Author Archive

Top Things to Do at the Hoover Dam 

Hoover dam kayak tours

A visit to the Hoover Dam is an experience that you never forget. On top of learning more about the rich history of the dam, you can also plan experiences such as Hoover dam kayak tours that let you truly experience the natural beauty of Nevada. As you get ready for your trip to the Hoover Dam, consider adding these experiences to your itinerary that will change your perspective on what it means to visit Las Vegas.

Visit the Mike O’Callaghan–Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge 

Sitting at 900 feet above the Colorado River, this bridge has earned the distinction of being the second highest in the United States. It is also the first bridge in the U.S. to be built using a concrete-steel composite arch design. As you enjoy your trip over this bridge, you are treated to breathtaking views of the Colorado River and Hoover Dam, so make sure to bring your camera.

Take a Kayak Tour Through the Colorado River

Hoover dam kayak tours allow you to hit several major sites along the Colorado River. From the moment that you launch your kayak into the water at the base of the Hoover Dam until you enjoy your final stop at Willow Beach, your guide will point out numerous historical artifacts as you keep an eye out for Nevada wildlife such as bighorn sheep grazing along the side of the river.

Tour the Hoover Dam

There are several different tours that you can take of the Hoover Dam that are open to the public, but it’s best to plan ahead because the availability fills up fast. During your tour, you can enjoy films and photo displays that explain more about the process of building the dam. You can also step out onto the observation deck and take in views of Lake Mead and the Colorado River.

Enjoy a Hike Through a Desert Landscape

There are two maintained hiking trails that are located near the Hoover Dam, and these are the Historic Railroad Tunnel Trail and the River Mountains Loop Trail. Both provide spectacular opportunities to spot wildlife such as owls and bighorn sheep.

Blazin’ Paddles offers kayak tours that give you an up-close view of the Hoover Dam so schedule your adventure online today!

Clothing for Kayaking in Cooler Weather 

Las Vegas Colorado river tour

As days get shorter and temperatures start to drop, it’s important to know what to wear while out on the water in order to stay comfortable. Before you schedule your next Las Vegas Colorado River tour, check out these tips and tricks on how to dress for the weather.

Wet Suits

The overall-style wetsuit is a popular choice for paddlers because it allows for freedom of movement. Wetsuits hold heat close to the body and leave plenty of room on top for adding extra layers. They work by allowing a small amount of water to seep in between your skin and the neoprene material.

Layers

Layering is the most popular way to stay warm in cooler weather when paddling. Basically, you want to wear enough layers that you can remove or add as the weather changes. Start with an inner layer made of wicking material, like synthetic wool, to draw moisture away from the skin. A second insulating layer, like fleece wool, provides increased warmth. Choose an outer layer for protection against the elements. Avoid cotton and other fabrics that absorb moisture.

Accessories

Keep your feet warm with a pair of wetsuit booties in cooler weather. They also provide excellent traction when walking your kayak into the water or keep the feet warm any time you slip out of the boat. Your feet won’t stay completely dry, but they will stay warmer than with wearing other types of shoes.

Because your hands are constantly exposed to the cold air while paddling, they are bound to get cold when you are on the water. Regular gloves can work but once they are wet, the fingertips can get very cold. The more waterproof they are, the better. Additionally, waterproof hats keep your hair and head warm and dry if it rains or when water sprays into the boat.

When dressing for a Las Vegas Colorado River tour, try to find a balance between maintaining the ability to move easily and staying comfortably warm in the cooler temperatures. Looking for a Colorado River adventure? Schedule a tour with Blazin’ Paddles online!

Awesome Birds You May See in When Kayaking the Black Canyon 

kayaking the Black Canyon birds

The Black Canyon is a paradise for a variety of wildlife, including some amazing bird species. When kayaking the Black Canyon, there are five species you are likely to see while on your trip.

Peregrine Falcon

Also referred to as the duck hawk, the Peregrine Falcon is a majestic blue-gray bird with an impressive wingspan of up to four feet in length and a flying speed of up to 240 miles per hour. They like to sit high in the cliffs and dive down swiftly to catch their prey.

Bald Eagle

Contrary to their name, bald eagles aren’t actually bald. In fact, they have a thick plumage of white features on top of their heads. Young bald eagles have mostly brown heads. When flying, they emit a high-pitched giggle or a slight scream. Eagles are easily noted spotted by their wingspan in flight, which creates a straight line.

Cactus Wren 

The cactus wren is a small bird with a white stripe located behind each eye. They are mostly spotted with dark brown and black feathers, and they typically live in the foothills and other low-lying areas. They enjoy meals of fruit pulp, seeds, and small insects, and they make a sound similar to a car trying to start.

American Coot

At first, you may mistake the coot for a duck as it floats lazily on the water. These dark grey birds have a white bill and are commonly known as the mud hen. They tend to gather in flocks, and they make a funny grunting or croaking noise as they take off in flight.

Osprey 

The Osprey is sometimes referred to as a seahawk. They like to dive into the water to catch fish. They may also prey on rabbits and small reptiles. Ospreys make high-pitched whistling noises or a series of chirps to communicate. Although similar to a bald eagle, the Osprey has a much larger beak and a smaller wingspan.

To experience these spectacular birds and other creatures, schedule a trip kayaking the Black Canyon with Blazin’ Paddles. Sign up online!

Tandem Kayak vs Single Kayak 

kayaking in Las Vegas

When you go kayaking in Las Vegas, one of the biggest decisions you will make is whether you prefer a tandem or single kayak for your adventure. While every kayaker has their preference, it is important to know that both options have benefits that you can use to enhance your experience. As you get ready for your trip, keep these factors in mind to determine which one is best for your tour.

Understand the Main Differences

The main difference between the two types of kayaks is fairly obvious since a tandem kayak has two seats. However, this also means that a tandem kayak is slightly heavier than a single kayak. As long as you plan to have two people in the tandem kayak, this should not be an issue. While you will use the same paddling technique in both boats, riding tandem requires synchronizing your movements to keep full control over the boat.

Define Your Purpose

Experienced kayakers tend to develop their own style. While some people love the companionship and bonding that tandem kayaks provide, others prefer to be able to control their experience by paddling in a single kayak. If you will be kayaking in Las Vegas with a close friend or spouse, then a tandem kayak allows you to share the experience together. However, you may prefer a single kayak if you enjoy a little more freedom to explore.

Consider Your Skill Level

Beginners often prefer to start out in a tandem kayak because this allows a guide to teach them the basics of paddling. Tandem kayaks also tend to go slower, and it allows one person to take a short break if they get tired while paddling. Single kayaks can still be used by beginners because it only takes a few minutes to learn the basics of paddling down the river. You might also prefer a single kayak if you want a lightweight boat that goes faster in the water.

At Blazin’ Paddles, we have both tandem and single kayaks available so choose your adventure today. Book one of our Las Vegas kayak tours online today!

Your Brain on Nature and the Importance of Getting Outside 

Colorado river kayaking

According to a recent study funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Americans spend close to 90 percent of their lives indoors. Unfortunately, the concentration of indoor pollutants is two to five times higher indoors. For this reason alone, it’s important to find ways to get some fresh air as often as possible. One way to do this is with Colorado River kayaking. There are other reasons why fresh air is beneficial to both the mind and the body. Let’s take a look:

Brighten Your Mood

Exercise releases endorphins, which can put you in a better mood. In fact, just five to ten minutes of outdoor physical activity every day can improve your self-esteem and bring overall feelings of positivity. Occasional outdoor light exposure also reduces winter depression or seasonal anxiety disorder.

Boosts Vitamin D Production

Supplements can help you get the nutrients needed to keep your body healthy and to stave off disease, but the best way to assist your body with Vitamin D production is to get some sun. Just 10 minutes of exposure to the midday sun gives your body enough radiation to produce about 10,000 international units of Vitamin D.

Improves Eyesight

Staring at a computer screen every day can cause Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS), which results in blurred vision, red eyes, double vision, and headaches. Even those who are overexposed to artificial light for long periods of time are more likely to become nearsighted. According to a 2007 study at Ohio State University, individuals who spend at least two hours a day outside are less likely to feel the effects.

Heals the Body

Exposure to natural light helps keep the body running as it should. People who spend more time outdoors often have less pain, sleep more soundly, and experience less functional decline as they carry out daily tasks than those who sit inside all day. In one study of surgical patients, those who spent a few hours outside each day required 22 percent fewer pain medications than those who stayed in bed.

Just 10 to 15 minutes of outdoor activity provides a wealth of both physical and emotional benefits. Imagine what a half-day or a full day of Colorado River kayaking can do for you. Schedule a tour with us on our Blazin’ Paddles website!

 

Photography Tips when Kayaking 

Hoover dam kayak tours photography

You’ve taken the plunge and signed up for one of the Hoover Dam kayak tours. You want to have lasting memories of your trip, so you want to be sure to take photographs. Taking pictures from a kayak doesn’t have to be a hard skill to master. However, it does take a little coordination. You are subject to the movement of the boat and the wind, and you must keep control of your paddle. Also, taking pictures in a kayak is different than being on land, because you can’t stand and move around. However, with a few tips and tricks of the trade, you can learn to take stunning photographs of your trip.

Keeping it Dry

Whether you are using an expensive camera or a cell phone, you don’t want your device to get wet. For cameras, consider a waterproof case or marine bag to keep everything nice and dry. Additionally, you can find waterproof cell phone cases that are relatively inexpensive.

Powering Your Device

Depending on how long you will be out on the water, you want to make sure you have enough battery life to power your device. Bring a few extra sets of batteries to cover your power needs. For phones, opt for an external charger or charging case.

Vary Your Perspective

When taking pictures from your kayak, you are often limited to shots at boat level. Therefore, think outside the box to find new perspectives. Hold your camera close to the water and look up to your subject. If possible, paddle to shore, get out of your kayak and take photographs from the rocks. For action shots, consider mounting a GoPro or other action camera to your kayak for hands-free use.

Other Things to Consider

You don’t want to lose your camera, so be sure to leash it to your arm or your life vest. The cords should be long enough to not restrict movement, but not too long where they can get tangled. Also, be sure to bring a microfiber cloth or tissues in your dry bag to remove water drops and smears from the lens.

The first step in learning to take excellent pictures on the water is to sign up for one of the Hoover Dam kayak tours. Visit the Blazin’ Paddles website to schedule your next adventure.

How To Extend Your Outdoor Activities to the Fall Season 

Black Canyon kayaking

Just because the temperatures start to drop, doesn’t mean you need to submit to winter hibernation. With the crisp autumn air and beautiful colors, fall is one of the most enjoyable times to spend outdoors. This is especially true if you love kayaking. By following a few tips and tricks, you can still spend plenty of time enjoying Black Canyon kayaking.

Dress for the Weather

Water temperatures in the Black Canyon are around 50 degrees Fahrenheit year-round. As it gets colder outside and as the cooler wind picks up, it can make it quite chilly when you get wet. While it’s not necessary to wear a wetsuit, it’s a good idea to choose warm layers to keep you comfortable. You can always remove layers if you get warm. Opt for wicking wool or synthetic base layers that keep moisture off the skin. It’s also a good idea to wear waterproof or quick-drying pants and water shoes. Also, pack some dry clothes in a waterproof bag.

Consider the Add-Ons

Most sit-in kayaks accommodate a spray skirt that prevents water from sloshing inside the boat. These are quite helpful to keep you dry on windy days.

Fuel Your Body

When you’re having fun on the water, it is easy to forget your hunger. By keeping your body well fed and properly hydrated throughout your trip, you maintain the energy you need to paddle. Pack along some carbohydrates and foods high in fat to snack on, like string cheese, nuts, and granola.

Cooler temperatures don’t mean an end to the Black Canyon kayaking season. Just remember to follow these basic guidelines for safety and preparation. To schedule your next adventure, visit our tour packages page and see the available options.

Things to Remember When Kayaking with Kids 

Las Vegas kayaking

Regardless of how old you are, kayaking is a great way to reduce stress, enjoy nature, and get some exercise. Las Vegas kayaking is a perfect activity for families with children, but there are a few things to keep in mind as you prepare for your trip.

Safety First

Regardless if you are traveling in a tandem kayak or your older child is paddling alone, make sure they understand the safety rules before stepping into the boat. A personal floating device must be worn at all times while on or around the water. Make sure they know to remain seated and do not lean over the side of the kayak. Closed-toed sandals or water shoes allow for proper traction, and sunblock is also a plus to prevent burns. Model the same safety lessons you want your child to follow.

Learn How to Paddle

Teach the first paddling lessons while on land. Make sure they know how to hold the paddle and the basics of the forward stroke. Once on the water, allow them to paddle on their own to gain confidence if you are sharing a kayak.

Choosing a Kayak

Whether you are considering a full-day or a half-day tour, children 16 years of age and older may be fine when paddling on their own, but it’s important to consider coordination level, physical ability, maturity level, and confidence. Half-day tours are best suited for children 14 and younger, and you should opt for a double kayak.

Getting Ready for the Trip

Before you head out on the water, familiarize your child with the sites along the trek. Educate them on animals to look for and places of interest. Older children also like to be in charge of their own packing. Get them interested in the adventure before the day arrives.

Kayaking is a rewarding pastime for families with children. To get started on your next Las Vegas kayaking adventure, visit Blazin’ Paddles online to schedule a kayak tour and learn more about your options for your next river trip.

Best Types of Tours for Las Vegas Adventure Seekers 

black canyon kayak tours

One of the very cool aspects of Las Vegas is the variety of its countless urban enticements and the remarkably varied outdoor recreation within its desert-and-mountain hinterland.

If you’ve got a thirst for adventure, Las Vegas turns out to be a great launch pad—from world-class climbing in the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area to backpacking up in the Lake Mead area—there’s some incredible country awaiting you within a stone’s throw of the Las Vegas Strip.

Guided tours out of Las Vegas make an excellent choice for sampling the region’s varied options for outdoor adventure. Let’s review some of your top options!

Kayak Tours

Of course, we’re a bit biased, but we tend to think there’s no better choice for a Vegas-based adventure traveler than a Black Canyon kayaking tour with us here at Blazin’ Paddles! Lake Mead National Recreation Area makes a vast outdoor playground right on Vegas’s doorstep, and we’ll take you through its very heart on a kayak safari down the mighty Black Canyon of the Colorado River.

To say that a downriver journey with us is a change of pace from the Entertainment Capital of the World is an understatement. You’ll see breathtaking scenery and desert wildlife, and meanwhile immerse yourself in the raw and refreshing tranquility that defines Black Canyon kayaking.

Bus Tours

From Grand Canyon to Zion national parks, from Hoover Dam to the Valley of Fire, breathtaking landscapes lie within a day’s drive of Las Vegas. Bus tours put this Southwestern scenery on a platter for you in plush, air-conditioned comfort.

Helicopter Tours

The scale of the Basin-and-Range country is monumental, and one of the best ways to appreciate it is by taking to the air. Helicopter tours are popular choices among Las Vegas day trippers aiming to goggle at the Grand Canyon, which lies surprisingly close to the city on the margin of the Colorado Plateau.

Book a Tour!

Book your guided paddling trip down the canyon-clad Colorado with us today! Open to young and old, beginner paddler and expert, our Black Canyon kayaking tours are Las Vegas-area adventures accessible to just about everybody!

 

Tips for Creating the Perfect Outdoor Adventure Bucket List 

Colorado River kayaking

Often referred to as a life list, a bucket list is a collection of things you want to accomplish during your lifetime. For an outdoor enthusiast, there is a great big world to explore and plenty of heart-thumping activities to choose from. If you haven’t brainstormed yet to compile your own personal list of must-dos, consider these ideas in Nevada to begin your adventure.

Paddle the Upper Colorado River

The Colorado River is one of the most endangered rivers in America. It is also one of the most picturesque. With towering red cliffs, a variety of wildlife, warm springs, and beautiful waterfalls, it’s no wonder millions of travelers make the trek to the area every year. Over 60 percent of the river is used to fill homes, businesses, and for irrigation. Just a single Colorado River kayaking trip will leave you searching for ways to help conserve water and save the waterway.

Hike the Grand Canyon

One of the most popular hikes in the Grand Canyon is a trip to the bottom of the canyon via the South Rim. The journey is strenuous but completely worth it. Enjoy spectacular views of the inner walls of the canyon and then choose to set up camp and spend the night under the stars.

Go Mountain Biking in Goodsprings

Cottonwood Valley Road, also called Goodsprings Road is a major area for mountain bikers. It offers over 10 miles of unpaved and unmaintained dirt roads to the north and approximately two miles of pavement on the south end. You’ll traverse through canyons, sharp curves, and through a historic western town. The experience of being alone with nature is a major plus for those who want to escape the hustle and bustle of city life.

Go Mountain Climbing in Red Rock

An endless sea of in cut edges awaits you along the canyons of the Red Rocks. Whether you are a first-time climber or a seasoned mountaineer, you’ll enjoy the steep moderate climbs that offer the most magnificent views. Go with a guide or bring a friend and enjoy the scale together.

Start your bucket list off by visiting Blazin’ Paddles’ website to schedule a Colorado River kayaking trip—the adventure of a lifetime. We offer a variety of tours to choose from and for kayakers of all fitness levels and skills.

Book A Tour

Las Vegas Tour Package 0

Half Day Tour

Las Vegas Tour Package 0

Full Day Tour

Las Vegas Tour Package 0

Full Moon Twilight Paddle Tour