Kayaking in the Desert – Las Vegas Kayaking Options

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In the United States, some of the most popular places to kayak include Juniper Run in Ocala National Forest, the Boundary Waters in Minnesota’s Superior National Forest, and the Snake River in Grand Teton National Park. 

One place that few people would consider a good location for kayaking is Las Vegas. Instead, its desert climate and environment conjures up images of heat and overwhelming sunshine.

Las Vegas is most famous for the dozens of huge casino resorts that line its legendary strip. The city is a paradise for anyone looking to play classic games like blackjack, baccarat, roulette, or the various popular versions of poker. 

It’s the capital of small wedding chapels and Elvis Presley impersonators. It’s the only place in the world where you can find the Statue of Liberty, the Eiffel Tower, and a replica of Venice all in one place.

You’ll find A-list celebrities, wild roller coasters, live sport, clubs, bars, and Michelin starred restaurants. 

Surprisingly (to some at least), it’s also a great place to partake in watersports. Despite Las Vegas being located in the middle of the Nevada desert, the nearby Colorado River actually presents some fantastic opportunities for kayaking. 

How to Go Kayaking in Las Vegas

The easiest option for tourists is to book an excursion from a local operator. Prices start at around $150 for half a day, including all the equipment and the guides you need. Most excursions also include food and bottled water, so you don’t need to worry about bringing your own. 

Tours will typically pick you up from your hotel and drop you back off at the end of the day. 

Many operators can cater to all experience levels and body types, with a wide range of different kayaks. Some even have two-person kayaks for those that want to paddle together. You will, of course, also be provided with a life vest to keep you safe.

What to Expect on a Kayaking Excursion in Las Vegas

Most hotel pick-ups start from around 7-9:30 am and will take you to the launch point at around 10am – noon. 

The length of the route you’ll be able to kayak for will depend on which excursion you’ve picked, but they can range from a couple of miles to a dozen or more. During this time, you may get to see sights like the Emerald Cave, the hot springs, and the Hoover Dam.

Some of the longer excursions include time for swimming or sunbathing on the beaches, so be sure to take your swimwear. Also, the guides will always be on the lookout for any local wildlife to point out to you. If you’re lucky you may spot bighorn sheep, falcons, and bald eagles. 

What Tour Companies Are There?

There’s a long list of tour companies that operate kayaking tours from Las Vegas, catering mostly to tourists who are looking for something a little different from the casinos and entertainment shows.

Most hotels will be able to point you in the direction of reputable companies, although you can also find many online. Some of the top-rated operators include Blazin’ Paddles, 2Vegas.com, River Dogz, Evolution Expeditions, and Awesome Adventures.

It’s best to check the reviews of companies before you book, and check that you’re comparing like-for-like as some may not include the whole package. For example, some tours may not include pick-up from your hotel, water, or food. 

Is It Worth Doing?

If you’re heading to Las Vegas and you want to get out and do something a little different, then kayaking along the Colorado River is a great option. You’ll get away from the bright lights and loud sounds of the Vegas Strip and spend time in nature, exploring a whole different world that’s just a stone’s throw away.

Comparatively, the price tag is similar to what you’d spend on many other attractions in the city, and it’s a great activity for those who are more adventurous. 

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