View Full Version : Trip Report Black Canyon, NV
12-08-2005, 12:12 PM
Thought I'd post some pics of a canoe trip we did down in Black Canyon. Very cool!! Hot springs, rain caves, sauna caves, slot canyons, emerald green water....
Side slot canyon that leads to hot springs
12-08-2005, 12:18 PM
Here's some video clips of Emerald Cave
Our camera was having issues automatically adjusting for lighting.
12-08-2005, 12:42 PM
Yes, very cool! :five: Now where is this again?
12-08-2005, 12:49 PM
You put in just below hoover dam, in Black Canyon. It was definitely one of my favorite canoe trips. I probably still have info on it somewhere if someone is interested in doing it.
That looks awesome!
Is this a day trip or an overnighter?
12-08-2005, 01:39 PM
You can do either. It's easy to do it in a day, but a lot of people camp part way down near some hot springs.
I'm trying to remember how long it took us to do the whole canyon....maybe 6-8 hours? The main 'attraction' is about 12 miles. It really depends on how much time you spend exploring all the side canyons etc.
I have the rest of our pics on my webshots page
12-08-2005, 01:49 PM
There was one group who didn't have a watch, and they were concerned about getting to the pick up spot in time. So they skipped most the good stuff and did the whole route in about 3 hours. Ended up sitting around at the pickup point for hours until their ride showed up. Poor guys missed most the fun!
12-08-2005, 04:01 PM
That is really cool.... Black Canyon has several good hot springs. AZ and Boy Scout are supposed to be two of the best from the river. You do this through an outfitter who has canoes, takes care of the shuttle, all that crap? I'd be really interested in doing this trip, post more details.... cost, shuttle service, yada, yada....
Also... what time of year do your recommend? My kids would probably love to do this as an overnighter....
12-08-2005, 08:51 PM
Wow, that is sweet. Did you get in the water? That looks like it would be a great swimming hole.
12-09-2005, 08:08 AM
I don't remember a lot of the logistics because I was studying away during the planning. My wife did most of the arrangments I just went along for the ride. LOL
An outfitter is a good way to go. It's easier to get through the security they have near the dam, they provide the boats along with drop off and pick up. They generally give you a map too for exploring the different places.
During the summer it's obviously REALLY hot, so the hot springs are not as inviting. We went during the spring and it was a little chilly. We didn't actually get in the river water because it was too cold. But the hot springs were sure nice then! I would say spring or fall would be best.
The water levels can really make a difference on some of the features. For example the emerald cave if the water's really low, you might not be able to float into. Or if there's a lot of water it might be too high to enter the cave. Since the water comes from the dam, I'd imagine the best way to find out the water levels is to talk to one of the outfitters.
I think we paid something like $50 a person or something like that. I don't remember which outfitter we ended up going with. But here's some different links with information.
Some good photos
http://www.nps.gov/lame/bcan.pdf this one is a map, we started below the dam and ended and the willow beach.
12-09-2005, 08:27 AM
Oh, my wife just reminded me that we had a bad experience with Downriver Outfitters.
She said, "Basically we paid the deposit which was over $300. They canceled the trip because they didn’t have enough people sign up, but they never told us that they canceled. We found out when we called the the day we were leaving. And they wouldn’t refund us at first. But after a while somehow we got our money back. "
So you might want to avoid them. She's going to try to find the info on the one we ended up going with.
12-09-2005, 08:38 AM
:frustrated: Down River Outfitters :frustrated:
The rest of the info sounds good..... $50 a person is cheap if they provide the shuttle and canoe. Heck, I'll pay $50 just so I don't have to deal with the hassle.
Lets see now.... a cooler filled with beer.... dad in the middle of the canoe next to the cooler of beer.... a kid at each end of the canoe to paddle dad and the cooler of beer...... yup.... the way I see it this is a trip from heaven. :2thumbs:
12-09-2005, 08:58 AM
We want to do it again sometime and take more time exploring the side canyons. My list of trips I want to take is too big methinks
12-09-2005, 09:03 AM
My family would be interested in joining the party if you want the company. Might be interested in doing the trip as an overnighter :five:
I'm guessing not really much paddling... mostly floating along?
12-09-2005, 09:09 AM
That'd be fun :friday:
12-20-2005, 06:56 PM
You can always put in at Willow Beach and paddle upstream to the Hoover Dam then back. Camp along the way. Check out my dad's website for info and pictures. www.yakpacking.com
01-24-2006, 03:11 PM
this is a great winter trip- have done it in early march and am going again next month. When i pulled up las vegas weather a week ago it called for a high of 69 and a low of 44. swim suits and T shirts and sandals during the day, and pants and a jacket at night. the put in at the dam is a hassle due to security precautions, and you are reguired to go through one of the two local licensed shuttle companies to launch there, but you can still do your own shuttle from the take out at willow beach. we spent two nights camping along the river, so we were in the canyon 3 days, about right, IMHO, despite the fact that its only 13 miles from beginning to end. most of the good stuff is in the first 3 1/2 miles. spend the first day @sauna cave and hiking gold strike canyon, which is only 3/4's of a mile down from the put in! mild scrambling, a ways up to primo hot springs and pools- one you can swim laps in, the nicest i have ever seen. boy scout canyon is next, with more scrambling and hotsprings- this gets a little more sporting if you keep going- at one point i found myself climbing a piece of old poly waterski tow rope, up a ten or twelve foot waterfall. will take some proper rope and canyoneering gear and push on up this one this year, having at least one companion so inclined and skilled. second night camped at Arizona hot springs, where there are maintained toilets and more hot springs up a canyon. If you camp before reaching here you have to bring your own sanitary provisions, as there are no other facilities and it is NOT cool to leave solid wastes in these canyons. We use the PETT system, which is portable and compact, but restop or some other alternative is needed. the river is cold, coming off the bottom of the dam, but flat water, just an easy float. if i had to do it in a single day i wouldn't bother- it seems like going to zion and just driving through, taking pictures out of the car window. last time we brought all of our own boats and gear, this time we are renting from downriver outfitters - the package includes the shuttle at both ends and the rental on river- canoes, paddles and lifejackets, for 60$ a head. if its good i will say so, and if we have problems i will pass that on too. the night before the launch we camped close by, at the boulder beach campground, in the lake mead NRA. the two launches a day are at 800 am and 10:00 am, and if you are not there and ready and waiting when the BWreck offical opens the locked gate you are SOL. i was advised to be there ready to go no later than 730, for my 800 am launch. permits are required in advance for the launch, by phone reservation, in advance 1-702-294-3523. last time (03/02) the launch fee was 5$ per person, now it is 13$. one incidental that could catch you napping if you were not aware- the river water level fluctuates wildly due to electricity demands during the day, and night- you have to get up away from the water to camp, and make sure all of the boats are tied securely, with long lines, as it can rise 5 vertical feet in a few minutes.
a great winter/spring getaway!
01-24-2006, 06:07 PM
Good info Rick, thanks a bunch. Welcome to the forum.
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