Las Vegas might be known for its nightlife, but there are also many opportunities to get outside and enjoy the spectacular natural sights surrounding the city. From kayaking to hiking and even taking a helicopter tour, there are many great opportunities for recreational activities just outside of the city. If you’re looking for a break from the action but still want to find some fun things to do in Las Vegas, consider giving these can’t-miss activities a try.
1. Kayak the Colorado River
One of the most rewarding, inspiring, and invigorating of all outdoor Las Vegas activities is a Las Vegas kayak expedition. You’ll find many kayaking opportunities through Blazin’ Paddles, which offers kayaking excursions for kayakers of all ages and experience levels. Various tour packages are available to meet a wide range of interests and needs. You can start out with a half-day tour that includes a four-mile trip with exceptional views of the Black Canyon and shuttle service that conveniently starts and ends at the Las Vegas Strip. You can also sign up for longer tours, such as the Half Day self-guided tour, which allows you to try out Colorado River kayaking at your own pace. More ambitious and experienced kayakers can sign up for a full-day tour, and special tours such as evening outings on the Colorado River, complete with a riverside campfire, are also available.
2. Experience the Grand Canyon
If you are looking for other Las Vegas activities that offer an escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, hiking in the Grand Canyon is an exceptional choice. The Grand Canyon is one of the most beautiful, historic, and majestic natural landmarks in the United States. It offers a peaceful and relaxing escape from the city, and you can certainly work up a sweat hiking its many trails. The Grand Canyon is located just a few hours from Las Vegas. It is easily accessible as a day trip. You can drive to the Grand Canyon if you are renting a car, and you can also get there from Las Vegas by bus. Helicopter tours of the Canyon are also available if you prefer to see the Canyon from above. If you want to explore the Grand Canyon by foot with a more unique twist, consider walking along the Grand Canyon Skywalk, which has a glass bottom. If you decide that one day isn’t enough to explore the Canyon, you can look into camping options available for multi-day stays at the park.
3. Explore Boulder City
Boulder City is another great destination to escape the crowds of Sin City. Boulder City is less than an hour from Las Vegas. It has plenty of small-town charm with friendly and welcoming residents. Its relaxed and laid-back vibe is a refreshing contrast to the fast pace of life in Las Vegas for visitors who want to slow down a bit. There are many quaint cafes and top-notch restaurants to enjoy in Boulder City, too. Several other cultural attractions in the vicinity worth a visit are the Monster Museum and the Dam Short Film Festival. You’ll have to plan a visit around the Film Festival, which takes place once each year, while the Monster Museum is open year-round with entertainment for visitors of all ages.
4. Check Out the Hoover Dam
Hoover Dam is one of the most iconic landmarks in the country, and it is a registered National Historic Landmark. Therefore, a trip to Las Vegas isn’t complete without a trip out to the dam. Hoover Dam was constructed in 1936, and it was once the world’s largest dam. Now you can visit Hoover Dam on foot or take a helicopter tour to get a bird’s eye view of the National Historic Landmark. Tours are available for those who want to learn more about the Hoover Dam, and there is also a visitor’s center onsite with tourism information and a gift shop.
One of the best ways to experience the Hoover Dam is from below on a Las Vegas kayaking tour. Many visitors prefer this option in the summer as a way to beat the heat while still getting to enjoy the historic area.
5. Visit Bryce and Zion National Parks
Bryce and Zion are two majestic national parks located in Southwestern Utah. They offer stunning views, plenty of hiking, and some of the most unique rock formations in the United States. Plant and animal life are also teeming in both parks. If you’re looking to truly get away from it all, you’ll be glad to know that Bryce and Zion aren’t as heavily trafficked as the Grand Canyon. Bryce and Zion are located within a few hours of Las Vegas, which makes them a perfect option for a day trip from the city.
6. Head to Lake Mead
Although Lake Mead is a man-made lake, it is still a great place to go if outdoor activities are on your list when exploring Las Vegas. Lake Mead has all the amenities you need to enjoy a day’s outing, including showers, dining facilities, and more. Here you can be as active or inactive as you’d like, with options ranging from lounging in the sun to hiking, boating, swimming, and jet skiing. Lake Mead also has plenty of picnic spots and beaches. Overall, the lake has 820 miles of shoreline.
7. Hike Valley of Fire State Park
The Valley of Fire State Park is another spectacular natural wonder that you can easily spend a day exploring. Valley of Fire is located less than 10 miles from Lake Mead, which makes it easy to visit both attractions on the same day. Valley of Fire State Park earns its name from the awe-inspiring red sandstone rock formations that are found within its borders. Valley of Fire is the oldest state park in Nevada, and it is one of the most popular parks in the region for photography. Wildlife abounds in this state park, and there are many hiking trails to explore with varying degrees of difficulty.
If you’re looking for a different way to experience Las Vegas, there are many wonderful opportunities to get outside and explore nature and historical landmarks in the area. Contact Blazin’ Paddles for more information and recommendations for enjoying the natural beauty and outdoor activities around Las Vegas.
Are you wondering about such sports that could improve your mental and physical health? Kayaking could offer you these benefits with a lot of fun and enjoyment. You could not only keep your heart, brain and body healthy but also explore the natural beauty as well as discovering new places which you didn’t know existed. These benefits are enough to inspire you for going out on a kayaking experience with the best pedal kayak out there!
Proven physical benefits of kayaking:
1. Helps you achieve an ideal body weight
Kayaking is like an exercise that could help to reduce some weight. Through paddling at five mph, you could burn almost 500 per hour. Maybe you are thinking that you could burn more than this by doing other exercises like running but kayaking is worth the time as you would find more fun and enjoyment than using a treadmill.
Most people do kayaking for the whole afternoon that indicates burning calories about 1600 per session. If you want to lose weight, kayaking would be great for you and keep kayaking a few days per week until you attain your desirable weight.
2. Increases your muscle strength
You have to use your arms when kayaking and thus, your body parts could become toned. The exertion when kayaking would extend the upper muscles like your shoulders, chest and back. Paddling more could help exercising these muscles.
For traveling miles, you would need doing 500 strokes per mile and this depends on some factors. If you just travel two miles, you have done about 1000 repetitions that could increase the strength of the upper body muscles.
3. Develops toned leg
Although your shoulders, back and arms could be developed through kayaking, it could also affect your legs. You use your legs when kayaking and the movements are impactful on your lower limbs like the upper parts.
Your legs should be pressed for keeping balance on your kayak when kayaking. You may loosen and tighten your legs muscles while maneuvering or turn the kayak and you may not know this fact!
4. Strengthens the core muscles
Your oblique, lower back and abdomen are engaged when you do kayaking. You would be contracting the abs in per strokes and contract the muscles on your lower back while you pull. Any twisted motions would engage the oblique. Another effective way for keeping balance is to sit upright or sit on. Thus, kayaking could help to keep the core muscles engaged through the entire activity.
5. Increases endurance
As you do kayaking for hours, it could allow improving your stamina that means you could endure long periods of exertion even without getting fatigue easily. Kayaking for 3 times per week could increase the energy levels up to 20 percent. This may enable you doing your activity longer as well as increase your energy that you could spend on the daily activities.
6. Improves your heart health
Kayaking is a well known aerobic sport that is called cardiac exercise. This workout could strengthen the muscles of your heart and improve the effectiveness to pump your blood. Kayaking also improves the efficiency of the blood circulation and increases the red blood cells amount in your body. It keeps the heart level in control. By doing this workout consistently, you would be working out the heart regularly and make it stronger and more robust.
7. Triggers Vitamin D production
You may find vitamin D in some foods like cheese, fatty fish and beef liver but the area of consuming vitamin D is not limited. We all have vitamin D in the system of our body but they remain inactive. Thus, you need to expose yourself to sunlight for exhibiting its effect.
It is important for making the bones stronger, boosting your immune system, brain development, supporting muscle function and keeping your heart healthy. Luckily, kayaking enables anyone to bask in the ray of the sun that allows the body to exhibit vitamin D.
8. Helps build an optimistic self-image
While paddling a long distance, you could build your confidence level as well as positive self-image. When you face the wilderness of the sea, you find solutions on your own to get rid of problems and this would increase your self-satisfaction and confidence as well as increasing your social skills.
9. Reduces stress
Kayaking is a great way to reduce your stress. You watch your kayak moving by the water through your effort, spend hours under the beautiful sky, see the blue colors of the water, and watch the natural beauty of greens, browns and grays- all of these things could relax your mind and give you an enjoyable experience. You would start to feel amazing even when you are all alone!
10. Improves your mental health
Kayaking positively affects your overall mental health. As your entire body works together for navigating the water, you would be able to clear the mind of negative and unwanted thoughts. Kayaking releases such chemicals into your body that could lift the self-worth, mood and confidence and also provides the sense of keeping your body and mind healthy.
The physical benefits of too many to describe and I have tried to give some of them here. I hope you could easily understand them and start kayaking as a form or aerobic exercise and connect yourself with nature!
Learning to kayak in Las Vegas is a rewarding and enriching experience. After all, you’ll get in shape, explore fantastic sights, and even make new friends along the way. As with other sports, learning to kayak takes some training. There are some technicalities to master if you want to be a pro on the water, which includes learning the different types of strokes that kayakers use.
Get a Grip
Before you learn the different types of strokes required for kayaking, you will want to learn the correct way to grip the paddle. There are two types of grips that kayakers use, which are called “low-hold” and “high-hold.” A low-hold grip is the type of grip you’ll use for propelling the boat forward and maneuvering. A high-hold grip is used to avoid capsizing the boat, rolling, steering, and other more advanced techniques. Both grips can be used to move the boat forward or backward.
The forward stroke is the stroke that you will use most often when kayaking. Therefore, you’ll want to practice this stroke frequently to become comfortable and familiar with it. When you are using the forward stroke correctly, the nose of the boat, which is the front of the boat, will have minimal movement. The type of boat that you use may make it easier or more difficult to control the nose with a forward stroke. Either way, having proper technique is helpful.
There are three phases to the forward stroke, which are:
During the reach phase, you will use your torso, or core, to reach forward with the paddle to about the level of your feet. Dip the blade into the water on the same side so that the blade is about three-quarters of the way in the water.
The power phase is next. Using your back, keep the shaft parallel to the boat as you draw the blade in a straight line smoothly back towards the bow, parallel to your body. The blade shouldn’t make any splashes.
Lastly, when you complete the stroke, lift the blade out of the water and place it back in the water on the other side of the boat. Repeat the process on the other side.
Over time, you will learn to repeat the alternating stroke faster and more efficiently. As you are building your forward stroke skills, make your strokes as smooth as possible and avoid excess movement in the front of the boat. Also, remember to use your torso for the stroke movements rather than your arms. Ultimately, you should be able to use the forward stroke comfortably for even a day-long Colorado River kayaking adventure.
The reverse stroke, as the name implies, is used to help move the boat backward. The reverse stroke is generally a short and fast stroke used to respond to a tight situation, such as if you need to reverse your boat quickly for any reason. To perform this stroke, turn your body clockwise so that you are facing to the right-hand side and your shoulders line up parallel with the boat. Then, dip the blade into the water towards the back of the boat. Push the paddle forward and away from the boat. The blade should face the kayak’s side. Finally, pull the paddle towards the boat, which brings the paddle and kayak closer together. The blade should ultimately end up a few inches from the boat. Pull the paddle towards the back of the kayak and repeat the stroke as needed.
Forward Sweep Stroke
The forward sweep stroke is a stroke that’s used to move the boat sideways when you are paddling in a straight line. For this stroke, turn the paddle horizontally and put the blade in the water on the opposite side of your boat from the direction you intend to turn. Then, move the blade in a “C” shape from the tip of the boat to the rear, creating an arc shape as you go. Once the paddle has reached the end of the boat, pull the blade out of the water quickly and repeat the stroke on the opposite side of the boat. Repeat the steps of the forward sweep stroke until the boat has turned in the direction that you want to go.
Reverse Sweep Stroke
The reverse sweep stroke is similar to the forward sweep stroke, but you’ll use it to turn your kayak to the side as you are moving backward rather than forwards. To start, move the paddle over the side of your boat in a horizontal position. Dip the paddle blade into the water on the side of the boat in the direction you aim to turn. Push the paddle’s blade from the rear of the kayak to the nose. As with the forward sweep stroke, pull the blade rapidly out of the water until you have fully turned in the direction you want to turn.
The kayak spin is a stroke used to turn the boat around when you are otherwise sitting in stationary water. This stroke uses a combination of the front sweep stroke and reverse sweep stroke. Start with the forward sweep stroke, and then switch to the reverse sweep stroke to move the boat in a circle. Repeat both strokes as often as necessary to spin your kayak in a full circle or your desired direction.
Learning to paddle a kayak correctly takes practice and patience, but it is nonetheless a rewarding experience. Practicing your paddling skills is the best way to learn and continue improving. If you want to know “where can I kayak near me?”, contact Blazin’ Paddles for more information. Blazin’ Paddles offers full-day and half-day tours for kayakers of all skill levels and ages. Even if you are just learning the sport, you can get the hang of paddling through a scenic outing such as the Black Canyon kayaking tour. All tours are led by experienced guides who can help you improve along the way.
In today’s fast-paced and tech-centric world, it may seem more challenging than ever to find activities that the whole family enjoys. Kayaking, however, is one of them. Kayaking is a versatile sport that’s accessible to people of all ages and abilities. Children can learn to kayak just as easily as adults, and they can have just as much fun out on the water, if not more!
When Can Children Kayak?
Parents, especially those who enjoy kayaking themselves, may be eager to take their children out on the water as soon as possible. While there is no concrete rule for determining when it’s okay to bring your child out on a kayaking adventure, the United States Coast Guard offers some basic guidelines for adults to help them know when the time is right to bring their child along for the ride. According to the Coast Guard, a child must:
Weigh 18 pounds or more
Be able to float on the water
Be able to sit upright and still
Additionally, children must be able to wear a personal flotation device that fits correctly.
Along with these physical characteristics, the Coast Guard recommends a minimum age of at least two for taking a child out on the water. Children aged two and five should ride in the same boat as their parents. Older children can kayak solo, provided they have a boat matched for their size and skill level and they’re wearing proper safety equipment.
Where to go Kayaking
Many parents ask themselves, “where can I kayak near me with my children?” That’s a great question, and the good news is there are many terrific places in the Las Vegas region. The Colorado River is a magnificent destination for kayaking, and it’s one of the most popular tour routes offered by Blazin’ Paddles. If you want to combine a family kayaking excursion with a bit of local history, you can kayak Hoover Dam, which is one of the nation’s most iconic attractions and a registered National Historic Landmark. Lakes and ponds are also a top choice if your children are just learning how to kayak.
Before heading out on the water, it’s important to have some basic kayaking skills under your belt. At the very least, parents should take a few lessons before taking their children out. Parents can learn basic kayaking techniques and get a better understanding of the best types of kayaks for their children. If you’re already a seasoned kayaker, it’s a good idea to pass along some basic tips to your child. When kayaking with your children rather than going solo, remember that your goals should be adjusted to meet your child’s capabilities on the water rather than your own. If you’re wondering where to go for kayaking lessons, Blazin’ Paddles is a great place to start. Blazin’ Paddles offers kayaking tours of various lengths and in multiple locations for participants ranging from children to adults. The entire family can easily get more comfortable being out on the water and learning about the terrific kayaking destinations in the Las Vegas area through a safe, informative, and educational Blazin’ Paddles tour.
Plan for Emergencies
Accidents can happen on the water, which makes it essential that you’re prepared. Along with taking kayaking lessons, it’s a good idea for parents to take first aid courses before embarking on a kayaking adventure with their children. Additionally, parents should prepare for basic first aid situations before heading out. If a child has allergies, for instance, be sure to take his or her epinephrine injection or other medication prescribed by an allergist. Parents should also bring along sunscreen, insect repellent, and other basics such as food and water for the family.
Out on the water, all family members should wear a snugly-fitting personal flotation device (PFD) at all times. PFDs come in various forms that are ranked according to US Coast Guard recommendations. Generally, PFDs labeled as Type I, Type II, and Type III are best-suited for kayaking. Everyone in the family should also have at least basic swimming skills and be able to float on their own before going kayaking.
Choose Your Boats
To make the most of your kayaking experience, it’s important to have the right kind of boat. There are multiple types of kayaks available to use. One of the most family-friendly and child-friendly is a sit-on-top kayak, which is the widest style and the easiest to get into and out of. Sit-on-top kayaks are also more affordable than other kinds of kayaks, which makes them a good investment for families who are just getting into the sport. If you’re not sure that you are ready to buy a kayak (or fleet of kayaks for the family), you may be able to find a place in the area that offers kayak rentals. This is a good way to try out different types of boats, and the sport of kayaking itself, before making a financial investment.
Document Your Kayaking Trip
Once you’ve figured out all the logistics of your family kayaking adventure, it’s time to get on the water. When you do, don’t forget to bring your camera along for photos. Documenting your time together will ensure that everyone has fond memories of the trip that they can look back on. Photos can also be shared with loved ones and other relatives to show them your outing and the fantastic Las Vegas scenery. Remember to pack your camera in a waterproof bag so that it doesn’t get damaged when you are in the boat.
Kayaking is a fun sport that the whole family can enjoy. Provided your child meets general minimum age and ability recommendations and you have some basic knowledge of kayaking and first aid safety, you’re ready to embark on a transformative aquatic adventure. Don’t hesitate to contact the experts at Blazin’ Paddles to get started with the basics, including booking a Hoover Dam kayak tour for the whole family to comfortably ease into the sport.
When they say kayaking in good for the soul, they aren’t lying.
Research shows that kayaking, whether down on your hometown lake or down the Colorado River in Las Vegas, has tremendous physical and mental benefits.
Why Learn to Kayak?
Kayaking is a popular water sport for people of all ages. Kayaks come in many varieties, including recreational, fishing, whitewater, touring, and sit-on-top designs. Along with kayaking solo, you can also use a tandem kayak that seats two people. Kayaks are specially designed for the type of water-based activity that you’re looking to do, which can range from quietly paddling down the Colorado River to tackling challenging rapids.
Along with simply being a fun and enjoyable activity, kayaking has numerous health and physical benefits.
1. Weight Management
An apple a day might keep the doctor away, but it turns out kayaking can, too. Kayaking can burn up to 500 calories per hour if you’re paddling at an average speed of 5 MPH. Plus, it’s more fun to be out on the water for 60 minutes than stuck indoors on a treadmill or aerobic machine. If you spend an afternoon out kayaking, such as through a scenic and rewarding kayak tour with Blazin’ Paddles, you can burn upwards of 1,500 calories.
2. Increased Upper-Body Strength
Paddling is an excellent upper body workout that can improve your upper body strength and muscle tone. While you rely primarily on your arms to propel yourself through water, you inadvertently use surrounding muscles as well, including the ones in your shoulders, chest, and back. The more you paddle, the more you use those muscles and build muscle tone and strength.
3. Toned Legs
Although you might consider kayaking to be an upper-body activity, it can also help develop your leg tone. You also use your leg muscles for kayaking, especially for balancing or when you need to maneuver and change directions. Over time, those muscles will also become toned as you start to paddle more.
4. More Core Strength
Naturally, as the middle ground between your upper body and legs, your core also becomes stronger and more toned through kayaking. Your core plays a crucial role in helping you stay centered and balanced on the water. The motion of paddling works your lower back, abs, and obliques. Even sitting upright in the boat uses your core muscles, which means you get a minor core workout with every kayaking adventure that you go on.
5. Improved Cardiac Health
Kayaking is a form of cardiac exercise, which means that it gets your blood flowing. Cardiac exercise is optimal for strengthening your heart, which improves its ability to pump blood and regulate circulation. A strong heart also produces more red blood cells. As with other types of physical exercise, the more you kayak, the stronger your heart will become, which provides greater physical benefits.
6. Better Endurance
All the hours that you spend kayaking in Vegas add up to improve your stamina and endurance. Kayaking becomes easier the longer you paddle, which means that you will eventually travel longer and longer distances without getting tired as quickly. Kayaking as little as three times each week can boost your energy levels up to 20%. An added perk of increasing your endurance levels is that you’ll also have more energy to perform your daily activities.
Kayaking is great for the body, but it’s also a perfect activity for the soul. Spending time outside and physical activity are both associated with lower stress levels, which can in turn reduce your risk of illness and alleviate symptoms of some medical conditions.
1. Mood Boost
Kayaking releases certain “feel good” chemicals, including serotonin, dopamine, and endorphins. These chemicals, called neurotransmitters, can put you in a better mood and boost your self-confidence levels. With its ability to make people feel happier, kayaking is a recommended activity for individuals suffering from depression.
2. Improved Focus
The same neurotransmitters that make you feel happier when you’re out paddling can also improve your ability to focus. Norepinephrine, dopamine, and serotonin are three neurotransmitters in particular that are associated with an increase in attention span and the ability to focus. All three chemicals are released through kayaking.
3. Better Memory
Getting regular exercise through kayaking can improve your thinking skills and memory. Just as kayaking can tone specific parts of your body, it can also tone certain areas of your brain. Specifically, kayaking exercises the hippocampus, a portion of your brain largely responsible for verbal memory and learning. Consistently getting out to paddle, even several times each week, will continue to tone and improve the hippocampus region of your brain. Along with toning the area, kayaking also increases blood flow within the brain and stimulates new brain cells.
4. A Good Night’s Sleep
If you regularly toss and turn at night, taking up kayaking may improve your symptoms. Exercising during the day naturally makes you tired, which helps you fall asleep more quickly and sleep more soundly through the night. Overall, you’ll find that your sleep quality improves, and you wake up well-rested the following day, ready to go kayaking again.
If improving your mental and physical health while kayaking the Colorado River Las Vegas sounds appealing, it’s time to contact Blazin’ Paddles. Blazin’ Paddles, a professional kayaking company in Las Vegas, offers tours of various lengths for kayakers of all ages and levels. From a Hoover Dam kayak rental and tour to sunset paddles, there’s a fun kayaking experience for everyone at Blazin’ Paddles.
Blazin’ Paddles | Kayaking in Las Vegas
On your next visit to Las Vegas, take in the moment while kayaking on the Colorado River. In addition to gaining the physical and mentally benefits of this outdoor activity, see the sites and wildlife along the Black Canyon with either our half-day, full-day, or twilight tour with a Las Vegas kayak tour.
Las Vegas may be best known for its nightlife, but its natural surroundings are just as notable. Las Vegas is surrounded by some of the top recreational areas in the United States, including the famous Hoover Dam and the Lake Mead National Recreation Area, the oldest and largest national recreation area in the country. From kayaking to hiking and more adrenaline-pumping activities, consider these options for enjoying the city’s surrounding beautiful natural places.
1. Kayak the Colorado River
To literally “get your feet wet” in the region’s outdoor scene. Blazin’ Paddles, a kayaking company based in Las Vegas, offers Black Canyon kayak tours on the Colorado River. Half-day to full-day Las Vegas kayak tours are available for kayakers of all ages. Your Black Canyon kayaking adventure may include wildlife sightings, a stop at natural hot springs, and a chance to cool off in the river on hot days. You can also go on an evening kayaking excursion down the Colorado River with the chance to watch the sunset as you roast marshmallows on the beach.
Red Rock National Conservation Area is a beautiful natural recreation area located just 30 minutes away from the city. The area has hiking trails for all ages and skill levels. Rock climbing is also an option at Red Rock. If you prefer sight-seeing from your car, you can go on a longer 13-mile scenic drive that starts at the outdoor visitor’s center. Younger visitors will enjoy the Children’s Discovery Trail, which has various ecosystems to explore, along with several cultural spots, including Native American remnants.
3. Bootleg Canyon
If seeing Las Vegas on two wheels is your cup of tea, a trip to Bootleg Canyon for quality biking is a must. Bootleg Canyon is another destination that’s just 30 minutes from Las Vegas. The Canyon contains over 20 trails with varying degrees of difficulty. If you don’t want to bring your bike or don’t have yours with you when you visit, you can rent bicycles at Bootleg Canyon. Along with riding the trails on your own, you can join a guided tour of the Canyon’s trails instead.
4. Red Rock Canyon
Chock full of quality climbing opportunities, Red Rock Canyon is the premier rock climbing destination for Las Vegas residents and visitors alike. Red Rock Canyon has more than 2,500 climbing routes ranging from easy to challenging. Whether you choose to stay within your comfort zone or push the limits, you’ll enjoy dramatic scenery and possible bighorn sheep sightings as you tackle the Canyon’s vertical trails. Red Rock Canyon is just a little over a 30-minute drive from Las Vegas.
5. Snowboarding at Lee Canyon
Most people don’t think of Las Vegas as a prime place for winter sports, but a trip to Lee Canyon will show you otherwise. Lee Canyon, nicknamed the “Coolest Place in Las Vegas,” is an hour’s drive from the famous Las Vegas Strip. Lee Canyon’s trails are open for hiking during the summer months, but they are typically covered with snow from December through early spring. When the snow falls, the Canyon has 24 trails maintained for snowboarding and other snow sports, including tubing.
6. Spring Mountain Ranch State Park
Spring Mountain Ranch State Park is appropriately named, considering it has six hot springs located within its boundaries. Spring Mountain Ranch State Park has hiking trails, a picnic area, and living history events that showcase the lives of settlers and pioneers who once lived in the region. During the winter months, the adjacent Mount Charleston at Spring Mountains National Recreation Area is popular for snowboarding, skiing, and tubing.
7. Hoover Dam
Hoover Dam, which was built in 1931, is the most recognized dam in the United States. Along with seeing Hoover Dam from the water through the full-day Las Vegas kayak tour, you can also check out the famous national attraction on foot. Guided hiking tours are an option if you’d prefer an educational outing at Hoover Dam. Bald eagles, coyotes, and bighorn sheep sightings are all possible on land and from the water. Before or after touring Hoover Dam, you can also do some shopping at the visitor’s center gift shop. Once you’ve finished exploring the dam, be sure to stop over at Boulder City, which is an equally historic stop. Boulder City was built around the same time as the dam to provide lodging for workers while completing the dam’s construction. Hoover Dam is within an hour’s drive from Las Vegas, making it a perfect day trip from the city.
8. Valley of Fire State Park
Valley of Fire State Park is the largest and oldest State Park in Nevada. Valley of Fire has many great hiking trails to explore, which gives you plenty of opportunities to marvel at its stunning natural beauty. Comprising the State Park’s majestic landscape are the sands of the Mojave Desert, red sandstone formations, and many types of desert plants. Valley of Fire State Park has several particularly notable trails, including Elephant Rock, Petroglyph Canyon, and Fire Wave. Petroglyphs dating back 3,000 years are also popular attractions for visitors of all ages. Before embarking on a hike, you can stop in at the visitor’s center to get more information about the hikes available at the park and learn more about the area’s natural history and topography.
There are dozens of unique and unforgettable ways to explore Las Vegas’s spectacular natural areas at any time of the year. Many top recreational destinations are located within easy reach of the city, which means you can make time for exploring nature in addition to enjoying all the sites and attractions within the city’s limits.
Hike Highlight of the Week: Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest- Inyo National Forest, CA
By: Lindy Doyle
This Forest is a little bit of a drive to get to from the main road but absolutely worth it. Located about 1-1 1/2 hours from the main road it is home to some of the oldest trees in the world. The drive isn’t too bad either. Gorgeous viewpoints and turn offs/ trails along the way. If you are visiting Mount Whitney, Kings Canyon/ Sequoia National Park or Bishop, CA, this is may be a great addition to your adventure.
When you get to the top, the forest is covered with beautiful and large twisted bristlecone pine trees known as ‘the Patriarch Tree’. The self guided trailheads are clearly labeled. If you are looking for a quick, yet breathtaking hike the ‘Discovery Trail’ is about an hour and very scenic. Surrounded by the beautiful trees and just as beautiful views of the surrounding land.
Along each of the self guided trails are plenty of informational signs, so you learn all about the history, trees and area.
-Check the weather prior to going up the mountain to get to this beautiful forest. The road is on an edge going up the mountain and could possibly have ice, snow and loose rocks on it depending the time of year. So make sure your car can make it up safely if you choose to go in the winter.
-Have some time to do more then one self guided tour. I only did 2 but they were completely different with very different scenery (besides the trees)
Running a marathon has a myriad of benefits. Physically, it helps you to stay fit and sleep better, as well as improves your overall health. When it comes to mental health, running aids in stress reduction as well as enhances one’s motivation and outlook in life. Socially, it facilitates the formation and maintenance of relationships with like-minded people. In other words, it fosters a sense of community among runners. Furthermore, engaging in the activity is one way to keep yourself busy, build confidence, or encourage yourself to accomplish something or to achieve a new goal.
Since a new year is not too distant, let us ask you a few questions. Is running a marathon for the first time or another in your 2021 bucket list? Or maybe, it is a lifetime goal you plan on achieving soon? Either way, you must be wondering about what it takes to finish or win a marathon. To give you a heads up, we listed the 5 key attributes that make marathon winners.
Firm in their decision to achieve their intentions, winners are extremely committed to their goals. Their aspirations are precise, practical, and feasible. Their target of winning a marathon is backed by short-term goals, which push them to always align their current abilities to what their goals demand.
However, what sets them apart from the rest is that they aim not only to improve their lives but to inspire others as well. Eliud Kipchoge, the man holding the current marathon world record, shared that he inspires others by travelling and speaking to younger the generation about his passion.
2. Hardworking and Self-Disciplined
Winners are hardworking and they make sure they apply self-discipline. They stay motivated, constantly push themselves to their limits, and beat their personal bests despite doubts and temptations to stop aiming for their goals. Always in control over themselves, winners make sure little habits such as getting up earlier than the rest of the world and following a strict diet make a difference.
Stepping away from distractions, winners keep their eyes on the prize. Whether their progress is big or small, acknowledged or not, they constantly track and reflect on this. In their minds, steady work paves the way to success.
Eliud Kipchoge also shared that journaling has been a big part of his success as an athlete. Indeed, recording one’s workouts helps in assessing one’s performance throughout training. Consequently, this may encourage one to develop ways on how to improve day by day.
Merely running is easy but running a marathon—so much so winning one—is another thing. Extensive training may offer some adversities such as physical and mental fatigue. Or worse, injuries. The best thing about winners is that they always rise despite being knocked down by life’s hurdles. They may stop for a bit for a quick break, but these overcomers face challenges head-on.
To prevent potential mental slowdowns, nourish your mind by maintaining a positive mental attitude. Also, utilize protective gear to free yourself from the possibility of getting injured during training!
The first four attributes are effective in success. However, three wheels cannot keep a car running. Hence, applying all these qualities with an unwavering effort at all times is crucial. Once momentum is built progress becomes almost second nature. Winning? Like a walk in the park!
Hike Highlight Of The Week: Gold Strike Hot Springs
By: Lindy Doyle
If you are a local or visiting from out of state, you have probably heard of the Gold Strike Hot Springs. It is one of the attractions on our Full Day Tour. From the river it is a very short walk to the Hot Springs themselves. You’ll be able to bathe in the springs without a strenuous hike but… the hike from the trailhead is a different story.
The trailhead located just past our office at the Hoover Dam Lodge, this hike is marked as hard on all other hiking websites/apps. It definitely lives up to that rating. It is a 6 mile out and back trail with ropes to climb, boulders to slide down and some serious scrambling. If you want an interactive and fun hike with great rewards at the end, this is it!! You are working so hard to get to some well deserved hot springs!! Multiple hot springs so social distancing can be practiced, if not too crowded. Or bring your lunch and sit at the beach and eat looking out at the river.
-Check to see if it is open. They do close this trail during some summer months.
-Make sure to bring A LOT of water!! Dehydration has been a big issue on this hike, as people don’t realize the activeness before they go.
-Dogs do this hike all the time. If you do want to bring your dog just make sure either your dog is athletic enough to be able to jump up and down some steep areas or that you have a partner or two to help you get your pup up and down some areas safely!
Whether you’re planning on a simple day paddle, a fishing excursion or an aftenoon with friends and family. Kayaking can be an exciting and engaging activity that you can practice either alone or with a group of people. Since they’re smaller then other types of boats, kayaks can be difficult to get used to use the first few times.
Given the seemingly difficult process of first learning how to kayak, this complete guide can help you learn how to kayak like a pro. More specifically, you’ll find information about what you’ll need to get started, what type of kayak you should use for each type of different activity, and other information about how to move the kayak in general.
Before Getting Started
Since kayaking in general can be a difficult activity to get the hang of, regarding the different equipment that you need in addition to the knowledge of your surroundings and skill involved, you should make sure you understand a few factors before you plan on heading out for your first trip. More specifically, you’ll want to make sure that you have the right kind of kayak, you plan your route beforehand, and you spend the right amount of money depending on how often you want to use the kayak.
Decide What Kind Of Kayak You Want To Use
There are several different types of kayaks that you can choose from on the market, each of them having the ability to offer a wide variety of different benefits with their features. Because of that, you should make sure you’re choosing the right kind of kayak for your specific purposes.
Kayaks meant for recreational purposes areclassified as kayaks that have a closed cockpit and they have a larger opening than other types of kayaks. This allows you to have more room in the kayak for your personal belongings or to simply move around. They even have enough room for you to put another smaller child into the kayak with you.
These kayaks are shorter in length than other types of kayaks, since they’re usually less than 10 feet. By having a closed cockpit, you have the ability to either leave it closed or open it for your convenience. This is especially beneficial if you plan on kayaking all year-round in the different seasons. More specifically, you have the ability to close the cockpit during the winter months to prevent any cold water or wind from getting in, or you can leave it open during the warmer summer months to allow for a cool breeze to come through.
Not only that, but recreational kayaks tend to be cheaper than other types, since they’re shorter in length and they come with only the basic features needed in order for the kayak to function properly. You should keep in mind that recreational kayaks don’t have the ability to track well, since they’re shorter. So they can’t go as fast or as straight as other types of kayaks such as touring yaks..
Not only that, but SOT kayaks allow you to have more room to get comfortable on the boat, since they’re essentially flat on top and let you sit in whatever position you’re most comfortable with. You can even throw your legs over each side of the kayak in order to add for more stability while you’re utilizing the kayak. Some fishing individuals prefer to have sit-inside kayaks for fishing in waters that are more mobile, since this gives them a drier experience and they’re lighter in weight.
You should also consider a variety of other features in your specific kayaks when you’re searching for fishing purposes, like the length, width, weight, available storage, seating, and their ability to let you stand up when needed. Some advanced fishing kayaks even come with the ability to be powered by a propeller, so you don’t have to worry about using your hands in order to give the kayak energy.
Not only that, but touring kayaks also have thigh braces that can be used in order to help you turn the kayak back over if you ever tip it over. These thigh braces essentially give you more control over the boat while you’re using it, since you can ultimately control the boat with your legs and arms.
You should keep in mind that these kayaks are more difficult to transport on your cars or trucks, since they’re so long compared to other types. Not only that, but they’re also more expensive than other types of kayaks, so you shouldn’t purchase one if you’re only planning on using it once or twice a year and aren’t very experienced. Rather, they’re recommended for longer trips that are planned for crossing larger bodies of water.
Plan Your Route
If you’re planning on taking your kayak out for a ride and enjoying the experience, then you may not think any route-planning is important for your trip. But it’s better safe than sorry before you go out, since it ensures safety and confidence in your trip.
The type of water that you plan on kayaking on is an important consideration for route-planning, since the layout of the water will essentially tell you how important it is that you stick to the plan. With lakes, you should make sure you as well as your partners are aware of the route ahead of time, since there isn’t one universal route available.
On the other hand, if you’re kayaking with a group of people on a stream or other sort of river, then the route plan is clearer than other bodies of water, since the water only goes one way most of the time. But you should still make sure you and your group know where the arrival and ending location is, especially if the waters are moving more rapidly than other types of water. You really shouldn’t kayak on any body of water alone, since that can be dangerous if you encounter trouble of any kind.
Getting The Kayak
Renting a kayak is recommended for you if you’re planning on going with a smaller group of people, and it involves you paying a monetary fee in order to use the kayak for a certain amount of time. You can usually do so by either renting a certain kayak from a business that’s located close to the body of water that you’re planning to kayak from. You may also rent kayaks from certain stores or from businesses that you prefer the brands of.
You should keep in mind that you have to return all of their equipment, so you may not feel as comfortable in the rented kayak as ones that you would own.
You’re most recommended to purchase and own your kayak and equipment if you are known to go traveling in your kayak for either a long period of time or you go more often than not. This is essentially because renting or borrowing a kayak can be tedious, annoying, and pricey after a while. So if you’re a person that kayaks often and for long periods of time, then you should consider purchasing your kayak to own it for yourself.
This is the most expensive option, since you’ll have to pay the full price of the kayak. But you also have the option of making payments on the kayak in certain businesses if they offer.
Borrowing a kayak either from a family member or a friend is ideal if you have friends that go kayaking often. This is the cheapest option, since your friends and family most likely won’t require a monetary fee from you for simply using their kayak. But you also have to deal with the inconvenience of only using their kayak when they allow you to do so. Not only that, but your friends and family members may only have a certain type of kayak, so you don’t have the option of choosing one that will accommodate for certain types of activities that you’ll be engaging with while using the kayak.
PFDs, also known as Personal Flotation Devices, are essential for practically every kayaking trip that you go on, since they’ll be able to prevent you from drowning if your kayak rolls over. They’re especially beneficial if you’re kayaking in rapid moving waters, since these waters are those in which you’re most likely to flip over. Not only that, but PFDs are beneficial if you’re going on a recreational kayaking trip in cooler waters, since they help to provide extra insulation while you’re in the colder water.
It’s also recommended that you have flotation bags with you while you plan to go on every kayaking trip, since these bags are able to limit the amount of water that collects inside of your kayak if it tips over. These flotation bags are also able to keep your kayak high above the water while you’re boating in places that have a large amount of rocks, so they’re able to prevent swamping from occurring.
It’s important that you consider taking along an extra paddle with you on your trip, since there is always the chance that you may drop your main paddle into the water, resulting in you having no other way to transport yourself across the water. Having a high quality space paddle can help prevent any unwanted circumstances from occurring.
If you’re planning on fishing in your kayak, you should likely consider taking along an anchor with you. Anchors can help keep your kayak in place while you’re fishing in certain spots, so you can choose certain locations in a body of water that you may want to fish for longer periods of time.
If you’re fishing in your kayak or simply planning on staying in your kayak for longer periods of time, you may want to consider purchasing a VHF radio. These radios will help keep you in touch with the Coast Guards if any certain circumstances should occur. They also give you some information regarding the bar crossing that take place at ports or harbors that you may have in the particular bodies of water that you’re fishing at.
It’s also important that you consider binging a first-aid kit with you on your fishing kayak trip, since you’re likely using fishing hooks and other types of sharp equipment. Not only that, but some fish even have sharper teeth that you may not be expecting, so you should make sure that you have a first aid kit handy just in case you encounter an injury.
Essential Touring Kayak Equipment
Spray skirts are classified as barriers that are composed with a waterproof material that are able to prevent any of the exterior water surrounding the boat from entering the kayak. These skirts are able to cover your waist area as well as the kayak’s cockpit and rim, so they’re beneficial for touring. It should be mentioned that you should only wear a spray skirt if you know how to do a wet exit. A wet exit is when your body is sumberged underneath the kayak. Below is a video on how this looks.
Spray skirts are usually removable from the kayak, so you have the option to remove them from your boat if they make you uncomfortable or if you’re boating in a place that has water conditions that are more calm. They come in a variety of different designs and styles.
You should always wear kayaking helmets when you’re planning on touring or white water kayaking, since both have the ability to travel at faster speeds throughout the water surrounded by rocks. They’re especially beneficial if you’re kayaking through bodies of water that have rocks and other debris sticking out from the water’s surface. You may even want to consider the specific type of kayaking helmets that are full faced (similar looking to motocross helmets).
You should also make sure that you have a bilge pump with you on your touring kayak trip, since they can help to clear any water from the cockpit of your kayak. If enough water accumulates inside of the kayak’s pit, then it can add extra unneeded weight that can make your kayak go slower than others around you.
Most kayaks don’t necessarily have a horn that you can honk on them to signal to other boaters, so having a whistle is highly recommended. It can act similarly to your car horn while you’re driving on the road, so they can prevent any accidents from occurring on the water. This is especially important for touring boats, since they’re able to travel at higher speeds and they also sit lower on the water than other boats, so they can be difficult to see in waters that have waves or where there are larger boats present .
Safety Precautions Before Heading Out
Make Sure You Learn Kayaking Techniques Before Going Out
You should try using the paddle in a pool or a smaller, more shallow pond before you go out onto a larger body of water with the kayak. This will help prevent you from encountering any hardships and not having the knowledge of what to do. You should allow yourself to gain some experience and practice before you go out onto larger bodies of water.
it should be noted that for more advanced kayaking like touring/ sea kayaking you should have a certified kayak instructor with you to teach you skills such as wet exits, advanced paddling strokes and of course in-water rescue techniques. There will probably be certified instructors somewhere close to your area to learn these techniques and further your kayak journey.
Always Wear Your Life Jacket
It’s usually the rules of most water locations that you wear your life jacket at all times, since it can prevent any dangerous and deadly circumstances from occurring. You may want to try your life jacket on before heading out onto the water, since you’ll want to make sure that it fits comfortably. You’ll be wearing it for long periods of time, so you should make sure that it’s comfortable enough that you can wear it for the entirety of the kayaking trip without wanting to take it off.
Keep In Mind The Temperatures Of The Water
Since there’s always a chance that you may be submerged into the water, you should make sure that you know what the temperatures of the water are. Make sure that you kayak carefully if you’re boating on a day that has colder temperature-water, since you may risk hypothermia if you fall in and can’t regain balance for longer periods of time.
In order to paddle correctly, you should make sure that you use the correct kayak paddle for the different types of paddling techniques that you want to enact. To hold the kayak paddle correctly, hold the paddle above your head with your elbows at 90-degree angles. This technique will help to make sure that your hands are in the correct positions.
To paddle correctly, you should understand that there are various different types of strokes, including the forward stroke, sweep stroke, and backward stroke. To perform a forward stroke, place the paddle blade into the water near the front tip of the kayak and then glide it through the water until it reaches your hips, which you should then remove it by then. You can then repeat this process on the other side of the kayak.
To perform a sweep stroke in order to turn your kayak a certain way, you can put your blade into the water at your toes and then sweep it through the water in a “C” pattern. Make sure that you draw a full “C” pattern so that your kayak starts turning instead of going straight. You should keep your arm on the stroke side of the kayak as straight as possible to promote the kayak to turn completely.
Lastly, to perform a backward stroke, you should essentially perform the same but opposite action as the forward stroke. You should put the tip of the paddle blade into the water located at your hips and then glide it through the water towards the front portion of the kayak.
Getting Out Of The Kayak
In order to properly get out of the kayak, you should paddle up to the shoreline or the dock and make sure that your kayak is steady. For a dock, you should put one end of the paddle on the dock and the other end on your kayak. Turn your body towards the dock and place both hands on it, and then lift your weight out of the kayak but you should make sure that your kayak doesn’t float away so keep the paddle in contact with it.
For the shoreline, you should simply paddle your kayak up to the shoreline and then stable your kayak with the paddle by keeping the paddle in the sand. Once you’re steady, you can get out of the kayak by placing both hands on each side of the cockpit and step your legs out one by one.
What’s The Difference Between A Canoe And A Kayak?
A canoe is classified as a boat that only has a single paddle and has various benches for multiple people to sit on. There’s also more storage room in a canoe, since it presents an open cockpit design. Contrastingly, a kayak have a two-paddle handle that give you the ability to move faster through the water, and they have a smaller cockpit.
How Do I Avoid Capsizing?
Experienced kayakers can vouche for the fact that it’s not impossible for the kayak to flip over, and it actually happens quite frequently. They typically flip over because of an uneven distribution of weight, so you should make sure that your weight is spread evenly throughout the kayak to avoid capsizing.
Overall, kayaking can offer you a diverse array of benefits, including the ability to interact with nature one-on-one. Not only that, but it’s a fun activity that you can do with your friends and family, and it costs you nothing if you’re simply borrowing a kayak from someone else.
Since it can take some practice to become a pro at kayaking, you should engage in the activity as much as you can. Not only that, but reviewing this guide on how to kayak can help you make sure that you have the right equipment as well as the techniques and knowledge required to kayak properly. Have fun with the activity overall, since it’s great exercise and allows you to engage with nature.