Blog Article

Black Canyon Wildlife

Posted on: June 14th, 2016

The Black Canyon of the Colorado River is one of the best places to see wildlife in the Las Vegas area. You can see bald eagles, bighorn sheep, large reptiles and even the elusive mountain lion if you’re lucky!


Desert Treasures

Recently we’ve been seeing a lot of bighorn sheep, but they blend so well into the desert, they are even hard to see in our pictures! The desert tortoise is Nevada’s state reptile, also tough to see and they can live up to 50 years old.

Iguanas and lizards are very common and not too difficult to see since they are active all day. The desert iguana can grow up to 14” long and appears dark brown or light tan depending on the time of day. The Gila monster is extremely rare and is one of only two venomous lizards in the world. I’ve only ever seen one and that, unromantically, was in the middle of the road! It’s difficult to comprehend what it is when you finally see one and you think that it’s too fat to be a lizard and too short to be a snake, so what is it?


The one type of wildlife nobody ever seems to want to see are the snakes. There are four types of rattlesnakes in the Black Canyon area and all are to be considered dangerous. Rattlesnake venom is very toxic, so as with all wildlife, we like to view them from a safe distance. Any bite requires immediate evacuation and this includes bites from baby rattlesnakes!


The king snake is one of the most readily identified non-venomous snakes in the Black Canyon area. It’s quite large at up to 42 inches and has a thick body. It’s easily identified by its pattern of black or dark brown rings alternating with white or cream colored rings along its entire body.

Black Canyon Birds

Our guests are often surprised by the number of bald eagles we see. In addition, we have several species of owls in the Black Canyon area as well as hummingbirds and several species of ducks including common mergansers and grebes. The riparian landscape along the river provides an excellent feeding ground for insect-eating birds.

In the river you’ll find a variety of fish including largemouth bass, striped bass, black crappie, bluegill and channel catfish.

So no matter what time of day (or night) you visit Black Canyon, you’re almost certain to see a variety of interesting wildlife that make up a special and unique desert kayak experience to remember.