Colorado River corridor water trail one of only 16 in the U.S.

Black Canyon National Water Trail in the Lake Mead National Recreation Area is one of only 16 national water trails in the United States and the first one in the Southwest. Designated last year, this Colorado River corridor stretches from Hoover Dam about 30 miles downstream to Lake Mojave.

The most popular part of the water trail is Black Canyon, the 11.7 miles of the Colorado River flowing between high natural stone walls from Hoover Dam to Willow Beach. This area is a haven for human-powered watercraft such as kayaks, canoes, paddleboards and hydrobikes. Although motor boats are allowed in the canyon, on Sunday and Monday, they aren’t permitted to travel upstream from Willow Beach, which makes that upriver area stunningly silent and even more pleasant for those who navigate under their own power.

There are two principal ways to see the canyon: launching at the base of the Hoover Dam and traveling downstream to Willow Beach or starting at Willow Beach and heading upstream as far as your time and energy will allow. Even a mile or two will be enchanting.

To do the outing from Hoover Dam to Willow Beach, kayaks, canoes and paddleboards are easily rented from various authorized park service outfitters. They will acquire a permit for you and transport you to the launching area directly downstream from the dam. You can also launch your own craft here, but you still must make reservations and get a permit through an authorized outfitter because you and your boat will need to be transported through the dam’s security zone. At the end of your excursion, they will pick you and your vessel up at Willow Beach and bring you back to your vehicle or hotel.

While you can rent a kayak or paddleboard from an authorized outfitter and do a self-guided tour, the best choices for first-timers are guided trips, available downstream and upstream. Professional river guides can teach you paddling techniques and safety tips for river travel, and they can point out highlights of the canyon you otherwise might not notice.

For instance, they’ll be better at spotting desert bighorn sheep, bald eagles, ospreys, great blue herons and a variety of other waterfowl. Once a river rat has shown you where to look, you’ll soon be good at spying creatures yourself. They’ll likely know where to look for wildflowers, now at their brightest and most colorful, and they’ll know the locations and names of the romantic waterfalls, hot springs, caves and historic sites.

New on the scene in Black Canyon and other areas of Lake Mead are hydrobikes, offered by outfitter River Dogz. They feature two pontoons with a bicycle mechanism mounted on top, conveying your pedaling power to a propeller instead of a rear wheel. The handlebars are attached to a rudder, so steering is also pretty much like steering a bike. I tried one, pedaling upstream from Willow Beach about 4 miles and back and absolutely loved the experience. If you’ve ever explored some desert canyon by the bumpy means of a mountain bike, you’ll find river pedaling dreamily smooth, and you can’t get a flat tire on a hydrobike.

The bikes are ideal for people 4-foot-11 or taller and even are good for those who might not be in their best athletic shape, as they constitute low-impact cardio exercise. For families or groups, a great excursion might include a hydrobike, a kayak and a paddleboard, so everybody can take turns and experience a bit of each vessel. River Dogz guided tours can be booked for a half day or a full day, and it provide snacks, beverages and a gourmet lunch based on your dietary needs. Call River Dogz at 702-901-1060 or visit kayakpaddleboardlakemead.com.

In calm, nice weather, like we mostly have here, you won’t have to be concerned about white water or rapids in Black Canyon. In high winds, though, paddling or pedaling can be a miserable experience, doubling the time required to travel a given distance, even going downstream with the current. Check the wind forecast before you head out.

Authorized Outfitters in the Lake Mead National Recreation Area include River Dogz; Desert Adventures at 702-293-5026 or kayaklasvegas.com; or Desert River Kayak at 928-754-5320 or desertriveroutfitters.com.

For more information on the Black Canyon National Water Trail and a full list of authorized outfitters, call the Lake Mead Visitor Center at 702-293-8990. It is open from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily. For more information, visit nps.gov/lake.

Deborah Wall is the author of “Great Hikes, A Cerca Country Guide” and “Base Camp Las Vegas: Hiking the Southwestern States,” published by Stephens Press. She can be reached at deborabus@aol.com.

ad-high_impact_4
Local
Family remembers deceased mother
Family members of Adriann Gallegos remember her. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Camp Broadway teaches kids how to sing and dance
The Smith Center's seventh annual Camp Broadway musical theater program gives 150 kids ages 6-17 an opportunity to learn musical theater skills from industry professionals over a five-day period. Marcus Villagran/ Las Vegas Review-Journal @brokejournalist
Restoring classic Corvettes to perfection
Members of the National Corvette Restorers Society Convention talk about what it takes to earn the NCRS Top Flight Award for a restored Corvette at South Point in Las Vegas on Tuesday July 17, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Watch Ruthless! at Las Vegas Little Theatre
The musical Ruthless! will be playing at Las Vegas Little Theatre from July 13-29. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Cadaver art and sword swallowing at The Dark Arts Market
Curator Erin Emrie talks about her inspiration for The Dark Arts Market at Cornish Pasty Co. in Las Vegas Tuesday, July 10, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
'NO H8' Campaign comes to Las Vegas
Hundreds of locals participate in the NO H8 campaign founded by Adam Bouska and Jeff Parshley as a response to Proposition 8, a California ban on same-sex marriage. The campaign has since evolved to represent equal treatment for all. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
What to expect at Station Casinos' Fourth of July celebration
Station Casinos' is hosting its annual 4th of July celebration with Fireworks by Grucci. Fireworks scheduled to go off on Wednesday, July 4 around 9 p.m. at Green Valley Ranch Resort, Red Rock Resort, Fiesta Rancho and Texas Station. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Star Wars and Golden Knights mashup at downtown art shop
Star Wars and Vegas Golden Knights fans attend the Boba Fett Golden Knight Paint Class at The Bubblegum Gallery in Las Vegas, Friday, June 29, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Tourists and locals enjoy Independence Day fireworks at Caesars Palace
Hundreds of tourists and locals gaze at the Independence Day fireworks show at Caesars Palace on Saturday, June 30, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Clark County recount votes in commission’s District E primary
Clark County staff begin the recount requested by candidate Marco Hernandez in the democratic primary for the County Commission's District E seat on Tuesday, June 26, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Long-running local hip hop producer wants Vegas rappers to shine
Las Vegas Hip Hop producer and co-owner of Digital Insight Recording Studios Tiger Stylz reflects on 30 years of music production in the city. (Marcus Villagran/Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
"Pawn Stars" fans visit Richard Harrison's memorial at Gold & Silver Pawn
"Pawn Stars" fans from around the world visit the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop in Las Vegas following the passing of Richard "Old Man" Harrison on Monday, June 25, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Construction for new 51s ballpark underway
New home of the Las Vegas 51s is planned to be finished by March 2019 in Summerlin according to team president Don Logan. (Marcus Villagran/Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Underground home was built as Cold War-era hideaway
The underground house at 3970 Spencer Street is one of the valley’s most unusual homes built 26 feet underground in 1978 by Girard “Jerry” B. Henderson, who, planned to survive the end of the world there.
Lip Smacking Foodie Tours takes you where the locals go
Donald Contursi talks about Lip Smacking Foodie Tours, which offers walking tours of restaurants on and off Las Vegas Boulevard with food samples and tidbits of history about the places they visit.
Life
Camp Broadway teaches kids how to sing and dance
The Smith Center's seventh annual Camp Broadway musical theater program gives 150 kids ages 6-17 an opportunity to learn musical theater skills from industry professionals over a five-day period. Marcus Villagran/ Las Vegas Review-Journal @brokejournalist
Las Vegas police officer on being PETA's Sexiest Vegan Next Door
Las Vegas police officer David Anthony talks vegan lifestyle and how he feels about being voted PETA's sexiest Vegan next door from his home on Monday, July 9, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
'NO H8' Campaign comes to Las Vegas
Hundreds of locals participate in the NO H8 campaign founded by Adam Bouska and Jeff Parshley as a response to Proposition 8, a California ban on same-sex marriage. The campaign has since evolved to represent equal treatment for all. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Over 40,000 People Attend The 4th Of July Parade In Summerlin In Las Vegas
Over 40,000 People Attend The 4th Of July Parade In Summerlin In Las Vegas. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Star Wars and Golden Knights mashup at downtown art shop
Star Wars and Vegas Golden Knights fans attend the Boba Fett Golden Knight Paint Class at The Bubblegum Gallery in Las Vegas, Friday, June 29, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Bark-Andre Furry meets Capitals superfan Ovie the Bulldog
Two of NHL's furriest fans met at the Forum Shops in Caesars Palace on Tuesday, June 18, 2018, in Las Vegas. Vegas Golden Knights superfan Bark-Andre Furry and Washington Capitals superfan Ovie the Bulldog shared a plate of meatballs and spaghetti with help from Logan, "The Girl with the Hat." (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
ad-infeed_1
ads_infeed_2
Local Spotlight
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like