How to plan a Kayaking Trip from Willow Beach to Emerald Cave, Arizona

Just an hour’s drive from Las Vegas, there is a place where the water looks emeralds (green) in color when you kayak inside a cave! So cool right?  That place is known as Emerald Cave or Emerald Cove, which is in between the Black Canyon on the Colorado River. Last year, when we were planning a road trip to visit Zion National Park & Bryce National Park from Las Vegas we decided to take a detour and add this beautiful place to our itinerary.

You can either take your own Kayak or rent it. Also, You can go on a guided kayaking tour. We did a guided tour with Evolution Expedition and explored the beautiful canyon & cave.

We met our guide at the meeting point where she gave us a quick kayaking lesson.  So basically, in this tour, we were kayaking on the Colorado River through the spectacular Black Canyon. After paddling for some time, the water started to look gorgeously green and crystal clear.  We then stopped at this beachside for a quick hike and enjoyed the stunning views of the Colorado River from a lookout.

Then, we headed back to our kayaks and started to paddle again towards the Emerald Cave. We paddled inside the cave and the view was absolutely magical. In midday, when the sunlight hits the water near this cave the water appears emerald in color. It looked absolutely beautiful. 

Black Canyon Kayaking Arizona
Emerald Cave, Arizona

Things to know before you plan

1. How to reach?  Willow Beach is an hour’s drive from Las Vegas. Renting a car would be the best option. You can also do a tour with a pick option

2. Kayaking by own or Guided Tour? If you are comfortable kayaking by yourself and know how to navigate the river,  you can definitely bring your own Kayak or rent one. Otherwise, I would suggest to check out the guided tour option. 

3. Best time to go? The best time to visit would be Spring or Autumn. I would suggest avoiding summer because it gets hot in Arizona.

4. How long does it take? You have to paddle around 2 miles from Willow Beach to Emerald Cave.

5. Entrance fee?  It is located in Lake Mead National Recreational Area. You have to pay an entrance fee to enter. However, if you have America Beautiful pass, the entrance is included. You can check out all the USA national park we have visited here.

6. Essential things to carry?

Emerald Cave is a gorgeous place to visit. If you are planning a road trip from Las Vegas or exploring Arizona and love kayaking, we would recommend adding this activity to your Itinerary. Hope this short travel blog inspires you to take the trip. Pin it or Bookmark this post, for your future reference. Also, let us know in the comments if have any questions. Happy to answer! or if you find our blog useful. Happy to know! 

You can also check out our YouTube Video about our Kayaking Experience to Emerald Cave. If you want to know when our next BLOG or YouTube video is coming, follow us on our Instagram @mrnmratraveler for recent updates.  

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Thank you for reading! 

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Kayaking Emerald Cave
Emerald Cave Arizona

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