Black Canyon, Colorado River
Black Canyon, Colorado River
February 17th - 19th, 2006
Black Canyon, below Hoover Dam
Chuck H (Me)
Me and 3 friends from work drove out to southeastern Nevada to kayak/canoe the Black Canyon.
I've done the trip before and I think this might be a yearly trip for me, it is a really fun trip.
We drove out on Thursday the 16th and stayed at the Hacienda Hotel, where
we were to meet out outfitter on the morning of the 17th. Sam and I rented kayaks and the ladies
shared a canoe. All of the photos are clickable to a larger image, thanks for Sam and Jeanne for
some of their photographs for this webpage. My images are copyrighted.
Here are a few pictures from the 8am launch below the dam.
On the right is one of the huge cranes mounted to the canyon wall for the new bridge project.
The bridge is expected to be completed in 2008 and will be quite a spectacle when it's done,
being some 300 feet higher than Hoover Dam with 2 lanes in both directions.
(Laura, Me, Jeanne, Sam)
A few hundred meters from the launch we were treated a spectacular site!!! A peregrine falcon
had just captured an American avocet was was sitting on a large boulder plucking its
meal! The falcon was just 15 feet from the water's edge and I slowly kayaked nearer for
photographs. It was awesome and that made the trip for me and we had just
We also saw lots of double-crested cormorants nesting in the canyon walls along an old catwalk.
We made our way a couple miles downstream to Boy Scout Canyon (river mile 61 NV) and
made camp. The weather was pretty nice, but a cold front had moved in so the temps
with us were gone and we could explore Sauna Cave (river mile 63 NV) and Goldstrike Canyon
(river mile 62.5 NV). The area is very geothermally active with hot springs and seeps coming
Sam's fugly blue shorts pretty much ruined this tranquil picture! haha :)
Laura takes in the colors.
Near Goldstrike Canyon , we saw a group of desert bighorn sheep. One had a radio-telemetry collar (On the left).
We paddled back to camp, the day was nice and the water was calm. What more can you ask for?
A pair of mallards that were obviously used to people feeding them stopped by camp to scope us out.
Once back to camp the wind started to pick up a little. We attempted to hike up to the pools
in Boy Scout Canyon, but the wind was whipping through the slot canyon and the water
pretty good. We didn't make it all the way up to the pools on this trip.
Sign on the way up the canyon.
The water came up really high in the evening to right where Jeanne is standing in this picture.
February 18th 2006
We woke up to some cloud cover and colder temps. The boats had also moved
quite a bit in the night because the water levels rose so high. The water came all
the way past the entrance to last year's camp. Must have had some high power
was really packed and a whole troop of boyscouts was on their way to the area from
Highway 93. We decided to lounge in the springs a while and then head further
down river to escape the people. I suspect that by the time we left, over 50 folks were
in the small area.
The wind was higher today and made the paddling a little more work, though not bad really.
Here I take a break from the wind in a protected area.
We saw more bighorn, can you see them in the first picture? Probably not, but I
zoomed in for the second picture!
We paddled down to Crane's Nest Canyon (river mile 56 AZ) and made camp. We were
the only ones in the canyon and it was a lot better that way. The wind was pretty strong up
I was surprised to see any wildflowers at all. Sure is helpful that Sam is a botanist!
Here is a great website for researching plants:
National Plant Database, USDA
Desert Lupine (Lupinus sparsiflorus)
Brittlebush (Encelia farinosa)
Blue phacelia (Phacelia crenulata)
Bigelows Monkeyflower (Mimulus bigelovii)
It's hard work taking wildflower pictures too!!!
This is me trying to get the Mimulus photo.
After our hike we lazed around camp relaxing and reading for a few hours and headed out
around noon. We only had a few miles left and we were not meeting the outfitter until
There is a guaging station near river mile 54.5 (NV). It is solar powered now, but it used
to be accessed from the catwalk in this picture. That must have been a scary job walking
We also checked out Emerald Cave (river mile 54 AZ).
Lots of cliff swallow nests in the ceiling of the cave.
We made our way down to the Gauger's Home Site, a state historical site (river mile 53.5 AZ). I love exploring
Lake Mead were around 50% and I've read that levels in Lake Powell are even less. The drought is
everywhere in the
Lastly, here is a picture of our launch site from the dam with another group heading out to adventure!
Birdwatching is one of my favorite hobbies and here is the bird list I had for the trip.
Great Horned Owl
a couple unknown hummingbirds, females that woulnd't stay long enough to ID!
Final Thoughts on the Trip
-- Next time, I'm going to go when things are just slightly warmer, I might try late October or early November
-- Next time I will kayak up from Willow Beach with my own boat, the outfitter is great, but not needed
-- Having a canoe along really helps for extra gear!
trips with good friends, you can't beat it. :-) Thanks