Black Canyon National Water Trail

By Bob Grove

My wife and I are big fans of whitewater rafting and scenic float trips. So when the opportunity came up recently to go on a rafting tour through Black Canyon below Hoover Dam, we immediately cleared our calendars.

There are many great rivers in the west that offer fun and exciting adventure but for me none stand out more than the Colorado River, the river that’s carved many of our great canyons of the West including Black Canyon, which is the dividing line between Arizona and Nevada.

I’ve known of Black Canyon near Boulder City Nevada for several years but have never taken the trip. So this past month I set off to experience the canyon with Black Canyon Willow Beach River Adventures.

Located a short distance from the Las Vegas Strip in the Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Black Canyon is located below the Hoover Dam and travels downriver 30 miles to El Dorado Canyon. Canyon walls rise nearly 2,000 feet from the river’s edge.

We began our Black Canyon raft tour from Lake Mead RV Village where we checked in and boarded a shuttle to the boat launch located below the dam. The view of the dam and Mike O’Callahan Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge is bigger than life from this vantage point.

The trip downriver takes approximately three hours that includes a lunch stop at a sandy beach with a box lunch provided by the rafting company. This is a scenic flat-water trip but those sitting in the front will get some splash, do expect to get a little wet if the water is rough.

I have to give a shout to our tour guide, Brian. His knowledge and humor added much to the trip. I really appreciate a good guide and we really enjoyed being on Brian’s boat.

This stretch through Black Canyon is also very popular for kayaking as was evidenced by the numerous groups of kayakers we saw throughout the trip. Kayaking companies offering rentals and guided services can be found in Las Vegas, Boulder City, and Kingman.

Our trip ended at Willow Beach 12 miles down river at operator’s full-service marina where rafters have some time to shop or get refreshments before boarding the shuttle bus back to the Black Canyon River Adventures office.

2017 Rates:

Adults – $87.00
Youth – $87.00 (13-15 yrs)
Children – $58.00 (5-12 yrs)

There is no charge for the raft trip or lunch for children 4 years of age and under. The adult price includes the $10.00 National Park entrance fee. Any person under 16 years of age will not be charged an entrance fee. Entrance fee is waived for passengers holding National Park Passes, Golden Age, Eagle or Access passes.

Grandparents to grandkids, this is a great river adventure for families. It makes our Family Friendly Adventures list. For up-to-date rates, schedules, and services CLICK HERE

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