Feb 17, 2022

4 Places to Kayak in Las Vegas

kayaking in colorado river

Las Vegas offers an abundance of beauty, whether you’re looking to hike through the mountains, walk the winding nature trails, or pack up your kayak and hit the water. What are some places to kayak in Las Vegas that you just can’t miss? Here are a few suggestions from the pros at Evolution Expeditions.

4 Unforgettable Places to Kayak in Las Vegas

1. Hoover Dam

You’re only minutes from the Las Vegas Strip, but it might as well be another world because that’s the sensation you’ll get while kayaking the Hoover Dam. Experience a fish-eye view from the base of the dam, allowing yourself to get lost in its massive expanse. This is, without a doubt, one of the best places to kayak in Las Vegas.

man kayaking the Hoover Dam in Las Vegas, Nevada

Construction of the Hoover Dam started in 1931, and since then, it’s been a staple must-see destination for locals and tourists alike. If you take a guided kayak tour of the Hoover Dam with us, we start by descending down the original road first carved into the canyon walls, when construction began. Our adventure starts at the base of the dam and continues down the Colorado River and through the Black Canyon.

man and woman kayaking the Hoover Dam in Las Vegas Nevada

We’ll take a break to steam inside the sauna cave and soak in the geothermal hot spring pools that lay hidden within the canyon walls. Bask in the magic of waterfalls, picturesque landscapes, and the Emerald Cave. Keep your eyes open for Mother Nature’s inhabitants, including coyotes, falcons, bald eagles, waterfowl, and desert bighorn sheep. You’ll even get a break from paddling to hike the shorelines.

The views are legendary and the photos your capture will provide memories of a lifetime. You can’t be in Vegas without experiencing the Hoover Dam by kayak.

2. Emerald Cave

Surprisingly (considering it’s a desert), Sin City has no shortage of water sport opportunities, making it hard to narrow down our list of places to kayak in Las Vegas. But hands down, Emerald Cave deserves its time in the spotlight.

kayaking the Emerald Cave in Las Vegas, Nevada

Emerald Cave is one of those things that you need to see to believe, in all its glowing emerald beauty. But what makes it light up green? It happens when the sun’s rays pierce through the 900-foot canyon walls, hit the algae, and reflect off the crystal clear waters of the Colorado River.

Start your kayak tour at Willow Beach, Arizona, and feast your eyes on historic sites of the 1920s government project. The narrows of the Black Canyon offer a view unlike any other, with towering volcanic boulders that remind you just how powerful Mother Nature is. You’re not going to be alone. You and your fellow paddlers might run into desert bighorn sheep, osprey, falcons, bald eagles, and great blue herons.

If you paddle with Evolution Expeditions, you can choose from our express Emerald Cave kayak tour (three hours) or the longer tour, which goes for four hours, is about two miles longer, and includes lunch.

3. Lake Las Vegas

Lake Las Vegas is 320 acres of all-natural brilliance — another great option for beginner kayakers. You get to enjoy everything that the glittering water has to offer, balanced with the more controlled environment of the manmade lake. The gentle waters make it easy to paddle at your leisure and stop as you please to enjoy your surroundings. And even though you’ll likely pass other people enjoying the lake, the wide-open space means you’ll have all the peace and quiet you want to relax.

Bordered by palm trees, luxury homes, the Italian-esque village, and stunning resorts, Lake Las Vegas is truly a sight to behold. The calm water and clear blue skies give you perfect kayaking conditions.

If you’re looking for something to do with the family, the kids will love the many other activities that Lake Las Vegas offers beyond kayaking — like jumping along the floating inflatables, paddle boating, and plenty of delicious food. (Don’t forget the golf course, too!)

4. Grand Canyon

While the Grand Canyon is technically in the northwest corner of Arizona, it’s close enough to the border of Nevada (and Utah!) that you can make a trip out of it. Plus, the Colorado River flows through it, making it a feasible kayaking destination for Las Vegans.

Horseshoe Bend is one common spot for kayakers in the Grand Canyon — and a mystical wonder you’ve likely seen more than once on Instagram. And a mere seven miles away is Antelope Canyon, with all its swirling, spinning, and mesmerizing canyon walls. 

This is barely scratching the surface of what you can accomplish while kayaking the Grand Canyon (Grand Canyon National Park is nearly 2,000 miles!), so you’ll want to spend more time exploring everything it has to offer. And be sure to book your activities in advance — some locations require a ticket/guide, and spots can fill up for months.

When most people think of Las Vegas, their minds immediately go to casinos and gambling, Cirque shows and nightlife. And it’s true: We do know how to throw one heck of a party.

But there’s so much more to this city than that.

Beyond the Strip, beyond the neon lights, are places to kayak in Las Vegas that you’ve only ever seen in your dreams.

Ready to fasten your lifejacket and explore the waters? Learn more about taking a guided kayak tour in Las Vegas with Evolution Expeditions. Our experts will keep you safe, promise a good time, and ensure you’ll get to enjoy all the very best sights.

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