Kayaking at the Hoover Dam

Kayaking at the Hoover Dam
There are few moments in life you'll feel smaller than when seated in a kayak staring up at the Hoover Dam. From water level, the massive structure towers over the Lower Colorado River, creating calm water for exploratory paddling.

Natural Features

Along the green waters of Black Canyon, and in slot canyons, you'll find hot springs, waterfalls and caves. You can even paddle inside Emerald Cave.

Man-made Features

Explore Sauna Cave, a steam-filled tunnel dug during exploratory work for the Hoover Dam. You'll see water gauging sites from the 1920s and, further downstream, a Fish Hatchery.

Water Conditions

The water of the Lower Colorado River is flat water, perfect for beginners and easy paddling. Wind can cause choppiness, and some eddies and currents run through the area.


Look for bighorn sheep and coyote along the rocky shores. Scan the sky for bald eagles, red-tailed hawks, turkey vultures, falcons, ducks and owls.


Arrange kayak rental and delivery in advance with a local outfitter, or bring your own boat. Either way, you're required to buy a launch permit from the National Park Service.


For a professional guide who knows the best sights, hire an outfitter. Most include all equipment, transportation to and from your Las Vegas hotel and lunch or snacks.

Boulder City Outfitters

Evolution Expeditions

Desert Adventures

Article Written By Kelly Aspen

Kelly Aspen's writing focuses on natural places, cultural sites and wildlife. She has more than 10 years of experience as an editor and writer for various magazines, books and websites.

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