Where is Emerald Cave in Las Vegas?
When people are asked to describe Las Vegas, most would not associate it with world-renowned natural beauty. However, just beyond Sin City is the Emerald Cave, one of the country’s most stunning destinations for outdoor and nature enthusiasts. Emerald Cave is so-called for the brilliant green hues that its waters produce. If you’re lucky and go at the right time of day, you can catch a glimpse of the Emerald Cave on an Emerald Cave Tour with Blazin’ Paddles.
A Memorable Destination
The Emerald Cave is a top destination for many Las Vegas kayaking enthusiasts. The cave is located on the Colorado River, and it is also near the Hoover Dam, which is another top attraction for visitors to the area. The Emerald Cave stands out for its spectacular emerald green hues. Its colors vary throughout the day, so you’ll want to go with an experienced guide if you haven’t been to the cave before to ensure you catch the colors at their best. When the sun hits the cave at the right angle, it makes the waters within the cave sparkle, making the walls glow with a green-tinted light.
When to Visit
Since Las Vegas has a generally mild climate, you can visit the Emerald Cave at any time of year and enjoy a beautiful natural sight. However, the months between April and October are best for catching the most spectacular light displays. During those months, the sun’s rays send the strongest beams as they reach the waters 700 feet down the canyon walls. Las Vegas kayak tours are offered year-round, and you can always enjoy the slight variations in the cave and the Colorado River that come with the seasons. If you choose to visit the Emerald Cave during peak visiting months, you’ll want to book a tour early to ensure that you have the best chance of seeing the cave in all its glory.
What Makes the Emerald Cave Green?
Like many people, you may be wondering what exactly makes the Emerald Cave turn its legendary green color. Many people think that the algae in the cave is what produces the famous brilliant hues, but that’s not true. The Emerald Cave’s green walls and waters come from the light reflecting off the walls, which are generally brown and yellow. If you visit the cave on a cloudless day, you’ll see an incredibly stunning glow, as cloudless blue skies contribute to the light show.
Where is the Emerald Cave Located?
Although it is a nationally and internationally-renowned destination, the Emerald Cave is surprisingly difficult to find on your own, which is why people unfamiliar with the area are encouraged to sign up for Las Vegas kayak tours in order to reach the cave. The Emerald Cave is located about two miles from Willow Beach, where you’ll find the historic Willow Beach Gauging Station. The Gauging Station was constructed in 1931 and made the National Register of Historic Places list in 1986. While it might be easy to glide past the station in a kayak, it is difficult to reach in person. The only way to access the station now is through a cable tramway, which is precariously located several hundred feet above the water. Even though the Gauging Station is generally inaccessible to tourists, you can still get some great shots of the historic monument as you kayak past.
Why Join a Kayak Tour?
There are many good reasons to join a Colorado River kayaking tour group if you are thinking of kayaking down the Colorado River to the Emerald Cave. Kayaking tours are available for people of all skill levels, so you can bring all your friends and family along for the adventure if you want, even if you all have different degrees of kayaking experience. Another advantage of a tour is that a knowledgeable tour guide can get you to the cave at the right time to catch the most spectacular lights. Going with a guide means you’ll get to see the Emerald Cave when it is shining bright, whereas you may miss the lights if you go by yourself.
If you’re spending all that time out on the water, it makes sense to connect with a professional guide to make a day of paddling worth your while. Safety is another consideration, and a kayaking adventure is a day-long excursion. If the wind picks up later in the day, which happens quite often, it is usually more challenging to paddle back to the pickup spot than it is kayaking out to the cave. If you get tired or end up paddling back to your final destination when the sun is setting, and the light is dimmer, you will be much better off traveling with a group.
What Does a Kayaking Tour Include?
Going on a Vegas kayak tour of the Emerald Cave with Blazin’ Paddles includes quite a bit. You even have a choice of where to start depending on how long you want to be out on the water. If you are looking for a full-day expedition, you can kayak Hoover Dam, which doubles as a scenic and historical starting point. If you start at the Hoover Dam, your trip will be 12 miles. If you want to go on this longer tour, you’ll need to start early so that you make it to the cave in time to catch the stunning light display and return to your pickup spot while there is still daylight. As a bonus, you will get to experience even more than just a trip to the Emerald Cave on this longer kayaking tour. A guide will also tell you all about the human and natural history of the Black Canyon and the other iconic areas along the Colorado River.
If you want to go on a shorter kayaking trip, starting from Willow Beach is another option. Willow Beach is located in the Lake Mead Recreation area, another top destination for outdoor enthusiasts in the Las Vegas area. Starting from Willow Beach will make your trip about 4-6 hours long in total. There are plenty of opportunities for stopping to take pictures and even exploring other parts of the Black Canyon if you choose. Once you have visited the Emerald Cave, there are many other great beaches to explore beyond the area.
What Else Will You See?
If you’re heading out on a multi-hour Emerald Cave tour, you may naturally be wondering what other sights you can see along the way to and from the cave. Fortunately, there is a lot to look forward to! Getting to and from the Emerald Cave means your journey will take you along the Black Canyon Water Trail, a spectacular trail owned by the National Parks Service. Along with peace and tranquility, you’ll find plentiful wildlife along the way, including rabbits, bighorn sheep, eagles, herons, burros, and wild horses. Be sure to bring your camera along, as these are all sights you won’t want to miss.
If you are ready to go exploring the Emerald Cave, don’t hesitate to contact Blazin’ Paddles today for more information about signing up for a tour and what you can expect from your journey.