Las Vegas

Self-Drive Half Day Black Canyon Kayak Tour

Badge of ExcellenceLas Vegas, USA
Half Day Kayak Tour in the Black Canyon Self Drive
  • 3 hours
  • Mobile ticket
  • Offered in: English


Skip the crowds and hassle of bus tours with this half-guided, half-self-drive Colorado River tour. Make your own way to the launch point at Willow Beach; board a kayak, and then paddle into the Black Canyon. Along the way, take in the desert scenery and look out for wildlife including big horn sheep, coyotes and bald eagles.
  • Colorado River guided kayaking tour of the Black Canyon
  • Skip the hassle of bus tours by driving there yourself
  • Small-group kayak tour (maximum 14 people)
  • See the stunning Emerald Cave, a highlight of this trip

What's Included

  • Kayak Tour
  • Use of Kayaking Equipment
  • Professional Guide
  • Snacks
  • Bottled water
  • Gratuities
  • Personal gear (dry bags, water shoes, etc.) May be available for purchase...
  • $25 Entrance fee into National Recreational Area, waived with National Park Pass
  • Hotel pickup and drop off

Meeting And Pickup

Meeting points

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End point

This activity ends back at the meeting point.

What To Expect

There’s no need to wait around for strangers at the start of this 3-hour kayaking tour because you’ll be driving yourself from Las Vegas. Head to the put-in point at Willow Beach on the Colorado River, where you’ll meet your guide and small group. Get kitted out with a kayak and safety gear before taking to the river.

Paddle through the Black Canyon with your guide leading the way and keeping you safe. Check out the sparkling Emerald Cave before hopping out of your kayak to take a short hike up to a lookout point above the river. Admire the desert landscape and get a completely different perspective of the Las Vegas area.

At the end of the tour you can take your time at the river before returning to the city because you’ll be driving yourself.

Willow Beach Marina

Admission Ticket Not Included

Black Canyon

3 hours Admission Ticket Free

Emerald Cave

Admission Ticket Free

Additional Info

  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Not recommended for travelers with back problems
  • No heart problems or other serious medical conditions
  • Most travelers can participate
  • Please note: This tour does not include round-trip transportation from your hotel. You will need to rent a car to go to Willow Beach. Please DO NOT use rideshare as there is no cell reception at Willow Beach so you will not be able to get a return ride.
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 14 travelers

Cancellation Policy

You can cancel up to 24 hours in advance of the experience for a full refund.

  • For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience’s start time.
  • If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
  • Any changes made less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time will not be accepted.
  • Cut-off times are based on the experience’s local time.
  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund.

Frequently Asked Questions

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.

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Q:What time do we need to arrive for the Half Day Kayak Tour in the Black Canyon?

A:Your selected departure time is the time the tour is scheduled to be on the water. The meet time is normally about 15 minutes before this "launch time." Your tour guides will have you sign a waiver and give you a safety briefing before starting.

Aug 2021

Q:How far from Las Vegas is the departure point for the Half Day Kayak Tour in the Black Canyon?

A:It generally takes a little over an hour to get from Las Vegas to Willow Beach. Please be sure to leave early to assure you arrive on time for departure.

Aug 2021

Q:Can I take an Uber/Lyft/Taxi to the departure point for the Half Day Kayak Tour in the Black Canyon?

A:This tour is only recommended for those with a vehicle they can drive. Car service can take you one way, but there is typically no return service available. If you require transport from Las Vegas, search "39939P2" for the tour with transportation.

Aug 2021

Q:How much is the National Park Entrance fee?

A:Entrance into the park is $25 per vehicle, or if you have a National Parks pass it is free. You can also buy a National Parks pass at the gate for $80 and it will get you into any National Park for free for a year from purchase.

Aug 2021

Q:Can I participate in the Half Day Kayak Tour in the Black Canyon if I've never kayaked before?

A:Whether this is your first time in a kayak or you are a seasoned veteran; all skill levels are invited to enjoy the Black Canyon! The crystal clear water of the Colorado River is quite tame in this area since you will be paddling between two dams.

Aug 2021

Q:What kind of distance do we kayak during the Half Day Kayak Tour in the Black Canyon?

A:This tour is approximately 4 miles round-trip on smooth, mostly flat water.

Aug 2021

Q:What should I wear for the Half Day Kayak Tour in the Black Canyon?

A:Wear closed-toe water shoes or sneakers that can get wet. Dress according to the weather, ideally in athletic / outdoor-type clothing that dries fast. Wear your swimsuit under your clothes. Also, bring a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen.

Aug 2021

Q:What should I bring with me on the Half Day Kayak Tour in the Black Canyon?

A:You will need a government-issued picture ID. You might want to bring cash to spend at the Marina store or for gratuities. Please leave bulky items at home, in your hotel, or car as there is no storage area. Bring a towel if you plan to swim.

Aug 2021

Q:Will I be in a single or a tandem kayak during the Half Day Kayak Tour in the Black Canyon?

A:You may choose between a single or tandem kayak (based on availability). If you have a preference, please list it in the "Special Requirements" box at checkout; otherwise, you can make your request on the day of departure.

Aug 2021

Q:Why would I want to select a tandem (double) kayak for the Half Day Kayak Tour in the Black Canyon?

A:If you have never been kayaking, weigh less than 120lbs, or it’s been a while since you’ve hit the gym; you may want to use a double kayak. Not only are double kayaks easier to paddle, but they are also less likely to flip.

Aug 2021

Traveler Photos

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Featured review
It was such an easy going, beautiful kayak ride down the canyon and back. Our guide Gage was super helpful in going over kayak contol with those that didn't have experience. He informed us of the animals to watch for and the history of the area. It was a great tour and I would do it again!


513 reviews
Total review count and overall rating based on Viator and Tripadvisor reviews
Reviews by Viator travelers.
Showing 1-10 of 513 reviews
Kayaking the Colorado River with family
Hope_H, Apr 2024
Beautiful trip on the Colorado River with family, time to detach from social media and focus on the beautiful nature surround. highly recommended
Beautiful day
Kayly_N, Apr 2024
Beautiful day and wonderful trip! Water was still going out and you could see to the bottom! The way back was windy but still perfect!
Awe Inspiring, Leisurely Trip
Michelle_G, Mar 2024
It was such an easy going, beautiful kayak ride down the canyon and back. Our guide Gage was super helpful in going over kayak contol with those that didn't have experience. He informed us of the animals to watch for and the history of the area. It was a great tour and I would do it again!
Great Kayak Trip
Dave_R, Mar 2024
We had such a great trip. The equipment was great and we had two guides that both like being on the water that makes it very fun! The scenery was Great as we got to see a few Big Horn Sheep! Our group had all levels of kayakers. This is a trip you can do if you’re a beginner!
The scenery was...
Angelica_M, Mar 2024
The scenery was beautiful! The guides were patient and helpful, they had the right equipment that fit everyone. It was a wonderful experience.
Cave is very small
Ashley_S, Mar 2024
It was a very windy day, which we know can not be controlled. The cave is VERY SMALL! Our group of 10 boats could not almost “inside” at once. Also, the emerald-ness is dependent on the time of year and time of day that you visit. I would suggest calling to get a current report on how much green there will be depending on when you go. All of that being said, our tour guide was great and the trip overall was good, but the Emerald Cave highlight left much to be desired.
Amazing instructor, great time
Luciane_O, Mar 2024
Mellissa, the instructor was absolutely amazing. We had a great time, light snack and water provided, friendly environment and we could feel very welcomed.
Response from Host, Mar 2024
We are so glad to hear you had an amazing time with us! Thank you so much for your review :) ~Kelly
5 stars to Melissa
Adam_S, Mar 2024
Our guide, Melissa, was phenomenal. She was knowledgeable, engaging, very sweet, and created a very relaxing atmosphere during tour. She was very flexible as well and gave the group a good amount of autonomy. She was amazing at offering for photo oppurtunities to make the whole experience very memorable. She went above and beyond.
Response from Host, Mar 2024
We are so happy to hear you enjoyed your time on the river with your guide. Thank you for allowing us to be a part of your memories and experience! ~Kelly
A "gem" of a find in playing with Blazin' Paddles at Emerald Cove! Shameless pun intended!
Candice_S, Mar 2024
From start to finish...just wow! Kelly is a treasure and contacted us as soon as we signed up through Viator. Gave great suggestions from hotels to seeing the famous, majestic sheep to what to bring and everything in between. SO communicative, helpful, friendly! The gift shop in the Hoover Dam Lodge is AWESOME! Picked up phone cases, floaties for the cases (just in case), a high quality sweatshirt, and more! The tour itself was MAGICAL! Seth and Jamaica make a great team! HIGHLY RECOMMEND!
Response from Host, Mar 2024
Wow Candice, thank you for the amazing review. We are SO glad you had a great time. Seth and Jamaica will be so happy to hear it too!
Very pretty and easy kayak.
Becky_B, Feb 2024
Jules did an excellent job and we enjoyed our time with her. The kayaking was very easy and relaxing and the scenery was beautiful.
Response from Host, Mar 2024
Thank you for sharing your experience. We are glad you enjoyed your time with Jules as well! ~Kelly
Worth it!
Michelle_S, Feb 2024
Did our tour with Blazin’ Paddles. The tour guide was top notch. He was very knowledgeable about the area and the natural habitat of the area. Beautiful way to spend a few hours!
This was a last minute...
Calixto_V, Nov 2023
This was a last minute trip so we decided to go kayaking for my birthday. I have to say our tour guide Walter was so nice and knowledgeable on the history of willow beach. He made sure we were good and comfortable the whole time. I would recommend this company. They are the cadillac of kayaking!
Great time!
Amanda_S, Nov 2023
Amazing time! Jules was an excellent guide, very personable and funny! Would absolutely recommend to a friend if traveling near by! Thanks for the great experience!!
Response from Host, Nov 2023
Thank you for taking the time Amanda to write a review. We are so excited to hear you had such a great time with Jules on the river. Thank you for allowing us to take you on an adventure!
Joseph_H, Oct 2023
Amazing experience or guide was very good and we enjoyed the tour. The equipment was well maintained and instruction to get to the pickup location was very easy.
Response from Host, Nov 2023
Thank you for your review!! We are so glad to hear you had an overall awesome experience with us.
So amazing and fun!
Renise_H, Oct 2023
Jewels was such an amazing guide! The view and water was spectacular, the vibe was great. Our trip was so memorable, and fun. Thanks again!
Beautiful river, don’t have expectations of seeing cave
Teresa_R, Oct 2023
The river is beautiful! Clear and green! The guide ,Gage, was great. The picture of the cave is misleading. The wait to go in cave was 40 minutes + Our group did not go in cave due to time constraints. I booked the trip based on the cave picture. My expectations were high and I was disappointed although the rest of trip was great. Change the picture!
Response from Host, Oct 2023
Teresa, I'm so sorry you were disappointed you didn't see the cave. We are one of the only companies that doesn't revolve our advertising around the emerald cave as it is seen as disappointing to some people. It's definitely true the cave doesn't always look like that picture, this time of year especially, because the sun doesn't shine in the cave like it does in July(when that picture was most likely taken). Unfortunately with the amount of companies out there the line does get long and sometimes is an hour or more wait as everyone has the same expectations as you did. We do ultimately leave it up to the guide to make the decision to wait or not depending on time. I'm glad that you enjoyed the rest of the trip, the entire canyon is beautiful and the cave is just one small part of the tour. Hope if you can get you back out there at a better time of year to see the cave -June through August- you'll think of us. Thank you for your feedback.
A group of friends and I...
Lindsey_M, Oct 2023
A group of friends and I did the half day kayak tour in October, the weather was perfect, the scenery was amazing, and the whole experience overall was idealic. Our guide Gage was knowledgeable and welcoming. I would advise that if you are an experienced kayaker you might want to just rent a kayak from the park services and kayak independently as you will be with and waiting on others who are not.
Amazing day on the Black Canyon
Vanda_O, Oct 2023
Kayaking along the Colorado River early in the morning was breathtaking… the water was calm and clear…. with a stop into a truly gem the Emerald Cove. I highly recommend. Make sure to go with The Blazing Paddles guides :)
Maria_S, Oct 2023
Our guide Andrew was amazing! We had a great time kayaking and exploring. Thank you for the great adventure.
Emerald Cove(really Cave)
Joshua_M, Oct 2023
Seth was the best. Great vibe, crazy scenery. I really appreciated the small group size. Makes it much more personable.
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