Emerald Cave Kayak Tour

Come paddle with us on a kayak tour through the breathtaking Black Canyon! You'll visit the Emerald Cove and witness historical landmarks from the Hoover Dam era.

  • amazing guide

  • 3 to 4 hour kayak tour

  • launch from willow beach, AZ

  • kayak equipment and snacks included

  • witness historic sites

  • take emerald cave photos

  • 4 mile roundtrip paddle

  • chance to spot wildlife

On this excursion you'll go for a flat water, roundtrip paddle, desert experience, with a short walk to a scenic view. You'll stop on a beach to relax and perhaps take a dip in the cool water, making for unforgettable memories. The light in the cave will depend upon the time of day and the season. Light in the cave isn't the only reason for this trip.

What to wear to emerald cove?

You'll want to wear sunglasses, a hat, and something that wicks away moisture, like clothes labeled quick dry. If you are worried about sunburn, wear long sleeves and compression-fit leggings under your shorts. When you get in and out of your kayak, you will be stepping in the water, so we recommend water shoes or sandals, not flip-flops. If you don't have that water shoes, just make sure you take your shoes and socks off before getting in the kayak and bring them with you.

Additionally, during the winter and fall months it's recommended to bring a lightweight rain jacket or windbreaker in case of unexpected changes in weather or splashes from the water. Even if the forecast predicts clear skies, it's always better to be prepared.

Weather Report Weather  

Wind Speed Color

What to bring to emerald cave?

Be prepared for your kayak adventure by bringing sun protection, your phone or camera, and some extra bottled water. You can also bring a towel, swimming goggles, and your favorite healthy snacks; one often-overlooked item is an extra pair of socks!

Can you get to emerald cave on your own?

You can absolutely get to Emerald Cave on your own, however the price difference between a kayak rental and a kayak tour is much lower than the value added by a knowledgeable tour guide.

What is the best time of day to visit the Emerald Cave?

If you are looking for the best light possible then you want a late morning tour, however you might encounter an hour long line to get in during the busy season.

Is it worth it for the perfect emerald cave photo?

We launch in the early morning and early afternoon to try and avoid peak crowds but still have enough light shining in the cave.

How far is emerald cove from las vegas?

The Emerald Cave aka Emerald Cove is about an hour drive from Las Vegas.

Depending on your Las Vegas starting point, you will take the 515 South or the 215 toward Henderson.

Then, you will merge onto the 11 South towards Arizona; on this highway, you will get a beautiful view of Lake Mead and the Colorado River.

Right before the Willow Beach exit, there is a Scenic View photo opportunity pull-out.

Once you get to Willow Beach Rd you will pay $25 per vehicle or present your America The Beautiful park pass to the National Park entry fee Station.

Follow the road until you see the Colorado River and Kayak Beach where we will launch from.

Further ahead, you will find the Willow Beach Marina, where there are bathrooms, a convenience store, and the Black Canyon Grill.

Is Emerald Cave Worth Visiting?

It is absolutely worth visiting the Emerald Cave for one reason alone: the unforgettable experiences before and after the cave itself!

You'll see towering Black Canyon walls, hike to a scenic overlook at a historical site, and learn about the plants, minerals, and wildlife of the desert landscape.

How long is the Emerald Cave kayak tour?

It takes about 4 hours to complete the Emerald Cave kayak tour depending on your skill level. It can be done as quickly as 2 and a half hours at a gentle pace if you go there and back. That leaves you with an hour and a half to visit historical sites with beautiful views, take a swim in the cool waters of the Colorado River, and refuel on healthy snacks.

Is Kayaking to Emerald Cave Worth It?

The Emerald Cave can look like a ride at Disneyland with over an hour-long wait time to get in, but people still finish the kayak trip with a smile on their faces all the time.

In all honesty, the Emerald Cave is just the cherry on top and definitely not the best part of the experience! So how can that be?

Well, the Emerald Cave and the section of the Colorado River where it is located has some of the most unforgettable views, fascinating historical sites, and incredible wildlife in the Black Canyon that will make you forget all about the Emerald Cove.

If you want to skip the Emerald Cave we are totally cool with that on our Private Tour where you have more control of the tour.

What To Expect on Your Emerald Cave Kayak Tour

When you get to Willow Beach Rd, to enter Lake Mead National Park, you might have to pay the national park entry fee, or you can present your national park pass if you have one.

Show up early enough to give yourself time to visit the Willow Beach Marina store and grab some extra snacks or water if you haven't already.

Right across from the store are some decent bathrooms.

You can use these before you start your way over to Kayak Beach, the paddle craft launch area you saw on the way in.

Be at Kayak Beach 15 minutes before the launch time so we can get you comfortable in your PFD (Personal Floatation Device) and go over a quick safety and paddle talk.

When you board your single or tandem kayak, place one foot in front of the seat, then sit down before bringing your second foot in.

The last step for getting in your kayak is adjusting your footrests so that you are comfortable throughout the entire experience.

Once everyone is in a kayak and ready to go we paddle together up the crystal-clear waters of the Colorado River, with incredible sights around every bend. Sometimes you can spot amazing desert wildlife such as bighorn sheep, different types of water fowl, or the elusive bald eagle.

When we reach the cave we will back in to take Emerald Cave photos and learn about the desert history and landscape.

On the way back we will stop at the River Gaugers beach.

Here we will get out of the kayaks, re-fuel on some healthy snacks and maybe go for a swim.

We also take a walk up a short path to a historic landmark. We take in an awe-inspiring view and fantastic photo opportunity while we learn about the smell of rain in the desert.

After taking a well-deserved break, we get back in our kayaks and finish the final leg of our exciting journey back to where we started at Kayak Beach.

We take complimentary photos throughout the journey to help share your everlasting memories and will share them with you via a Google Drive link.

All tours are handled by

Mojave Adventure Kayaking LLC