Embrace the beauty of the great outdoors this holiday season! Relaxing by a luxurious rooftop pool and dining in a five-star restaurant is amazing, but engaging in outdoor activities while relishing the cool weather is even more exciting and memorable. In Las Vegas, you can spend a more meaningful holiday break by kayaking scenic waterways not too far from the city.
Go on a Kayak Tour
Kayaking is undoubtedly the most relaxing activity you can try as a newbie outdoor adventurer. You just have to decide where you’re headed and the best season to go. Many choose to go during summer, but what if you can’t stand the unending heat and huge crowds?!
Las Vegas is known for its scorching summer heat and delicate cold season. Due to its mild cold months, the city is regarded as a top destination for those who want to paddle around without dealing with the hot weather and peak season hassle. Now, where to go? Here are some of the best Las Vegas kayaking locations you won’t want to miss during the holiday season.
5 Best Las Vegas Holiday Kayaking Destinations
Bundle up, grab your life vest, and let’s get paddling.
1. Hoover Dam
The Hoover Dam is visited by thousands of people from all over because of its marvelous structural design, history, and beautiful landscapes surrounding it. Located just 45 minutes from the Strip, it’s a popular adventure spot for tourists, even those who want to go on short day trips along the Colorado River.
You can explore this massive engineering marvel in different ways, from hiking to helicopter trips. Kayaking, however, is a constant favorite among visitors since it helps them discover attractions they could never reach by foot! Evolution Expeditions offers exciting kayaking trips from the base of the dam down the Black Canyon Water Trail and other remote sections of the Colorado River.
The tour covers a seven-mile distance with multiple stops to appreciate and take photographs of hot springs, waterfalls, caves, and wildlife. A little hiking is required in some places, so traveling during the summer may be uncomfortable for visitors. Kayaking during fall or winter is sometimes more pleasant and manageable, with the cool wind and glassy waters.
2. Emerald Cave
Emerald Cave is located on the Arizona side of the Colorado River, a few miles south of Hoover Dam. It’s the highlight of numerous kayaking tours because of its intense emerald green waters, usually seen around sunny middays when the sun shines at a certain angle.
Although it’s highly accessible from Las Vegas, navigating inside can be a considerable challenge. The cave has very tight passageways and is only accessible via kayak and other small boats. Join a guided tour to ensure an enjoyable experience. Evolution Expeditions offers two kayaking tours of Emerald Cave: Deluxe and Express.
Several Emerald Cave tours start from Willow Beach, with frequent pauses to admire spectacular views around the canyon. Celebrate the holidays with your loved ones while admiring wonderful views of the Nevada and Arizona shorelines.
3. Lake Mead
Lake Mead, one of the world’s largest artificial lakes, is more than just a water supply source. As part of the Lake Mead National Recreation Area, it’s an outdoor recreation playground, providing many spots for sightseeing, kayaking, swimming, camping, and hiking. Planning to explore the beauty of the Colorado River and the surrounding canyons?
Launch your kayak from any location around Lake Mead. Canoe/Kayak Beach, situated along the Hemenway Harbor area, is among the most accessible launching areas, even allowing kayakers and campers to park at the edge of the waters. Prepare for a short-day trip or a multi-day adventure!
Those who want to go on a self-guided kayaking trip may get kayaks and other equipment in the shops around the park. The Lake Mead National Recreation Area charges entrance fees per person and vehicle, but there are no fees and permits for non-motorized watercraft, only for those launching from the base of Hoover Dam.
4. Lake Las Vegas
Lake Las Vegas is a 320-acre manmade lake in the middle of a luxurious recreation hub and residential community, around 25 miles from the Las Vegas Strip. It's home to upscale casinos, hotels, golf courses, and casinos, a good destination for people with varied interests and personalities.
Kayaking is one of the best water sports to enjoy at Lake Las Vegas, as it allows people to peacefully revel in the desert scenery and extravagant structures without the dangers of the wilderness. The artificial lake setup offers tons of benefits for beginner kayakers. It's an entirely safe environment — no rogue waves or dangerous turns!
After lakeside shopping and dining, take some time to kayak and sightsee. Lake Las Vegas has a full-service marina, a one-stop shop for kayak equipment rental needs. Rent a single or tandem kayak for about two hours or more for a scenic ride. Rental also comes with life jackets and instructions.
5. Lake Mohave
Near Lake Mead is another reservoir, Lake Mohave, nestled in the southern part of the Lake Mead National Recreation Area, around the Painted, Eldorado, Black, and Pyramid Canyons. It’s a 67-mile reservoir formed upon the completion of the Davis Dam and named after the Mohave Indians who used to live there.
The lake is much narrower than Lake Mead, only approximately four miles at its widest point, but nothing less breathtaking. Most of its waters are bounded by steep canyon walls and historical sites with ancient Indian petroglyphs.
Kayaking is the best way to explore Lake Mohave, especially if you want to go farther down the Colorado River. The park has family-friendly amenities, including marinas, snack bars, restaurants, boat rentals, and RV rentals. Shoreline camping is also allowed in certain areas, so you can relax and unwind by the lake after a day of paddling.
Kayak Las Vegas this Holiday Season
The cool weather is not a reason to stay indoors and defer those epic adventure plans. Kayak Las Vegas’ scenic waterways this holiday season, and enjoy the cool, sunny climate with the people who matter the most. Book a guided Las Vegas kayak tour with experienced guides to make your trip safer and more comfortable.
Book a Tour
Kayak Emerald Cave Express
Kayak Emerald Cave Deluxe
Kayak Hoover Dam & Hot Springs Hike
Lake Mead Sunset Paddle