A portion of the Lower Colorado River that flows through Lake Mead National Recreation Area has been designated as a National Water Trail.
Visitors can access the Black Canyon Water Trail through a guided tour at the base of the Hoover Dam or from Willow Beach, Arizona, or near an old mining town in Eldorado Canyon, Nevada.
The 30-mile trail flows alongside sandy beaches, caves, coves, hot springs, and other natural features. Desert bighorn sheep and other wildlife are often seen on the cliffs along the river.
Launching at Hoover Dam is an exclusive experience provided by a limited number of vendors in Southern Nevada and Northern Arizona. Visitors are escorted to the launch site on a narrated bus ride into the Hoover Dam Security Zone.
Before rafting or paddling down the water trail, guides describe the engineering marvel that is holding back up to 28.9 million acre feet of water in Lake Mead. Tours range from float trips near the dam to day trips to full exploration tours.
Located 14 miles south of Hoover Dam off of U.S. 93 on the Arizona side of the water trail, Willow Beach offers a variety of amenities, including a launch ramp and full-service marina with watercraft, canoe and kayak rentals, campground and RV park, store, restaurant, and fishing pier. This portion of the Black Canyon Water Trail features sheer cliffs of multicolored rocks, sandy beaches, and secluded coves.
The Black Canyon Water Trail ends at Eldorado Canyon, an area known for its mining history. Near the community of Nelson, vendors offer kayak, paddleboard and hiking tours.
For more information, visit www.blackcanyonwatertrail.org.
source: National Park Service