FAQ

Why does the shuttle only have certain hotel pick ups on the Las Vegas Strip?

The tour shuttle has specific pick up locations on the Las Vegas Strip to ensure that our guests spend the least amount of time on the tour bus. We have picked hotels with quick and easy access to the back streets so we can spend less time in traffic and more time on the river. If you are staying at a different hotel on the strip other than the allotted locations, it should be no more than a 10 minute walk to the closest pick up. You may also meet us at our office or the launch site, if you prefer less time on the shuttle.

If you or your group would like to be picked up at a location other than one of the locations listed on the booking form, please email Blazin’ Paddles by replying to your confirmation email. Our dispatch will let you know whether or not we can confirm your pickup location. Otherwise, please arrange to get to one of our many pickup points. Please remember, that although we provide complimentary shuttles for designated pickup points, you will not be reimbursed for the cost of getting to a designated pickup point. Similarly, if you decide to drive to Willow Beach Marina, the Park Service will charge you $25 to park your car and this fee will not be reimbursed by Blazin’ Paddles.

What do I need wear and what should I bring?

We always recommend closed toe water shoes or sneakers you do not mind getting wet because, we will be on desert terrain with a lot of different sized rocks, in and out of the water. Dress accordingly to the weather, it is normally best to wear athletic and outdoor type of clothing that dries fast. During our warmer months, you will have the opportunity to swim! You can wear your swim wear under your clothes. We always also recommend wearing a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen (sunburn is never fun)!

Blazin’ Paddles does not provide any lockers. The less you bring will be better. If you have personal belongings you are able to store them in your kayak hatches; however, we can not guarantee it will stay dry. If you need to protect any of your belongings from getting wet, please use some type of waterproof protection. We do sell waterproof phone cases ($5) and dry bags at our office (starting at $15) before tour. On the full-day tour you will need a government-issued picture ID. You might also want to bring a little cash to spend at the Marina store after your trip or for gratuities. Please try to leave purses and handbags and other bulky items at home, in your hotel or car, as we again we do not have lockers for belongings.

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 if the weather is bad?

We run our tours rain or shine! However, if are going to experience inclement weather that may deem unsafe, we reserve the right to cancel any tour departure for weather/safety reasons and will provide a full refund for any tour cancelled by the company. The decision is made by the head guide the day before your tour date (as close as we can get to look at the weather forecast). We will either send out a confirmation for your tour or let you know the options if the tour is canceled. Please see our cancelation and change policies for more details.

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.

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.

Do I pay per person or per boat?

All Blazin’ Paddles prices are per person. We do ask you as a courtesy whether you would be more comfortable in a single kayak or a double kayak. If you are bringing younger children we may require them to be in a tandem kayak with a parent, but all prices for all tours are per person.

Will we go to Emerald Cave?

Emerald Cave is a very beautiful part of our 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!

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.

Booking a Tour the same Day as your Flight

Please do not book a tour on the day your flight arrives in Las Vegas. If there is any problem with your flight and you have to cancel, we cannot issue a refund because your cancellation will be within 48 hours of departure. Please keep in mind pick ups on the Las Vegas Strip usually start up to 2 hours before the launch time. Similarly, please do not book a tour if your flight departs from Las Vegas before 8pm on the evening of your tour. Although, we can almost always get you back to our office before 6pm, there is never a guarantee because of accidents or traffic. Please see our policies for more details.

There is a high heat warning in Vegas, is it still safe to go?

Summers on the river can easily be over 110 degrees. Luckily the water is a crisp, refreshing 52 degrees which makes your time on the water very enjoyable with options to swim in the crystal clear Colorado River and mess around with squirt guns. Due to this beautiful cold water, we will never cancel our tours because it’s too hot or high heat warnings in the area. You are more than welcome to cancel 48 hour hours of your tour (please see our cancellation policy for full details). Kayaking on the river with us is where you should be when its hot!

When I sign up for a 7am, 10:30 am or 12:00pm tour what does that time mean?

The times you reserved are what we call “launch times.” That is the time the tour is scheduled to be on the water. All pick ups on the Las Vegas strip can occur up to 2 hours before the launch time. It takes about 45 minutes from Las Vegas to get to our launch destination.

For example: on our full day tour,  the tour time or launch time is 7am. However, we have to meet our escort who accompanies us through the secure zone of the Hoover Dam, by 6:20 am. Pick up times on the strip are normally between 5:00-5:30am. When you make your reservation and select a pick-up location, you will receive a message telling you the approximate time for your pick-up. Please provide us with a mobile number on your reservation, we will text you the day before the tour to confirm the exact time and details of the pick-up location for your tour. We will also need to know whether you want to reserve a double or a single kayak. For our overseas guests, if we do not have a working cell number, we will send you an WhatsApp message or email reminder with your pickup details the night before the tour.

I don't want to take the shuttle, can I meet the tour directly there?

Absolutely! For our half day and twilight tour, please meet us at Willow Beach Marina (25804 Willow Beach Rd, Willow Beach, AZ 86445). The meet time is normally about 15 minutes before the launch time. Your tour guides will have you sign a waiver and give you a safety briefing before starting. On our 7am full day tour, please meet us at our store inside the Hoover Dam Lodge (18000 US-93, Boulder City, NV 89005). The meet time is normally 6:20am but you will still need to take the shuttle back with us as it is a one way trip down the river. We have a discounted rate for meeting us directly at the launch sites, email us for details!

I'm coming just for your tour, where should I stay?

If you are just passing by or not interested in staying at the busy Las Vegas strip, our store is located inside the Hoover Dam Lodge.

The Hoover Dam Lodge hotel and casino offers discounted room rates to our guests! Please call their reception (702- 293-5000) to book. We also offer discounted rates for staying or meeting at the Hoover Dam Lodge. Please email us for more information. You must book directly through our website to receive discounts. We are unable to adjust payments through 3rd party reservations.

 

Children

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.

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.

I have never been kayaking before, should I go?

Whether this is your first time in a kayak, or a seasoned veteran, we invite all skill levels to enjoy the beautiful Black Canyon! The crystal clear water of the Colorado River is quite tame in this area, since you will be paddling between two dams. However, we do ask that you consider your athletic ability on the full-day tour, because this will be a very active 12-mile paddle without a downstream current to assist you and often against the prevailing upstream winds. If you are concerned about the distance and your athletic ability, we do offer a half-day tour with almost all of the beauty and fun of the full day!

Do we encounter wind?

It is always a possibility that we will encounter some wind on the tour. Your guide will give you a brief before the start of the day on what to expect and how to deal with it if it happens. Sadly, sometimes we have to cancel our tours because of bad weather conditions. We know that you have been looking forward to this for a long time, but we pride ourselves on your safety and would never sacrifice that to take you out in dangerous weather. Of course all cancellations on our part is a full money back guarantee or a reschedule to a better day.

I am a local, where do I meet the tour?

We love having locals on tour with us! If you are a local, please meet us at our retail store inside the Hoover Dam Lodge. Our store location is last to be picked up and first to be dropped off from the shuttle service on the strip. We do have a discounted rate for our locals! Please email us for details. If have you received a discounted rate, you are required to meet at our store inside the Hoover Dam Lodge or Willow Beach Marina (Half Day/Twilight Tours) and Hoover Dam Lodge (Full Day Tour).

Can I be picked up at locations other than those listed?

If you or your group would like to be picked up at a location other than one of the locations listed on the booking form, please email Blazin’ Paddles by replying to your confirmation email. Our dispatch will let you know whether or not we can confirm your pickup location. Otherwise, please arrange to get to one of our many pickup points. Please remember, that although we provide complimentary shuttles for designated pickup points, you will not be reimbursed for the cost of getting to a designated pickup point. Similarly, if you decide to drive to Willow Beach, the Park Service will charge you $25 to park your car and this fee will not be reimbursed by Blazin’ Paddles.

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!

How many people will be on my tour?

We are a small group operator. There will rarely be more than 14 people on a tour and usually 12.

Do the kayaks flip?

We provide you with top of the line 15 -17 foot touring kayaks that glide on the water. You are sacrificing stability that you would normally get with smaller 12-foot recreational kayaks. Flipping, although rare, does happen from time to time. All of our guides are trained to get you back into your boats safely, and in a timely fashion. Don’t worry; the water is too cold for the rattlesnakes! If you are concerned about flipping, please consider using a double kayak, which are much harder to flip. Always ensure that the hatches are securely fastened to avoid losing your valuables if you do flip! We are not responsible for lost items.

Do you have items we might need for tour for purchase?

After we pick everyone up, we stop at our store inside the Hoover Dam Lodge to fill out liability waivers and use the restrooms before we head to the river. You will have the opportunity to purchase any last minute merchandise at that time.

Our most popular items for purchase: water shoes $15/dry bags $15-25/phone protectors $5/hats $10-$18  *all items are subject to availability*

Will I be getting wet?

The answer to this one is easy, YES! Best-case scenario you will be getting at least knee deep in water! Please dress accordingly with bathing suits and non-cotton t-shirts. We highly recommend wearing athletic type clothing that can dry fast. The full-day tour visits amazing 100-degree hot spring pools, and there will be plenty of opportunities to swim.

How long does it take to get to the river?

For the half-day tour it will take about 20 minutes from the last pick up at our store inside the Hoover Dam Lodge to get to the river. Our office is about 40 minutes from the Strip, depending on traffic on the route to the river. The total length of time, of course, depends on how many hotel pickups there are and what Strip traffic is like, but can be as much as 90 minutes.

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 I need to bring water or snacks?

We provide you with enough water and snacks on all of our tours, but you are more than welcome to bring your own.

Is a camera worth bringing?

Absolutely! You will have breathtaking scenic views all day, no matter which tour you decide to go on. You will have compartments on your kayak that will be able to store your personal belongings. However, these compartments only work as well as you fit the cap on correctly. If you are worried about ruining your camera please bring a dry bag, or purchase a waterproof phone case at our store before embarkation.

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.

Vouchers & Promo Codes

From time to time, Blazin’ Paddles will have promotions that use Promo Codes or Vouchers. All of these promotions require online booking. The difference between a voucher and a promo code is that the voucher will have a unique redemption code, whereas the Promo Code can typically be used more than once. However, whether it is a Promo Code or a Voucher, the code will need to be entered in the “VOUCHER” section when you book.

Live Inventory

The inventory on our website is live and is integrated with our reservation system.  It is updated automatically and immediately as soon as someone makes a reservation. We would love to talk to you about booking future dates if you’d like to call us, but we really are going to be looking at the same availability you are.

Do I need to tip my guide? 

Although tipping is not required, it is a great way to show appreciation to your guide if you think they did a great job! If you have two guides on your tour they will always equally share the tips!

Your wonderful pets!

We love all of our pets and we know you do, too. However, that may not be the case for all of our guests, so please leave your pets at home. It is our policy not to allow pets on our kayak tours.