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The History of the Hoover Dam

The Hoover Dam is one of the most unique and iconic landmarks in the United States. While the Hoover Dam is impressive to look at, it is also a landmark steeped in history. If you want to get an up-close-and-personal look at the Hoover Dam, a great way to get in the heart of the action is through a kayak Hoover Dam tour. Blazin’ Paddles, a kayak tour company based in Las Vegas, has all the resources you need to enjoy a day out on the water, touring a treasured American landmark.

Why Kayak the Hoover Dam?

There are many ways to experience the Hoover Dam, but taking a kayaking tour of the dam is one of the most rewarding and memorable excursions that you have. When you book a kayak Hoover Dam tour with Blazin’ Paddles, you will meet like-minded people who also want to see a famous landmark while getting in a good workout in the process. Kayaking the Hoover Dam is also an excellent option for those who want to get a glimpse of the landmark while avoiding some of the most crowded areas. Along with seeing the dam, you will enjoy other naturally beautiful areas in the Las Vegas area, too, including the scenic Colorado River and the Black Canyon. You can even stop off to enjoy a dip in hot springs along the way, and you may also be lucky enough to spot wildlife as you paddle along. All of that wrapped up in one exceptional package!

Why Kayak the Hoover Dam?

When was the Hoover Dam Built?

The Hoover Dam was constructed during the Great Depression. Construction started on the dam in 1931, and it was completed five years later in 1936. The dam was built in such a way that it spans the Black Canyon and the Colorado River. The dam also creates Lake Mead, which is another popular natural site in the area. Lake Mead is a beautiful man-made attraction that is also one of the largest artificial lakes on the planet. The Hoover Dam is named after former president Herbert Hoover, who envisioned building a structure that would divert water from the Colorado River for use in agricultural projects. While farms in the West used canals for most of their water supply, the canals proved expensive and inefficient. President Hoover proposed the Hoover Dam as an alternative. He provided funding for the dam and oversaw financing for its ongoing construction. The dam cost a significant amount of money to construct, and it was also a dangerous project that cost hundreds of workers their lives.

When was the Hoover Dam Built?

Why was the Hoover Dam Necessary?

The Hoover Dam was considered an essential project by the US government because it would solve some of the significant water-related issues plaguing the West. Prior to the dam’s construction, farms in the West were irrigated by intricate canal systems. However, the canals were expensive and challenging to maintain. About 25 years before the Hoover Dam’s construction got underway, the Colorado River experienced significant flooding that damaged and destroyed many of the canals. The flooding extended to a large area called the Salton Sea, which was previously dry. Following the major flooding, the US government decided it was better to control water flow into the area to help farmers by providing sustainable and predictable irrigation. The Hoover Dam would also supply the developing region with a source of power was another plus. Former President Calvin Coolidge approved the Hoover Dam, and its construction began shortly after.

The Hoover Dam Changes Names

The Hoover Dam has gone through several name changes since it was built. The dam was initially called Hoover Dam, but the name was later changed to Boulder Dam under the Roosevelt Administration. After former president Roosevelt left office, the dam’s name was changed back to the original Hoover Dam in 1947.

Marvel of Engineering

If you are an engineer or simply enjoy looking at feats of engineering, a trip to check out the Hoover Dam is a must-do in Vegas activity. The Hoover Dam was one of the grandest and most challenging engineering feats in American history. The dam still serves the same original purpose today that it did when it was first built, which is to harness the water and power of the Colorado River. The dam was ultimately constructed to divert water from the Colorado River and turn it into electricity.

Although construction for the dam began in 1931, plans for the Hoover Dam started before that time. The US Bureau of Reclamation devised the dam. The Bureau of Reclamation created plans for the dam’s construction to make it one of the largest and most complex structures of its time upon completion. The Bureau of Reclamation envisioned the Hoover Dam as a source of water and hydroelectric power for states in the West, making the Dam one of the most forward-thinking construction projects of its time. Despite grand plans for the project, actual construction proved to be tedious, slow-going, and even dangerous. Workers had to endure difficult and dangerous conditions to build the Hoover Dam, including working their way through tunnels filled with carbon monoxide and dangling from ledges hundreds of feet into the air in order to build the dam through canyon walls. By the time construction of the Hoover Dam ended, the structure was one of the largest in the world.

Today, the Hoover Dam is registered as a National Historic Landmark. It continues to supply Lake Mead with sufficient water to carry out its original purposes. With the water it contains, Lake Mead can provide up to two million acres of agricultural land with water for crops and livestock. Along with holding water for irrigation, Lake Mead is also a top tourist destination in the Las Vegas region. If you are looking for things to do in Vegas during the day after you pay a visit to Hoover Dam, a stop at Lake Mead is highly recommended.

Marvel of Engineering

The Hoover Dam in Numbers

The Hoover Dam remains the largest dam in the country. It is as tall as a 60-foot building, and it can hold as much water as the State of Connecticut. Workers used enough concrete to cover the distance between San Francisco and New York City to construct the dam. The base of the Hoover Dam is 660 feet thick.

Visiting the Hoover Dam

Naturally, the Hoover Dam is still one of the most desirable destinations in the Las Vegas area. The Hoover Dam is accessible by foot if you want to hike around on the surrounding trails, and you can also take a tour of the Hoover Dam by helicopter. The Hoover Dam is conveniently located just 30 miles from Las Vegas, which makes it a perfect day trip destination if you are looking for outdoor activities in the area. The Hoover Dam is the most-visited dam on the planet, with an average of seven million visitors per year.

If you’re ready to experience the Hoover Dam in a fun and unique way, contact Blazin’ Paddles today for more information about a Hoover Dam kayak rental and Hoover Dam kayaking tours.

Visiting the Hoover Dam

Top Things to do in December in Vegas

You might not instinctively think of Las Vegas as a Christmas destination, but that doesn’t mean Sin City is lacking in holiday spirit. In fact, far from it! While the weather may be frightful in much of the nation during the holidays, Las Vegas is teeming with outdoor attractions and activities. There are many great things to do outdoors in Las Vegas, which ultimately means you’ll need to choose which fun-filled activities you choose to participate in. There is no shortage of things to look forward to when you decide to vacation in Las Vegas for the holidays, from water sports like kayaking to hiking and even skiing. From the water to the trails, Blazin Paddles has you covered when it comes to choosing fun wintertime events that everyone in the family can enjoy.


When rivers, ponds, and other waterways are covered in ice during the winter months, kayakers are itching for a place to go where they can still get out on the water. Fortunately, Las Vegas is one great destination for people who are interested in kayaking in Vegas. Blazin Paddles offers top destinations for kayakers ranging in skill level from novice to experienced. Kayaklasvegas adventures are available in half-day to full-day excursions, and they are suitable for the entire family. Kayakers can choose from several options for kayaking in Vegas, including a scenic tour along the Colorado River that may also include stops at some terrific beaches along the way. You may even get a preview of the Hoover Dam, depending on the expedition that you choose.


Ice Skating

Ice skating is an activity that you may associate with colder areas of the country. However, even though Las Vegas has a mild winter climate, it is still possible to put on a pair of skates and go ice skating in Sin City! Great ice skating can be found at the Cosmo, which is one of the top hotels in the city. The Cosmo offers a place to sleep and other amenities in addition to ice skating, which means that you can easily incorporate ice skating into part of your longer-term plan for staying in Las Vegas during the holiday season.

Ice Skating


Shopping is a natural part of the holiday experience. However, shopping in Las Vegas takes holiday shopping to a whole new level. Las Vegas has hundreds of stores that are suitable for all your holiday shopping needs. Additionally, Las Vegas has many stores and shopping malls that are decked out in bright lights and fantastic colors. You’ll have just as much fun looking at the stores as you will shopping in them. And be on the lookout for deals and savings, as Las Vegas is known for having a number of great holiday specials and opportunities to save money.



The Bellagio Conservatory is a spectacular place to visit any time of the year, but it is an especially appealing destination during the holiday season. The Bellagio is a large indoor garden that changes every season, which means that you’ll always find something new, even if you visit the Bellagio Conservatory year after year. No matter when you go, you will find no shortage of spectacular garden decorations, along with a festive and simply magical display.


Christmas Shows

A Christmas celebration wouldn’t be complete without a holiday show. Las Vegas is known for its epic shows to start with, so it’s no surprise that the city is also home to some of the top Christmas shows in the country. Many feature great light displays and other stunning visual effects. You’ll leave a show feeling invigorated and probably with many ideas to incorporate into your own Christmas parties.

Glittering Lights Las Vegas

If you’ve ever felt that it’s too cold to get out of your vehicle to watch a light show, or if you’d prefer to watch a light show from a safe social distance, the drive-through light show in Las Vegas will be right up your alley. Glittering Lights Las Vegas is a stunning lights show that takes place at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. This action-packed light show provides quality entertainment for the entire family. It is also one of the largest drive-thrus that you can go to in the state. Some non-Vegas residents choose to rent a car in order to experience the light show as they cruise around Vegas during their vacation.

High Roller

The High Roller is another must-see activity for those who want to spend Christmas in Las Vegas. The High Roller is a wonderful attraction at any time of the year, but it is particularly impressive in the wintertime. The High Roller features a large ferris wheel that has excellent views of the city. You’ll be able to enjoy one of the city’s top Christmas attractions while getting a bird’s eye view of Las Vegas so that you can look down on all the magnificent holiday displays as an added bonus. Since the High Roller is sheltered from the elements, it is a perfect activity to enjoy even if it’s cold out or the weather is not ideal for enjoying traditional outdoor activities.

Aria Spa

If you’re looking for an excuse to take a break and pamper yourself, a visit to the Aria Spa is just what you need. The Spa offers plenty of rest and relaxation. You even have the chance to soak up the scenery as you enjoy a soak in the outdoor pool to help ward off any chill that may be in the air. To ensure you have a chance to soak and relax, you should book a reservation for the Spa in advance. It’s also worth your while to block out a whole spa day, complete with several different treatments for a truly relaxing experience.

Linq Promenade

If slowing down during the holidays is more your style, the Linq Promenade will be the perfect destination. The Linq Promenade offers the opportunity to slowly walk around and enjoy the decorative sights and sounds of the holidays in Las Vegas. The promenade has many fantastic shops too, which means you can get your holiday shopping done at a more leisurely pace than most people. If you find that you are shopping until you drop, you can refresh and replenish your body and mind with nearby spas, restaurants, and many options for fun and entertainment. There is also plenty of nightlife at the promenade in case you find that your shopping trip extends well into the evening.

Ethel M Chocolate Factory

The holidays are often associated with food, which makes a stop at the Chocolate Factory a natural option. The Ethel M Chocolate Factory features free samples and a range of goods including cremes, truffles, ice cream, cordials, and other delicacies. Wine and chocolate pairings are available for adults.

From a day outside with a kayaklasvegas expedition to an outdoor spa at the Aria, there are many wonderful things to do outdoors in Las Vegas. You can easily arrange a day of kayaking in Las Vegas with Blazin Paddles, which can also provide recommendations for holiday activities that the family will talk about long after the holiday season has passed.

kayaklasvegas expedition

Holiday Kayaking Tips

Holiday Kayaking Tips

If you are a skilled kayaker, you are likely looking to get out on the water every chance that you can. Kayaking is one of the cool things to do in Vegas in all seasons, provided you make the right preparations and precautions to ensure you can enjoy kayaking safely and confidently even during the cooler times of the year. Additionally, you may also be planning a trip to Las Vegas this winter and think that kayaking is one of the most appealing and unique things to do in Las Vegas during the holidays if shopping and battling the crowds is not your cup of tea. Whether you are looking to stay fit out on the water during the holidays or you are planning to incorporate a kayaking trip into your vacation plans, Blazin’ Paddles has some recommendations for making the most of your experience out on the water.

Kayak Tours

Kayak tours offered by Blazin’ Paddles provide a fun and unforgettable experience for the entire family. Kayaking tours go through the Colorado River and offer breathtaking views of Hoover Dam and other natural wonders. When you go with Blazin’ Paddles, you’ll have the advantage of traveling with a well-trained guide. You can choose from half-day to full-day expeditions depending on your comfort and skill level. You also have the option of taking a tour with a guide or doing a self-guided tour. Departure times vary for tours to provide flexible arrangements. You’ll get great views of the Colorado River no matter which tour you choose to go on, along with other great sights such as the Black Canyon. Full-day tours are also an option for kayakers who want to spend even more time out on the water. The Twilight Paddle package also includes a stop at Willow Beach and the chance to stop and toast marshmallows.

Considerations to Keep in Mind

A full or half-day out on the Colorado tops the list when you are looking for fun things to do outdoors in Las Vegas. However, you’ll want to prepare for your kayaking excursion to ensure a smooth and enjoyable trip down the Colorado.

Get the Right Boat

Like wearing the right pair of sneakers, getting the right kind of kayak is essential to ensure that you have a fun and relaxing time out on the water. If you’re wondering, “where do I find a good kayak near me?”, the staff at Blazin’ Paddles will gladly assist. The boat that you get is dependent on several factors, including your skill level, the type of water that you will be kayaking on, and budget. A professional can help you select the right kayak and explain the differences among the various types of boats. Generally, boats are categorized as either sit-on-top kayaks or boats with a cockpit that you simply climb into. Sit-on-top kayaks are simpler to enter and exit. They are also a good option for people who may otherwise feel claustrophobic or uncomfortable sitting in a regular kayak. If you are looking to save money, you’ll be glad to know that sit-on-top kayaks are some of the least expensive types of boats that you can buy. They are easy to modify to meet your specific needs, too. Sit-on-top kayaks can be outfitted with spray skirts that are made to keep you dry.

Along with choosing the style of boat that you want to get, you should also look for a kayak made for the specific type of kayaking that you plan to do. Long-distance kayakers should consider getting a touring kayak, which has a long and slender design that helps propel the boat through the water in an energy-efficient manner. Touring kayaks can also reach greater speeds than other kinds of boats.

Get the Right Boat

Gather Your Supplies

Choosing a kayak is only part of the preparations you’ll need to make for a smooth and enjoyable journey. You will also need to have all the right supplies on board or close by, including:

  • Personal flotation device
  • Headlamp
  • Signaling whistle
  • Towline
  • Paddling knife
  • Dry bag
  • Water
  • Snacks

Personal flotation devices are required by law in many places for kayakers and boaters. There are personal flotation devices designed specifically for kayaking to make your outings safer and more comfortable, which is key if you’ll be out on the water for long periods of time. If you are unsure about what kind of flotation device to get, ask a professional to help you choose the right one.

A headlamp and a signaling whistle are items that you’ll want to have for safety purposes. If you are planning to be out kayaking early in the day or later in the evening, it is a good idea to go out with a headlamp to see more easily and make yourself more visible to other people out boating. A headlamp is also useful even during the day if you plan to go kayaking in places with more boat traffic. A whistle is also a good idea for safety. Having a whistle with you makes it easy to send a distress signal to others if you get into trouble. A paddling knife is another useful aid that doubles as a safety item and a practical tool. A paddling knife comes in handy if you need to cut a rope when you are boating. If you happen to get stuck on the water and need a ride to shore, a towline will come in handy to help out.

Along with the other gear you bring along, don’t forget to pack the items you need for the day to stay fueled and hydrated. You should take healthy snacks such as fruit, nuts, and granola bars. It is a good idea to avoid perishables, as they will likely go bad if you are out paddling for several hours at a time.

Gather Your Supplies


Storage will also be important when you are kayaking. You should find a way to store your items so that they stay dry and protected while you are kayaking. A dry bag is a good tool to keep all your kayaking equipment and gear organized and within close reach. Additionally, a dry bag will protect any valuables and electronics that you bring along. While you won’t need to keep your personal items in storage off the water, you will still want to have a place to stash all of your kayaking gear. Having a storage container at home makes it easy to locate all your kayaking equipment when needed.

Choose the Right Clothes

Having the right clothing is critical for a fun kayaking trip. A good rule of thumb is to dress in layers. If kayaking tours top the list of options in your mind for cool things to do in Vegas, you’ll want to go prepared for a fun day. Be sure to wear or pack a lightweight jacket, along with gloves and waterproof shoes. Wearing a hat and sunscreen is also recommended. If you plan to stop and swim at all, bring or wear a bathing suit and a change of clothing.

Go With a Group

If you are looking for things to do outdoors in Las Vegas with like-minded people, kayaking with a group is a great option. Choosing a group with similar experience levels is the best way to ensure a fun and enjoyable group activity.

Go With a Group

If you’re wondering, “where do I kayak near me in Vegas?”, contact Blazin’ Paddles. You can learn more about kayaking opportunities and fun things to do in Las Vegas by contacting us today.

where do I kayak near me in Vegas?

Outdoor Winter Activities the Whole Family Will Love

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In some parts of the country, winter means a six-month stretch where you might try to limit your time outdoors. Parents and kids who decide to skip out on outdoor activities during the winter might think they’re making the right choice, but everyone tends to end up with cabin fever.

Winter’s chilly winds might tempt you and the family to stay inside, but there’s tons of fun to be had outdoors! From classic snowy pastimes to seasonal spins put on our favorite games to play outside, there’s plenty to keep you busy this winter.

Get ready to move, make some memories, and get the whole family involved in some winter wonderland action with these outdoor activities everyone can enjoy!

Fun Family-Friendly Outdoor Winter Activities

Throw on a winter coat, lace up some sleek suede sneakers, and get ready to make the most of what winter throws your family’s way this season!

Snowball Fights

Snowball fights are included in every holiday movie for a good reason. They’re a fun way to get the family running around, playing together, and outside when we might be tempted to stay indoors. Of course, snowball fights don’t need to turn dangerous, so make sure to explain to your kids that this is play time and not an actual fight.

Winter Hikes

If your family enjoys walking together in the warmer months, there’s nothing that says you can’t hit the trails during the winter! Make sure to equip everyone with a three-layer outfit for cold weather and you’ll be surprised at how comfortable it actually is to spend time outside when the temperatures are near the teens and twenties.

Take the Family Ice Skating

One of the best activities to take your kids to when they’re young is the ice rink! When kids learn to ice skate at a young age, this gives the family ample opportunities to make this a winter tradition as they grow up. Most places let you rent skates on-site, so no worries if you’re not equipped to hit the rink. A family ice skating trip is a definite must this winter!

Build a Snowman

There’s never a bad time to build a snowman. Especially if your little ones are crazy about Olaf from Frozen, encourage them to build their own snowman instead of watching the same movie all season long. That being said, not all snow is going to be optimal for a snowy friend, so be sure to keep an eye on the right time to build a snowman. Place the snowman near a window where the kids can see them first thing in the morning and right before bed. This way, a fun outdoor winter activity can turn into a temporary member of the family for a short while!

Host a Bonfire Night

Bonfires are fun in the summer, but if you haven’t tried one in the winter you’ll want to make that happen this season. Thanks to the warmth of the fire, you’ll be comfortable and cozy with hot chocolate and blankets, even when spending the evening outside! Pair some sweaters and hats with a cute pair of women’s suede sneakers and you might even get a holiday card photo opportunity out of the activity!

Make Snow Angels

Lastly, this outdoor winter activity can be a really fun way to use a fresh yard of snow for a cute photo and ongoing seasonal tradition. Line up the family for snow angels and take a photo. As the years go on, you’ll love seeing those little tiny angels grow bigger and bigger. It’s a memory that is sure to keep you warm during these cold winter months and all year long.

When you think of a perfect day spent outside in the winter, what’s on your activity list? Let us know what we missed and bundle up this winter for outdoor fun!

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