Will we go to Emerald Cave?

Emerald Cave is a very beautiful part of our half-day tour, and we spend the same amount of time in the cave as all the other outfitters. The cave itself if relatively small, and the main draw of the cave is the water lighting up the beautiful emerald green colors that you can see in pictures. However that lighting can change depending on a couple different factors; time of day, time of year, and weather (sunlight). It can be a great picture opportunity, but it is a small part of our tour, and shouldn’t be seen as the main attraction!

Our full-day tour will stop by Emerald Cave if time permits.

We will see wildlife during the tour?

There is always a possibility of seeing some of the desert wildlife during our tours; as we will be in the Lake Mead National Recreational Area. Our guides are habitually on the lookout to spot big horn sheep, coyotes, eagles, and much more for you! Remember if we do encounter any wildlife, we must respect all animals and plants. We are in their home technically! Follow the Leave No Trace principles when outdoors.

What time will we be done and back to the strip?

For the 10:30am half day tour, you are done on the water about 1:30pm. Your tour guides will need a moment to reload the kayaks and equipment and the river is about 45 minutes from town. We normally get our guests back to the Las Vegas Strip around 3pm-4pm depending on how many drop offs there will be for the day and as long as there is no traffic or accidents along the way that is out of our control! The same for the following tours:

12:00pm half day tour get backs to the strip normally between 4:30pm-5:45pm

7am full day tour gets back to the strip normally between 3pm-4pm.

Twilight tour depends on the time of year, but normally between 10pm-12am.

What’s included in the tour?

At Blazin’ Paddles we try to make sure that the price you see includes everything for almost all people: all your kayaking equipment (kayak, paddles & lifejacket), guides, water, snacks and shuttle service on the Las Vegas Strip. Lunch is included ONLY on the full-day tour.

There are certain restrictions or exclusions; we do not provide personal gear such as shorts, shoes, t-shirts, hats, sunglasses, sunscreen lotion, or water protective dry bags. However, if you’ve forgotten anything, all of that is available at the office for sale. We pick up from certain downtown and Strip hotels as well as from our office. Please see the pickup location page for details on all of these locations. So, if you need to travel to one of those pickup points, that is not included in your price. Similarly, if you meet us at Willow Beach, the Park Service will charge you $25 to park your car and that is also not included in your price, nor will it be refunded to you. If you have any specific questions about what is included in the price, please feel free to email us.

Should I do the full-day tour or the half-day tour?

The full day tour is simply amazing. It may well be a once in a lifetime paddle. However, although the river is not technically difficult, there is often an upstream breeze that makes paddling a good workout. Remember, the Colorado River at this point is also known as Upper Mojave Lake because there is a dam at both ends. This means that, unless there is a water release from the dam, there is no downstream flow to help you paddle. So, the full-day tour is going to be a 6-7 hour, 13-mile paddle, often against a prevailing wind. It is an aerobic workout. Beginner paddlers ought to consider the half-day tour first, as should anyone who is in doubt about their athletic ability. The half-day tour is a round trip, so if you encounter any difficulty, one of our guides can always turn around early with you and help you out. However, the full-day tour is a one-way trip and there is no going back. The put-in for the full-day tour is access controlled by Homeland Security. We are required to move away from the launch site and continue downstream. There are no easy exits. Once you start, you must continue, so please be confident of your athletic ability before you book the full-day tour. The half-day tour is a fun 3 hour paddle that gives you a great taste of the Black Canyon and includes many of the highlights of the full-day tour including the Emerald Cave and many historic sites. The half-day tour is also suitable for younger guests. Once again, please take this caution seriously, if you are in any way concerned about your athletic ability, please choose the half-day tour.

Single or Double Kayak?

You are going to be asked several times whether you want to be in a single or a double kayak. Unlike some other tour operators, Blazin’ Paddles will never require an adult to be in a double kayak if they don’t want to. We have enough single and tandem kayaks for everyone to have their choice of kayak. Having said that, if you are a couple or a family and have never been kayaking OR it’s been a while since you’ve hit the gym, we thoroughly recommend that you consider using a double kayak. If you have booked the tour on your own, you are welcome to join a guide in a double. Not only are double kayaks easier to paddle, they are less likely to flip. The more chance there is of wind on your tour, the more you ought to consider using a double. If you weigh less than 120lbs and do not regularly work on upper body strength, you may also want to consider a double kayak.


Although we do not offer child rates, children of certain ages and abilities are welcome on our tours. We do not have hard and fast rules, but we like to discuss these issues with parents before booking. On the full-day tour, children 16 years and older are usually fine in a single kayak, provided that they either have previous kayak experience or are very athletic. The full-day tour may not be technically difficult, but it is a long strenuous day. Children less than 16 years old should be in a double kayak with a parent for the full-day tour. The full-day tour is not suitable for kids under 14. Similar policies apply for the Twilight Paddle, not because it is strenuous, but just because it is a tour designed for adults. The half-day tour is where kids have the most fun. Kids 14 and up, who are athletic, have been very successful on their own in a single kayak on the half-day tour unless the wind comes up. We’ve had children as young as 8 on the half-day tour, but children under 14 should be in a double kayak with a parent. If the weather report calls for any wind during your tour, we strongly advise families to use double kayaks for all of their children. Unaccompanied kids 16 & older may be booked on our half-day tour with the prior approval of the Blazin’ Paddle Head Guide.

Will there be time for swimming?

Both the full day and half day tours will take you to beaches where you can enjoy the beautiful crystal clear waters of the Colorado River!

I cannot swim, should I go?

If you are willing to face your fears of the water, we are willing to take you. It is the law enforced by the National Park Rangers to be wearing your life jacket when on the water at all times. In fact you would be fined $200 if you are not wearing it. So those who cannot swim will have no problem on this kayak trip!

Do you have a weight limit? I’m concerned I won’t fit in the kayak.

We don’t have a set weight limit because fitting in a kayak has more to do with your body shape than your weight. Similarly, being able to handle the full-day tour has more to do with your athletic ability and upper body strength than your weight. In fact, smaller guests with little arm strength might have more of a challenge than large guests with good upper body strength. If you have a pear-shaped body (upward triangle), we generally find that the upper weight limit for a guest to safely paddle a kayak is around 250 lbs. If you have a rectangular body shape or an apple body shape (downward triangle), we generally find that the upper weight limit for a guest to safely paddle a kayak is around 280 lbs. Our cockpits/portholes seats in the kayaks are about 18in in width (hip to hip). If you are concerned, please let us know and we will discretely help you make your go or no-go decision.

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