Kayaking Black Canyon (NV/AZ)

River Mile 64 (NV).

The west side of Black Canyon is in Nevada, the east is in Arizona.  Our journey starts right under the Hoover Dam.


We may only have had four days in Las Vegas but they were amazing.  I was surprised we were able to book this kayak trip so late, but thank goodness we did.  It's good for the soul.  Desert Adventures deposited us in the river with kayaks at 6:45am then collected us downstream at Willow Beach at 4pm.  We didn't see another soul until about 8 miles in, maybe everyone else saw the wind forecast and had more sense.

The hovercraft tours are currently not running, levelling up the peace and quiet.

Mile 63 (NV).



Our first river stop is the sauna cave, although it is going to be a 100+ day we still enjoy the steaminess.  100% humidity.


We find a little cave with warm spring water dripping from above like rain.  The sound is fantastic, a therapy cave!


There is practically no current over the top section of the river which is unusual from our previous experience (8 trips), however the level stays quite high and consistent.  Usually we have a large flow in the morning then a drop off.  The Colorado is anything but a natural river after the dam, you never know what you're going to get.  

Mile 62.75 (NV).


Although we're not planning to sit in a hot spring, we still have a walk up Goldstrike Canyon.  It's closed to hikers in the summer and we have it entirely to ourselves.



The sound of the spring water is so relaxing.  Recent monsoons had washed quite a bit of gravel down into our favourite pool, it is now only about ankle deep.

Mile 62.5 (AZ).


I believe you can hike to this spot but it's much easier to land in the boat.  With no current we just pop on over and have a look.  The waterfall is warm, I had to check. 


This view is from in front of the waterfall looking down the river.  It is gorgeous, the sun is just starting to light everything up.


I couldn't see a thing when I took this, but I noticed how green the water is in the sun and had to capture it.


We were tempted to land and explore everywhere but frequently found our feet sinking right into the mud/gravel.  Maybe that was from the monsoon, there was a lot of gravel washed down the valleys.

We have only explored Boy Scout Canyon once and today we decided we'd have another look.  It's great fun!

Mile 61.75 (NV).


This hot waterfall was amazing, though apparently there is quite a bit of gravel in it which collects in my top.  Brilliant.  Nothing like having a bra full of gravel.


Eventually you reach a 300ft wall but we stopped after playing in the waterfalls.  Once again, it's hard to find time to really explore everything.  There's another 8 or so miles of river left after this and it's getting windy.

Mile 60.5 (NV).


Moonscape Canyon has a little lagoon, it's lovely.  By this time the wind is really picking up and we need a brief moment of calm. We heard the ladder up to Arizona Hot Springs was gone so there was no point stopping there.

This is where it got really interesting, the wind is crazy.  At some points we are paddling just to stay still and not be blown back up the river.  There are supposed to sections of mild rapids, but nope the current is not noticeable.  

We basically go from mile marker to mile marker (red triangle on the left for even, green square on the right for odd).  One of them is missing or not visible, just to add to the fun.  In sections waves are breaking over the top of the boats.  I don't have pictures due to frenetic paddling.


We manage two brief stops for food on the last portion, at times I though we weren't going to make it back.  Nothing like endurance sports!


Mile 52 (AZ).  Look how calm this looks!  Lies!!

We were 20 mins late in the end.  Our fantastic driver was waiting with ice pops, bless him.  Hell of a trip!  If you were on the river that day and heard my relentless swearing, I apologize.

Here's another trip report on this route from December 2013.

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