Posts Tagged ‘Las Vegas Kayaking’

Top Outdoor Activities in Las Vegas 2021

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.

Top Las Vegas Outdoor Excursions

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.

Learn to Kayak: Guide to Different Kayaking Strokes

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.

Forward Stroke

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:

  • Reach
  • Power
  • Alternating Side

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.

Reverse Stroke

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.

Kayak Spin

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.

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