Posts Tagged ‘black canyon kayak tour’

Top Kayaking Safety Tips for An Unforgettable Excursion

Of all the Las Vegas activities you can participate in, kayaking tops the list. After all, nothing beats a glorious afternoon paddling down the Colorado River with family and friends. To make the most of your Las Vegas kayak experience, you’ll want to know some basic safety tips for when you are out on the water, regardless of whether you are paddling solo or venturing down the river with others.

Use a Life Jacket

According to the American Canoe Association, nearly half of all kayaking fatalities result from not wearing a personal flotation device. For canoers, that statistic is even higher. Simply investing in a life jacket and taking several seconds to put it on before you get out in the water can save your life! If you need help selecting a life jacket, you can always ask the experts at Blazin’ Paddles for recommendations or follow guidelines on personal flotation devices set by the US Coast Guard. No matter what brand of life jacket you choose, be sure to get one that is specifically made for kayaking for maximum safety and comfort.

Wear a Helmet

If you will be kayaking in rougher conditions such as fast-flowing rivers, you may want to wear head protection. Some locations may even require you to wear a helmet when you are out boating. As with a life jacket, you’ll want to look for a comfortable helmet, fits snugly, and is designed for kayaking. A kayaking helmet should also be waterproof, which is important for the helmet’s safety and longevity.

Choose Your Spot


The ideal spot for your Las Vegas kayak outing varies depending on your abilities, experience, skill level, and goals. No matter where you choose to start, your chosen launch spot should have numerous places to go ashore, minimal boat traffic, and easy access for launching. If you are not yet comfortable loading and unloading the boat on your own, ask a friend or fellow kayaker to go with you for assistance. If you’re new to kayaking, it never hurts to have another person out on the water with you, either.

Along with having easy access to the water, look for a kayaking spot that has shallow waters for launching. You should also aim to launch in calmer waters, such as tranquil rivers, ponds, or quiet lakes if you are new to kayaking. As your skills improve, you can start in areas with choppier waters, windy places, and streams or rivers with small waves.

Dress for the Weather

When you’re planning outdoor activities in Las Vegas, it’s important to dress for the weather. Temperatures can get very hot during the day, especially in the summer, but they can be significantly lower in the morning and evening. Therefore, it’s a good idea to dress in layers to prepare for fluctuating temperatures. Additionally, you’ll want to either wear clothing with sun protection or use sunscreen, as you may be exposed to the sun for long periods out on the water. If your eyes are sensitive to the sun’s rays, consider wearing protective eye wear as well. The footwear that you use for kayaking should be comfortable, water-resistant, and not slippery. No matter when and where you are planning to kayak, always check the weather forecast before heading out. If the forecast calls for thunderstorms or severe weather, consider other things to do in Las Vegas for the day and save kayaking for a clear day.

Follow the Rules

As with driving a car, there are “rules of the road” that boaters must follow on waterways. If you’re boating alone, look up the local boating rules in advance. Along with knowing the local regulations, it’s always a good idea to wear brightly colored clothing for visibility and put reflective tape on your paddles. You should also wear a whistle around your neck or otherwise keep it within close reach. If you are kayaking in a spot with buoys, make sure you know what the colors mean.

Practice Re-Entering

Getting into and out of your kayak onshore may not seem that difficult, but re-entering your boat on the water can be a different story. If you fall out or flip your boat on the water, learning to climb back in and turn the boat right-side up can be challenging. Before heading out on a more serious kayaking adventure or kayaking alone, practice re-entering in a safe place with calm waters.

Practice Safety Maneuvers

At the very least, you should know three safety maneuvers when kayaking:

  • Capsize
  • Wet entry
  • Eskimo roll

Capsizing is one of the primary risks when kayaking. If you are kayaking in a sit-in kayak or using a spray skirt, you’ll need to learn how to release the skirt when you’re in the water and propel yourself out of the cockpit. After you’ve capsized, the next step is getting back in. If you are just learning to re-enter your boat, try to find a buddy who can stabilize your boat as you climb back in. The Eskimo roll is a more advanced maneuver that involves righting your kayak after capsizing while remaining in the boat. This technique should be learned by a skilled instructor and practiced in a pool or still waters to start.

Check Your Equipment

Before each outing in your kayaking, check your equipment to make sure it is working properly. That includes giving your boat a physical inspection and checking your personal safety equipment including your life jacket and a helmet if you plan to use one.

Stay Vigilant

Although it’s natural to get caught up in the breathtaking scenery around Las Vegas, remember to stay aware of your surroundings when you’re out kayaking. Before you leave, tell others about your plans and your approximate itinerary.

For kayak safety tips or to perfect your kayaking skills, contact Blazin’ Paddles. Blazin’ Paddles offers half-day to full-day kayaking tours led by experienced professional guides. A tour is a great way to learn about local kayaking hot spots while meeting new people and building your confidence and skills.

Hike Highlight of the Week: Fortification Hill

High Highlight of the Week: Fortification Hill- Lake Mead National Recreation Area By: Lindy Doyle

Fortification Hill is that hike that I heard about for years. Being a Boulder City local, it is a well known hike. This was also a hike I was always a little intimated of. I heard that it is tough to get to in a non 4 x 4 car (which I don’t have) and that it was very difficult and pretty much straight up. Finally, I decided to suck it up and finally do it and it was an experience I am sad it took me so long to have!

 

The top of the ‘hill’ itself can be seen from anywhere if you are heading toward Lake Mead. The tall flat black top hill, that from the road looks like a mountain going up to a flat surface. That’s what makes this hike so interesting. Getting to the top involves steep hills and scrambling up cliffs, all with miles of hilly desert as your background. Once you finally get to the top it is like a whole different world. You are now on a flat surface for the rest of the walk, with black volcanic rocks.

This is an ancient mesa that over the millions of years it has spread, causing magma from the Earth to seep out of it. It was not a volcano where the magma spouted out, it was a natural occurrence over many years. As the magma welled up and came out it cooled into basalt, which is the volcanic rock you see at the top flat surface.

Such cool history, fun hike and the views are well worth the scramble up!

 

The view includes:

-Lake Mead

-Las Vegas Strip

-Mike O’Callaghan and Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge

-Desert and hills for miles

If you have some time and ready for a burning leg and booty workout, I highly suggest going out on this hike!

 

Tips:

-Make sure you have enough water and wearing the right shoes! This is a difficult hike so you want to be as hydrated and comfortable as possible.

-The trailhead is deep in the desert with hills, rocks and some off roading. I would not feel comfortable taking my Hyundai, so make sure you feel comfortable with your car getting out there.

-Give yourself some time and patience. We went fairly quickly but I had to take breaks, don’t be a hero, give yourself plenty of time!

Ask-A-Guide Series: Best Part of a Blazin’ Paddles Tour

Written By: Burton Miller (Blazin’ Paddles Tour Guide)

What makes a Blazin’ Paddles Las Vegas kayak tour so fun is that your tour guides are having fun right along with you. We love our jobs, our guests, and we love kayaking on the Colorado River! Here’s what your tour guides had to say about their favorite part of a Blazin’ Paddles tour. Be sure to follow us on Instagram for more kayaking inspiration!

Lauren

I really enjoy meeting people from all over the world, and the almost daily encounters with desert wildlife. I feel so lucky to have the Colorado River as my office, and I enjoy every tour!

Dani

I love being on the river and in Black Canyon, so it’s hard to choose a favorite part! I love every part!

Edgar

Enjoying the crystal clear water and jaw dropping views while paddling with people who enjoy the outdoors as much as I do makes every day unforgettable.

Burton

My favorite part of the tour is on the half-day, after leaving the overlook and you approach the narrowing canyon. All of a sudden you can’t see the bottom of the river anymore and the canyon walls get higher and higher. That view never gets old!

Liz

If you are lucky enough to see the Desert Bighorn Sheep in their natural habitat, and all the other desert wildlife!

Seth

Arizona hot springs on the full day tour. It’s always great to soak!

Ryan

Swimming in the refreshing 52 degree Colorado River and sharing that experience with our guest! Best way to beat the heat in the desert.

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