The best way to explore Black Canyon is on the water. It is an experience that will bring you closer to nature and give you a sense of peace and wonderment. I chose Blazin’ Paddles for my trip (blazinpaddles.com).
The company offers multiple options for getting in a kayak and on the water; however, the full-day excursion will provide you with a comprehensive experience. It’s an early (and long) day, but it is worth it. The company offers van pick-up from a variety of strip properties. But, a discount may be available for patrons who make their way to them at the company store located inside the Hoover Dam Lodge in Boulder City, NV.
It’s a 6:00 am start, and boats are in the water by 7:30 am. The tour begins at the lodge before continuing to the Hoover Dam, where adventure-seekers are escorted by a Department of the Interior representative to the base of the dam for launch.
The view of the dam from the launch location is one few have seen. It’s pretty amazing to look up and take in the engineering feats of the dam itself as well as the world’s largest arch bridge, the Mike O’Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge.
Kayak options include single rider or tandem. A word to the wise, the water at this point on the river comes from the bottom of the lake and is cold. So, just take a deep breath if your feet get wet because it may be a bit of a shock!
The company supplies most supplies, including the kayak, paddle, life vest, water, snacks, and lunch. Kayakers are responsible for bringing extras to keep themselves comfortable: water shoes, sunscreen, a hat, a dry bag, and some cash to tip your guide; believe me, they earn it.
My guide on this particular trip was MaKenna, whom I would completely recommend. She is very knowledgeable about the National Recreation Area, wildlife, plants, kayaking, the river, history and was just a pleasure to have as a guide. As you float and paddle down the river (especially early in the morning), a sense of calm and serenity washes over you.