Kayaking in Las Vegas? Who would've guessed that the Colorado River is so close to the Las Vegas Strip?
While my friend and I were searching for things to do in Las Vegas (besides gambling), we came across this kayaking adventure below the Hoover Dam. We called and booked our trip well in advance, since I was told that space is limited by the park service and the trip is so popular it often sells out months ahead of time. We hadn't kayaked much so we opted for a guided trip, although if you are experienced you can rent the equipment and enjoy a day on your own.
We headed down the winding road toward the bottom of the Hoover Dam, where we stood in awe of the massive block of cement that creates Lake Mead. Soon, our guides were fitting us into our kayaks and instructing us in the art of using a rudder for steering. As I looked around at other kayaks, I noticed ours were much nicer and sleeker than those around us. I gave myself a mental high five for choosing the best outfitter, and climbed into my sporty craft. I laughed as my friend stuffed her waterproof camera into a waterproof bag, and finally into the waterproof hatch of the boat. I guess you can never be too safe.
After a lesson in paddling and rolling (just kidding) we were off to explore Black Canyon. The walls towered above us, and we stopped many times to hike the narrow side canyons where hot springs pool into natural tubs. We soaked for a while in two or three different pools, then made our way back to the river for the polar bear plunge. The cold water was refreshing and as the day grew hot it welcomed us time and time again. The sauna cave was the best part; a natural sauna where you can sit in a steam bath and relax away all your worries.
Back on the river, bighorn sheep drank from the river as we floated by, and throughout the day we were able to photograph many different kinds of wildlife. Birds, lizards, sheep, and even a coyote graced our presence. Our guide spoke of the history of the canyon, the marvel of the Hoover Dam construction, and named every flower and rock we challenged him with. It seems his training was quite extensive, with months of apprenticeship before becoming a lead guide. We ate lunch beneath the shade of an overhanging cliff while enjoying some conversation about pirates and Huckleberry Finn. I could've used a nap, but back to the boats we went.
Emerald cave was crystal green and sparkling like a jewel, and we stopped since it was a "kodak moment". We soon passed a fish hatchery and after 12 miles (or 15 for my friend who spent the day zig-zagging) we arrived at Willow Beach. Our reward was a cooler of cold drinks and air conditioning that awaited us at the take-out point. High fives, great success!
From beginning to end, this adventure rated up there in my top three of all time. The service was spectacular and the guides and staff extremely professional. Every detail was taken care of and thought went into making sure we were comfortable and safe. I highly recommend this trip to anyone who would like to get off the Strip for a day and experience something different while in Las Vegas. Desert Adventures provides a huge value for the money and offers a great trip for all ages! Kudos to my new friends!