Hoover Dam - A National Historic Landmark

Access to Paddle Craft Launch Site - Hoover Dam

Thank you for inquiring about Hoover Dam Canoe Reservations. Our policy is as follows:

Remember: Launch reservations are first-come first-served, so early remittance of your launch reservation fee and signed application is very important.

View of Black Canyon

How to Access the River

1. Prior to being granted permission to use the Project launching area, the administrative fee (as cited below) must be paid, and the application form must be signed and returned acknowledging that the launch requirements have been read and agreed to by the requesting party.


2. To secure a confirmed launch reservation the completed application must have been received and the fee(s) collected. We request that the application be faxed to us along with a fax sheet with the type of credit card, credit card number, expiration date. Credit card information may also be taken over the phone. Fax to the number in the letterhead.


3. There will be no refunds in the event that a launch is not completed.

4. All fees MUST be PRE-PAID and approved prior to launch confirmation.

Click here for an application !


1. No commercial-type tours, nor tours for which there has been a fee charged to join, will be permitted to launch craft. Note: Commercial trips on Lake Mead and the river are available locally. Check the yellow pages for information.

2. Each party must include an extra driver(s) who will be responsible for removing the vehicle(s) from the restricted area after the launch has been accomplished.

3. Arrangements to have vehicles waiting at the end of the float trip must be made prior to entering the launch area. This can be accomplished by placing a vehicle, in advance, at the place where the trip is to end or by having the extra driver(s) transport the vehicles there.

Note: We cannot delay a launch while waiting for personnel to move vehicles to the place where the trip is to end and then return to participate in the float trip.

4. Only fully assembled boats and craft that can be easily hand-carried will be accepted for launching. Rafts must be inflated prior to launch time.

5. The access road (approximately two miles in length) is paved from the lower portal gate to the bridge, but it is narrow and winding with steep grades, and carries two-way traffic. Because the last 300 yards from the bridge to the water's edge is a dirt trail and inaccessible by vehicle, it will be necessary for you to hand-carry your craft and gear that distance. The trail is somewhat hazardous and you should use care in descending. Each member of your party must be advised that the use of the access road and trail, crossing lands of the United States, is at his/her sole risk. The United States Government shall not be liable for personal injury or damage to property arising from any cause whatsoever.

6. Vehicle drivers must proceed directly and without interruption to the launch site. Vehicles will follow a designated Bureau of Reclamation vehicle to the site.

7. Vehicles and drivers must be in compliance with all state laws. The condition of vehicle brakes is extremely important. Drivers are solely liable for the condition of their vehicle. A commercial license is required for vehicles carrying an excess of 15 people.


When leaving Goldstrike Canyon, inexperienced canoeists should line the canoes past the rocks or paddle upstream far enough to reach the area on the left where the water is smooth.

A few hundred yards below Goldstrike Canyon on the Arizona side is a hot waterfall within a few feet of the river. This waterfall is larger but not as hot as the one in Goldstrike Canyon. Just past the waterfall is a small palm tree. This is the only tree of any kind you will see on the river.

Approximately 1/3 mile on the right past the Mile 1 marker is a large canyon with a sandy beach. This is Boy Scout Canyon. Hot springs and hot pools are located in the canyon. The stream goes underground before it reaches the river. There is also a hot spring located in the canyon directly across the river from Boy Scout Canyon.

As you approach Ringbolt Rapids, watch for a large ringbolt set in a rock on the Arizona side about 250 yards above the rapids and 15-20 feet above the high water mark. This is one of the many ringbolts used from 1865-1890 to winch steamboats through the rapids. Approximately 50 yards above the rapids on the Arizona side is a cave in which you can canoe about 40 feet into its interior. About a mile walk up the canyon, still on the Arizona side, is another beautiful waterfall and pool.

At approximately Mile 3-3/4 there is an interesting diagonal fault across the Arizona face of the canyon. Below Mile 4 is Weeping Canyon Wall on the Nevada side, the Balanced Rock on the Arizona side, and followed by the Window, a natural stone arch on the Nevada side.

The area between Mile 5 and Mile 6 on the Arizona side is a good spot to watch for bighorn sheep on the cliffs. Wild burros are also seen in the area, usually in the canyons.

Between Mile 6 and Mile 7 there is a rock formation high on the Arizona canyon wall that resembles the backbone of an animal. Geologists call it a dike; locals call it the Dragons's Back.

At Mile 9 on the Nevada side is the old gauging station which was used during construction of the dam for monitoring water level, flow rate, silt content, etc. The cable car provided the gauger access from the Arizona side. The structure is now unsafe. On the Arizona side is a trail with catwalks that were once used by the gauger. This is also unsafe. The second cable across the river is the old restriction cable. No private boats were allowed above this point during the war. It is now home to a colony of double-crested cormorants. At about Mile 10 is a historical landmark sign. The trail leads to what remains of the gauger's residence.

Note: River maps available upon request at launch.

Launch and Retrieval Services
November 2000
Greg Knight
Aqua Adventures
4901 Morena Blvd., Ste. A
San Diego, CA 92117
(619) 272-0800
Vance Sutton
Great Basin Outdoors
2925 N. Green Valley Pkwy
Henderson, NV 89014
(702) 454-4997
Chess Edwards
Boojum Institute
P.O.Box 687
Idyllwild, CA 92549
(909) 659-6250
John Motshagen
Back Bay Canoe & Kayak
1450 Newberry Drive
Bullhead City, AZ 86442
(520) 758-6242
Bill Pedersen
Down River Outfitters
1631 Industrial Rd.
Boulder City, NV 89005
(702) 293-1190
Larry Thompson
Desert River Outfitters
2649 Highway 95, Ste 23
Bullhead City, AZ 86442
(520) 763-3033
Doug Schwartz
Southwind Kayak Center
17855 Sky Park Cir., A
Irvine, CA 92714
(714) 261-0200
Steve Doiron
Jerkwater Canoe & Kayak Co, Inc.
P.O. Box 800
Topock, AZ 86436
(520) 768-7753
(800) 421-7803
Pacific Coast Kayaking
3908 Las Flores Canyon
Malibu, CA 90265
(310) 398-8790

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Webmaster: George W. Gorum
Last updated: January 2001