the half-day tour and approximately $ 250 for the full-day trip that departs from Hoover Dam.
- The 2-day, 1-night Black Canyon kayaking tour costs approximately $ 490.
- Lake Mead kayaking tours cost around $ 130.
- Sand Hollow and Snow Canyon day trip with kayak tour costs $ 260.
- The combined kayak and helicopter tour costs approximately $ 530.
Which safety devices are needed to kayak in Las Vegas?
Kayaking is very safe. The kayaks are very stable and it is almost impossible to tip over in calm water.
In any case, a personal flotation device (life jacket) must be worn throughout the entire stay in the water. The life jacket is provided by the tour operator.
Do Las Vegas kayak tour participants need to be in good physical shape?
Taking part in a kayak tour does not require a lot of physical effort, but you need an acceptable physical shape to paddle at the same speed as the group. Some tours are longer than others, but they go down the river in the same direction as the water.
Kayak tours are not recommended for those with back problems, pregnant women and those with severe health problems.
Where do kayak tours start in Las Vegas from?
All Las Vegas kayak tours include hotel pickup and transport to the tour departure point. Then you just have to communicate your hotel name and address to the tour operator.
What is the duration of a kayaking trip from Las Vegas?
Kayaking tours in Las Vegas range in duration from 4 hours to 12 hours. Some tours, in fact, cover a full day. There is also a 2-day kayaking tour that includes a night of camping on the Colorado River bank.
Which other sporting activities can be done in Las Vegas?
Las Vegas offers many opportunities for lovers of outdoor and sports activities.
- Helicopter tours. Try a helicopter tour of the Las Vegas Strip illuminated by night lights, or fly to the Grand Canyon to enjoy a breathtaking view.
- ATV tours. Discover the Mojave Desert or Eldorado Canyon on an exciting ATV tour on dirt trails.
- Hot air balloon flights. Enjoy a leisurely balloon flight while admiring the desert landscape.
- Rafting. Try another experience on the Colorado River, sailing its rapids on a white water rafting tour.
- Horseback riding. Ride along the dusty trails of the Far West or the Red Rock Canyon.
- Driving sports cars. If you are a sports car lover, try driving a Ferrari, Lamborghini or Porsche on the Las Vegas Motor Speedway circuit.
- Airplane tours. Travel to the Grand Canyon on a scenic flight and land on the edge of the canyon for land excursions.
- Buggy tour. Have fun on the dunes of Las Vegas or Hidden Valley's dirt roads on a buggy tour.
Here are some tips to make the most of your kayak excursion.
- If the day is clear and sunny, bring sunscreen to avoid sunburn on your face and arms.
- Remember to bring a bathing suit. In summer, the waters of the Colorado River have a perfect temperature for swimming.
- Book the kayak tour as soon as possible so you can be sure there is room for you. The kayak tour groups are relatively small.