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Black Canyon - Hoover Dam to Willow Beach, AZ

Guide 5 Triplogs  0 Topics
  4.7 of 5 
192 5 0
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Difficulty 1.5 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance One Way 12 miles
Trailhead Elevation 714 feet
Avg Time One Way 6-8 hours
Interest Historic, Seasonal Waterfall, Perennial Waterfall, Seasonal Creek & Perennial Creek
Dogs not allowed
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8  2022-05-22
Colorado River Kayak to Emerald Cove
39  2022-03-08 ultrazona
5  2019-04-27 lwbenso
10  2017-10-22 azbackpackr
19  2017-04-23 arizona_water
119  2013-03-15
Colorado - Hoover to Willow Beach AZ
Author arizona_water
author avatar Guides 9
Routes 118
Photos 1,079
Trips 118 map ( 1,371 miles )
Age 31 Male Gender
Location Salt River Valley
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
Radar Map
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Preferred Mar, Nov, Oct, Feb → 5 AM
Seasons   ALL
Sun  5:42am - 7:49pm
Official Route
0 Alternative

Straddle the NV - AZ Border!
by arizona_water

This description is for the Black Canyon section of the Colorado River, from the Hoover Dam to Willow Beach. This is a 12+ mile paddle that is often done as an overnighter. Permits must be obtained from the National Park Service. Note that it is NOT possible to do this trip by self-shuttle. The Bureau of Reclamation, the NPS, and the Army Corps of Engineers collaboratively operate a security checkpoint to the road below the dam. Therefore, you must work with a local outfitter who is certified by the NPS.
( see permit section for links to info )

The trip can easily be done in a day, but two days would provide more time for exploring side canyons, hot springs (there are five named hot springs with the immediate Black Canyon area), and swimming! Both canoes and kayaks work well on the slow-moving waters. The dam release is often during the night, and it is unlikely to affect a paddle trip. If anything, you will notice slightly higher water levels, but the current generally stays constant.

Several sandy beaches provide good camping opportunities. Powerboats are not allowed upriver of Willow Beach on the weekends, which makes the paddling experience much more authentic and wild. The current of the river is mild, and headwinds can make you feel like you're paddling on a lake at times.

Must-see stops include:
The Sauna Cave, NV side, between mile marker 63 and 62
Boy Scout Canyon, NV side, between mile marker 62 and 61
Arizona Hot Spring, AZ side, at mile marker 60
Emerald Cave and Gauging station catwalk, AZ side, at mile marker 54

See Black Canyon pdf for map and further points of interest.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

Leave No Trace and +Add a Triplog after your kayak trip to support this local community.

2017-04-27 arizona_water
  • Black Canyon
    guide related
    Black Canyon
WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

Permit $$
Special Use

Lake Mead NRA National Park
Lake Mead Fees & Permits

Map Drive
Paved - Car Okay

To kayak trip
This will depend on where your outfitter will be meeting you.

Directions to Willow Beach:
From Kingman, Drive N on US93 for 57 miles. Turn west onto Willow Beach road. Park at the marina.
page created by arizona_water on Apr 27 2017 10:55 am
90+° 8am - 6pm kills

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