As you may know if you have been following along here, the outdoors of Southern Nevada has been my haven and sanctuary during the sobriety journey.
And I love finding new ways to experience and explore here, and this past weekend I had the chance to go on a half-day tour with a local kayaking company, Blazin’ Paddles.
The company also offers full day tours, but a half day was just right for my level of experience (and energy supply what with a baby at home…!)
You can opt to meet at their offices in Henderson, or if you’re staying on the Strip without a car, they can arrange for a pickup at most of the hotels to bring you to the office meeting point if needed.
At their offices you can purchase waterproof phone cases (for just $5) as well as dry bags for any belongings you don’t want to get wet.
They also sell sunscreen and water shoes in case you don’t have either of those as well.
The half day tour also includes water (which will be waiting for you in your kayak) and light snacks (such as crackers, fruit snacks, and cookies) which are given out about halfway through the tour.
From the offices in Henderson, it was about an hour drive down to the launching point of Willow Beach.
The drive is in a roomy air conditioned Mercedes van and the tour guides give some fun historical information about Nevada during the relaxing and scenic hour to the Nevada-Arizona border as well as safety precautions and rules for the day ahead.
When you arrive at Willow Beach, you’ll have a chance to use the restroom and visit the store for any last minute items you many need while the staff readies the kayaks.
The staff then gets everyone situated in their life jackets and helps get the kayaks launched into the water.
Even though I grew up here, something that I love is that there is always a new way to experience Las Vegas and the surrounding areas.
Blazin’ Paddles launches from Willow Beach, which I grew up fishing on with my dad and brother, but experiencing it from a kayak was a totally different way to experience it.
During the 4 mile round trip there’s a historical point of interest stop, a beach stop for swimming, a photo op inside an emerald cave, and if you’re lucky, wildlife to view along the mountains on either side of the river.
The group that I was with had experienced kayakers and newbies, and everyone seemed to have a great time.
The staff was attentive to the needs of the group, and made sure that no one felt left behind or overwhelmed with the physical demands of the day.
It was so relaxing to be outside on the water far away from cell phone service and just concentrating on the zen of rowing.
I am really hoping to do one of the moonlight tours sometime or a full day tour–I will definitely be back!
If you are thinking of doing a tour with Blazin’ Paddles, a few quick notes:
- Read their FAQ page ahead of time–it’s helpful and informative
- Bring a hat, sunscreen, sunglasses, and if you wish, extra snacks and water (there is a little storage cubby you can fit these items into on the kayak–it’s not waterproof but it’s perfect for these types of items)
- Wear your swimsuit under your clothes, and wear quick drying clothing over it as you will get wet
- Do a few stretches before hand of your arms, shoulders, and back as you’ll be getting a workout!
And Blazin’ Paddles has been kind enough to offer a discount to you all my friends…you can use the code soberinvegas at checkout for the half-day tour for a special discount through the end of their season in November of this year.
I can’t recommend this company enough–hope you all get a chance to get outside and experience the Colorado River this summer!