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Kayaking Adventures Near Las Vegas

Sitting just an hour outside of Las Vegas is Willow Beach Marina and Campground on the Colorado River as a part of the Lake Mead National Recreation Area. Willow Beach is one of many Forever Resorts locations in this recreation area sitting on the Arizona side of the Colorado River. Hidden along the shores of Colorado are a number of different areas to explore and today we’ll focus on all that you can see if you’re exploring the area by kayak.


Emerald Cove

Head upstream about two miles and you can find the famous Emerald Cove. This amazingly unique cave gains its name from the way in which the sun reflects through the iridescent water and into the cave. With the expanse of the cave, you can easily kayak into the cave for a photo opportunity before making your way up the river. This is a popular spot for kayakers to head to from the Hoover Dam area as well as the Willow Beach area. If you're looking for a more secluded trip, we recommend looking at our downstream trip options below.



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Crane's Nest Rapids

Continue your trip up the river for another two miles and you’ll find Crane’s Nest Rapids. While there are no rapids to speak of now, this area contains several good beaches to choose from for a relaxing picnic. Additionally, there are a number of other side canyons available to explore if you’re looking for more adventure as well as more wildlife to spot in the area such as big horn sheep, bald eagles, tortises and more.


Frogman Petroglyph

If you’d rather head downstream from Willow Beach, you’ll find a number of different sites to visit that also contain their own unique qualities to enjoy. One such location is the Frogman Petroglyph. This is an amazing spot to find but can be a bit tricky to spot from the river so be sure to ask our team at the Willow Beach front desk about tips on how to find it. It is located about 3.5 miles downstream from the marina and is certainly worth the trip to locate this cultural addition to the area. This is one of many petroglyphs in the area so be sure to keep your eyes peeled for more if you decide to take a side hike into Queho Cave or any other coves you may stumble upon during your journey.


Monkey Hole

Continue downstream another 2.5 miles and you’ll arrive at the scenic area called Monkey Hole. This area isn’t as heavily populated as some of the other upstream, leaving you a wide variety of water to explore. Beach your kayak and head out for a hike in the area and be sure to have your camera with you to capture photo opportunities of the wildlife, flora, and amazing landscapes that you are bound to stumble upon. If you’re hoping to go this far on your trip, plan for an all-day outing since it is about a 10-mile round trip back to Willow Beach.

There's quite a bit to explore along the Colorado River so be sure to make a long-weekend camping trip out of it all with a group of friends or your family. In addition to kayaks, there are a number of different water rentals available such as powerboats, pontoon boats and even canoes. Visit the Willow Beach Marina and Campground website or call them at 800-455-3490 to learn more about their kayak or powerboat rental options. Be sure to explore our other properties close to Las Vegas such as Callville Bay, Black Canyon River Adventures, and Temple Bar Marina.


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