Posts Tagged ‘kayaking near las vegas’

A Beginner’s Guide to Kayaking Like a Pro

Learning to kayak in Las Vegas has numerous benefits. From meeting like-minded people to simply having the option to get on the water anytime you’d like, there are many great reasons to pick up the sport of kayaking. As with any new endeavor, learning to kayak takes time and practice. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll be able to safely and confidently make the most of your Colorado River kayaking excursions.

Types of Kayaks

Kayaks come in many forms. They are designed for use in various conditions that range from tranquil waters such as ponds and small lakes to whitewater rapids and the ocean. Some types of kayaks are easier to use than others, which makes them a better option for beginners.

  • Sit-on-top
  • Touring
  • Inflatable
  • Tandem

Sit-on-top kayaks are one of the best varieties for beginners. They are wide and have a good center of balance, which makes them sturdy and easy to maneuver out on the water. Sit-on-top kayaks are typically less expensive than other kinds of kayaks. While sit-on-top kayaks are wide and stable, they are also larger and slower than other kayak styles, which makes them a better fit for calmer waters.

Touring kayaks are generally longer and narrower than sit-on-top kayaks. They are also lighter-weight, which makes them more transportable and a bit faster. Touring kayaks are a preferred choice for more seasoned kayakers or beginners who have a good sense of balance. Because they are narrower, touring kayaks are a bit more challenging to get into and out of than sit-on-top kayaks, especially when you’re out on the water.

Inflatable kayaks are suitable for kayakers of all skill levels. They are most useful for people who plan to hike to their kayak launch point, as they can be easily rolled up and tucked away. Inflatable kayaks are best suited for calmer waters, which makes them a good option for novice kayakers.

Tandem kayaks are kayaks made for two people rather than one. Tandem kayaks are available in several styles, including sit-on-top and touring. Tandem kayaks also come in inflatable form.

As you’re deciding what kind of kayak to get, there are several key considerations to think about. First, will you be kayaking by yourself or with another person most of the time? You will also want to think about where you will be transporting your kayak to for launches, and how comfortable you feel loading and unloading the boat by yourself. Then, you’ll want to think about how easy it is for you to get into and out of the boat on your own, both on land and in water. Many kayak retailers will let you test out different boats first to figure out which one you want to get.

Gear and Accessories

To make your kayaking experience as fun and positive as possible, you’ll want to make sure that you have the right gear and accessories along for the ride. Weather can change quickly when you are on the Colorado River kayaking, depending on the time of day and the season. Daytime temperatures can be much warmer than in the evening or early in the morning, which means you’ll want to dress in layers or bring a change of clothes if you’ll be out on the water for longer periods of time. The sun can also be strong, which makes sunscreen or sun protection essential. If you are bringing your phone, camera, wallet, or other valuables along for the ride, you’ll want to keep them dry and protected with a waterproof bag or pouch. If your eyes are sensitive to the sun, wearing polarized sunglasses with ultraviolet (UV) protection is strongly encouraged. No matter what you wear, your clothing and footwear should be water-resistant or waterproof.

Personal Flotation Devices

For safety reasons, wearing a personal flotation device (PFD) when out on the water is highly recommended. Like kayaks, PFDs are made in various styles to suit the different kinds of water that you’ll be kayaking in.

Type I PFDs are heavy-duty flotation devices made for use in rougher water and the ocean. Type II or Type III PFDs are a bit more comfortable. They are not quite as cumbersome as Type I PFDs, which makes them a better choice for calmer waters where you’ll likely be rescued more quickly. While Type I, II, and III PFDs are made specifically for kayaking, you can also get PFDs made for multiple activities, such as Type V. If you get a Type V PFD, be sure to check that it is suitable for kayaking before making your purchase.

Finding a Suitable Time and Location

Once you’ve found the right boat and accessories, it’s time to get in the water. To kayak safely and successfully, you’ll need to research places to kayak based on your skill and comfort level. Remember that you must find a place that’s accessible to the public, too. Calm waters, which you’ll find on ponds and lakes, are recommended for novice kayakers. Beginners are advised to avoid rivers and oceans as they’re starting due to stronger currents and choppier water. If you are driving to your destination and plan to launch your boat, you’ll also need to figure out parking at the launch spot and determine if there is a launch fee.

No matter where you decide to start your kayaking adventure from, keep an eye on the weather. It’s best to choose a day when skies are clear for maximum visibility. Try to kayak on a day when winds are minimal, and make sure to avoid kayaking if there is a risk of thunderstorms or severe weather in the area.

Blazin’ Paddles | Colorado River Kayaking

Once you’re ready to get started, you may be wondering “where can I learn to kayak near me?” Fortunately, Blazin’ Paddles is here to help you learn. Blazin’ Paddles offers tours for kayakers of all skill levels, which is a great way to safely learn to kayak Las Vegas and get a feel for what it’s like to be out on the water.

8 Best Outdoor Adventures Around Las Vegas

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.

Book your kayak tours here: https://www.blazinpaddles.com/

2. Red Rock National Conservation Area

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.

Outdoor Adventures Around Las Vegas

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.

Outdoor Adventures In Las Vegas, Nevada

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: 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!

Leave No Trace: 7 Principles

Your Blazin’ Paddles Black Canyon kayaking tour takes place on the amazing Black Canyon Water Trail on the Colorado River, within the Lake Mead National Recreation Area. Annually, over 7 million people visit the Lake Mead National Recreation Area which also includes Lake Mohave!

In order for everyone to enjoy the outdoors while minimizing environmental impact and preserving resources for the future, Blazin’ Paddles follows the Leave No Trace: 7 Principles for Outdoor Ethics. These should be followed anytime you are in the great outdoors. Here’s how Blazin’ Paddles ensures that each principle is closely followed.

Plan Ahead and Prepare

Even though your guides know the river like the back of their hands, the staff is constantly checking conditions to ensure safety on the water via weather radar apps and updates from the Park Service. Guides are well-stocked with water, snacks, and emergency safety equipment like first aid kits and tow ropes. The central office is aware of who is on every tour, the bus locations via GPS monitoring, and current weather conditions. Every pickup and drop off location is confirmed in advance so guests can have fun on tour, knowing it is safe and well-planned!

Travel & Camp on Durable Surfaces

You will notice that when we make stops on tour, they are not random. Stops may include swim beaches, hot springs, or historical sites, but we always stay on existing trails and beaches instead of creating new ones. This helps with many things including native plant protection, erosion control, and preserving the visual beauty of the Black Canyon!

Dispose of Waste Properly

Everyone loves a snack break while on tour. We bring lots of delicious treats like fig bars and cheez-its. However, you’ll notice that your guides don’t just hand out snacks, they also collect your trash and stash it until it can be discarded properly so it doesn’t end up on the trail or in the water by accident. Litter is certainly unsightly, but more importantly it does not belong in our wild ecosystems. This includes food waste such as bread, nuts and fruit peels. They don’t biodegrade quickly and may cause harm to wildlife.

Leave What You Find

Collecting of any kind is illegal in the National Parks. However, even when you’re not in a designated park, the principle is still important: what if each visitor took something? That would take a huge toll! That’s why your guides always point out cool things like plants, lizards, and even minerals, and encourage you to take photos so the resources remain for others to enjoy!

Minimize Campfire Impact

Fire safety is extremely important in the dry, hot desert. On the Twilight Tour, our guests enjoy roasting hot dogs and s’mores over a beach campfire when the National Park Service does not have a red flag warning about fire safety. We always stay 100 feet away from shrubbery, and when we are done with the fire we dispose of the fire ring and make sure the coals are completely extinguished and either buried at an appropriate depth or packed out.

Respect Wildlife

Wildlife spotting is one of the most exciting parts of the tour. There’s so much to see in the Black Canyon like bald eagles, bighorn sheep, chuckwalla lizards, and even rattlesnakes. However, a safe distance must always kept, which is important for both the animals and guests. Instead of approaching wildlife, take your time to observe their behaviors and learn something new!

Be Considerate of Other Visitors

In addition to sharing the Black Canyon with wildlife, it is shared with other visitors who come to fish, camp, paddle or hike. When launching or making a stop at a beach, our kayaks are kept close together to leave space for other groups. Even in places like Emerald Cave, we take in the view but recognize others may be waiting to come inside and have a look, so we stay for a reasonable amount of time and then move to the next beautiful stop. We all need the outdoors to relax, recharge and be inspired. Consideration of others goes a long way to preserve the peace and serenity of the Black Canyon!

For more information about the Leave No Trace principles, visit www.lnt.org!

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