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1-5 Days


Black Canyon rentals available upon request for experienced paddlers.




1-5 Days

Gianni Santin

About the Experience

An option for experienced paddlers, canoe and kayak rentals let you explore at your own pace, and even spend a night or two in Black Canyon sleeping under the stars. (If it's your first time paddling or if you cannot perform a deep water capsize recovery, we recommend a guided trip. We also offer paddling classes and rescue classes to obtain the skills to paddle in Black Canyon).

Shuttle service is available for paddlers with their own boats or SUPs (PFDs are required). Alternate take-out locations can be arranged, should you desire to explore further downriver. 


Keep in mind that the launch site resides in a federal security zone; there is a strict 15 minutes time zone to get yourself, your gear, and your paddlecraft in the water and away from the secure zone. If your group is not able to accomplish this, your launch will be forfeited and you will be required to leave with the federal escort. If you choose to reserve a DIY trip, please be extremely prepared to move quickly and efficiently, and be on the water within the 15 minute launch window.

If you need sleeping bags, tents, or a stove, you can outfit your whole trip in our camping rentals section. 
 Leave No Trace ethics are required in the wilderness areas and along the river corridor in Black Canyon.  Multi-day trips are required to carry:


  • Map

  • Portable human waste system

  • Firepan / firewood (if having a fire)

  • Rope to tie up boats

  • Food storage system (animal proof)

  • Kitchen Tarp

  • Emergency plan & communication device

  • First Aid kit

Black Canyon contains frigid, quick moving water and some sections of the river have strong currents, eddies, boils, and strainers. Sharp, jagged rocks hide just beneath the surface. Water temperatures are a chilly 52F-54F degrees year-round, and beaches disappear in minutes if there's a Dam release.  Winds can be strong and make the journey challenging. 


Self-guided paddlers MUST be confident with their abilities to self rescue in the event of a capsize, and be self-reliant in the event of an emergency. You are venturing into a remote area with no cell phone reception and no rescue service. Know your own limits. Once you push away from the launch site, you are responsible for getting yourself to the takeout. This trip is not recommended for children under 6 years old.

PERMITS:  A $32 launch permit is required to access the Hoover Dam launch area, and must be purchased at least 48 hours in advance. Participants 16 years of age and younger, and those with an America The Beautiful parks pass receive a discounted rate of $16/person. Space is limited and can sell out up to 6 months in advance.  Launch permits are non-refundable and non-transferrable for any reason.

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  • Paddling

  • Hiking and hot springs

  • Swimming

  • Wildlife and photography

  • Fishing


  • Strenuous 12 mile paddle

  • Potential for extreme wind

  • Swift, cold water with strong eddies,  swirls, and boils

  • Remote area with no cell service


  • Must have previous paddling experience

  • Able to perform capsize recovery

  • Plan for handling medical emergencies 

  • Practice Leave No Trace ethics


  • Able to fit into a 52" chest size PFD

  • Able to carry canoe or kayaks 100 yards

  • Recommend 14+ years and 100+ lbs to paddle solo

Packing Your Gear

Come prepared. You will be paddling in a harsh desert environment, with total exposure to the elements. Temperatures can vary greatly, so it is best to be prepared for all types of weather conditions. DIY paddlers should be accomplished in the outdoors and self-sufficient. We have listed the recommended / required items for day trips and overnight river trips below.

DIY Trip Packing List

  • Photo ID (required)

  • Map

  • Watch or timekeeping device

  • First Aid kit (required)

  • Rope 

  • AIS Sticker (if bringing own paddlecraft)

  • Cash for souvenirs and tips

Multi-day additions: 

  • Tent, sleeping bag, pad, pillow

  • ​Drybag (Rentals $10)

  • Cooking equipment, fuel

  • Kitchen tarp (required)

  • Food storage system (animal proof)

  • Garbage bags

  • Firewood / Firepan (required)

  • Wag Bags / Portable Toilet System (required)

  • Emergency communication device (required)

  • Emergency Plan

Did you know we rent camping equipment?  Outfit your entire trip with tents, sleeping bags, kitchen cooksets, firepans, and toilet systems. If you have any questions, contact us and we will help you find the right gear for your trip. 


Waterproof 34-page color river maps available; proceeds benefit the National Water Trail.

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Joe Hjortshoj

IMPORTANT:  This is not a beginner trip. It is a strenuous 12 miles of physical paddling and hiking.  Beginners should look at our Lake Mead or Willow Beach locations or opt for a guided tour. 


It is your responsibility to know your limits, be prepared, and make your own judgements about weather and risk.  We can offer insight to help you make a decision, but ultimately your safety is your responsibility. You should have capsize recovery skills, know how to deal with wind and weather, and be confident in deep cold water. We do not offer rescue services and the trip leader is responsible for abandoned or lost equipment.  When you purchase this service, you are paying for equipment rental and shuttle service only. You will be on your own in a remote area. If this makes you nervous, we strongly suggest a guided trip.


NOTE:  Most requests for rescue and lost/abandoned gear happen in Black Canyon. In almost every case the participants were ill-prepared and did not listen or follow instructions. Boats (and other equipment) that float away, sink, or otherwise go missing are the responsibility of the trip leader. This is not a rare occurence and happens more than it should. Listen to the advice of professionals, read your pre-trip emails, do your research, inform your group, and come prepared.  


For the above reasons, we STRONGLY recommend trip insurance.  

Joe Hjortshoj

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Izzy Collett


  • Kayak, Canoe, or SUP

  • Paddle(s)

  • PFD(s)

  • Bowline

  • Launch / Retrieval


  • Hoover Dam Launch Permit ($32)

  • Rescue Service / Damages

  • Drybags (rentals $10)


  • 7AM (Day trips only)

  • 8AM

  • 9AM (overnights only)

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