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LAUNCH permits & Shuttles



$ Please Call



Joe Hjortshoj

Hoover Dam launch permits and shuttle service for paddlers with their own kayaks, canoes, SUPs or packrafts. 

Launch Permits for Hoover Dam

The Hoover Dam launch site is within a federal level one security zone, and strict regulations are enforced for paddlers who wish to utilize the area. Private vehicles are not allowed; only approved outfitters can transport people and gear to the bottom of the canyon.  Paddlers who want to launch here must secure a permit and shuttle service through a local outfitter.


The area is for launching paddlecraft only (no motors, no large rafts) and there is very short window of time to get your boats loaded and on the water.  Boats and gear will need to be carried about 100 yards to the waters edge. Paddlers need to be efficient and move with a sense of urgency; 15 minutes is all the time allowed by the National Park Service.  If your group cannot launch in a timely manner your launch will be considered forfeited and you will be required to leave with the security escort. Be sure you are organized and ready. 

Every person is required to purchase a permit, which is non-refundable and non-transferrable for any reason (including outfitter cancellations). The current cost of the NPS permit is $32/person. Participants 15 years of age and younger, and those with an America The Beautiful parks pass receive a discounted rate of $16/person. Permit names must match photo identification exactly (think airport security), or you may be turned away.


Paddlecraft permits are limited in quantity and can sell out quickly, sometimes up to six months in advance. They are required for the launch day only, and have no bearing on camping locations or number of days you spend in the canyon.  We are happy to check dates for you, anytime.  When you are ready to purchase permits, call us with your groups' names and payment information.  

IMPORTANT:  We highly recommend trip insurance since permits are non-refundable. If your group cancels or your outfitter cancels due to weather, it could save you hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars.

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  • Permit fees are per person

  • Permits are date & time specific

  • Non-refundable and non-transferable

  • Launch times are set by federal agencies

  • 15 minute time window for launches

  • Paddlecraft only (no motors or rafts)

  • Names must match photo ID exactly


  • Map

  • Water filter / Water

  • Portable human waste system

  • Firepan / firewood (if having a fire)

  • Rope to tie up boats

  • Food storage system (animal proof)

  • Kitchen tarp

  • Emergency plan

  • First Aid kit

  • Communication device (no cell service)

Shuttle Services

We offer shuttle service for experienced paddlers bringing their own boats. Type III Coast Guard approved PFDs are required to be worn in Black Canyon at all times.  SUP paddlers can use waist pack inflatable Type V PFDs if preferred. Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) decals are required for most boats, which can be purchased online at Nevada Division of Wildlife (NDOW).


Our trailers are built for kayaks, canoes, and SUPs. Certain kayaks that weigh more than 90 lbs., or are built with pedal drives, or have major fishing attachments cannot be transported without risk of damage to the equipment, our trailers, and our staff.  We do not transport pedal drive kayaks due to their size and weight. When making a reservation, you will be asked to provide the specific make/model of your paddlecraft to verify it will fit on our trailers. We do our best to accommodate every request, but in some cases it just won't work.  

All inflatable kayaks or packrafts must be fully inflated and ready to go at the designated meeting time. The rocks in the canyon are sharp and can puncture cheaply made boats intended for ponds or protected lakes. If you show up with a cheap rowboat from a big box store, a giant pool toy, or inner tube you will not be allowed to launch. You can find IKs that are suitable for the canyon's geology and remoteness from reputable brands like Aire, NRS, Rocky Mountain Rafts, Star, etc. Paddlers bringing their own boats must have a repair kit and know how to use it.  Oar rafts are prohibited, even without frames.

Paddlers are not allowed to tow additional items behind their boat from the Hoover Dam launch site. Paddlers who wish to tow items must launch with them inside their boat. Once paddlers float downriver past the security cable and out of the security zone, items can be towed.

PRO TIP:  Would you like your vehicles waiting for you at the take-out?  We can shuttle your vehicles or provide a front-end pick up so you can load-and-go when you come off the river.  Give us a call and we can help you with logistics.  Our knowledgeable staff members are ready to assist.

IMPORTANT:  In regards to parking your vehicle at trailheads, meeting points, or takeouts - please leave all valuables at home, or stowed properly out of view of prying eyes. Vandalism or theft should be reported to the National Park Service rangers at Lake Mead.

We do not recommend leaving vehicle parked overnight at Nelson's Landing / Eagle Wash.  Our reservation specialists can help with logistics for your trip if this location is on your itinerary.  Please call us to discuss options.

Darrin Gobble


  • Lake Mead @ Hemenway Harbor

  • Lake Mead @ PWC Beach

  • Lake Mead @ Kayak Beach

  • Black Canyon @ Hoover Dam

  • Black Canyon @ Willow Beach


  • Lake Mead @ Callville Bay

  • Lake Mead @ Temple Bar

  • Lake Mead @ South Cove

  • Lake Mead @ Pearce Ferry

  • ​Black Canyon @ Eagle Wash

  • Lake Mohave @ Cottonwood Cove

  • Lake Mohave @ Katherine Landing

  • Lake Mohave @ Davis Dam

These locations are not recommended for beginner paddlers. We offer services here for special events, custom trips, or experienced source-to-sea paddlers. Extra fees apply.

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“A river seems a magic thing. A magic, moving, living part of the very earth itself.” ― Laura Gilpin

Joe Hjortshoj

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