This is probably one of the last things you would expect or even plan to do while visiting the 9th island but I have gone to LV so many times, and realized I never took the time to see the Hoover Dam. It’s a sight I remember my Uncle Bobo always took the time to visit whenever we made a trip to Vegas, even when no one was interested in going with him, he’d go all by himself! (I miss you uncle, happy early birthday!)
Now that he’s gone, I thought about all the opportunities I missed and decided, what the heck – one day away from the casino will save money and my lungs from the second-hand smoke and would be a great opportunity for our group to do something active together between all the indulging and drinking.
This was definitely a day of adventure and new experiences – Looking back, I still can’t believe we got to do all of this!
Stop 1 Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge – a Lookout-type spot, there was a parking area from where you walk up a few flights of steps (or ramps) to the pedestrian bridge. For the best view, we walked about half-way down the bridge and got a view of the Hoover Dam that was previously only seen by helicopter. This is also where you can “straddle” the Nevada/Arizona state line, the Colorado River is its border.
Next, we stopped briefly at the checkpoint just before being led down the access road to the base of the Dam to have our id’s checked, receive a safety briefing, life vests and of course, super soakers!
At the base of the Dam, we got into our kayaks, practiced a little while everyone was getting situated (our group was just 10 people – 4 tandems, 2 singles and our guide Eric) and off we went! The river was super calm, almost like a lake without much current or breeze and the sun was blaring. A gorgeous day to be playing in a 50-something degree body of water (thus the super-soakers)!
Our first stop was relatively close, the Sauna Cave. Honestly, I didn’t even stop to think or imagine what I was about to walk in to but let me tell you, I was not prepared for this! Our guide Eric offered small flashlights just in case any of us were scared of the dark – we laughed and accepted one. climbing up a few rocks toward the mouth of the cave and stepping in the narrow entrance, you’re hit in the face with humid steam and stepping into a pool of hot water. The cave extended pretty far into the mountainside and was like a narrow tunnel with water up to your thighs. Except for the light from our flashlights it was pitch-black. I’m not claustrophobic but I admit I got a little freaked out! Not as freaked out as the people at the front of the group (my sister and her bf) who got a glimpse of a nude hippie relaxing in the back of the cave with his junk out! muahahahaaa! Ok needless to say we booked it out of there!
After that we stopped again to see some of the hot spring pools a little further down-river. I’m still tripped-out over how HOT those pools were! Our guide and a couple of others on the tour had no problem just immersing themselves in the pool but I swear my feet were burning just touching the water!
The next stop made me wish a little for the hot-springs action… we jumped off of a cliff (not sure how tall it was but it seemed like it was a tower!) into the freezing water! It was definitely a thrilling experience!
In all, we kayaked 12 miles down the Colorado River from the base of the Hoover Dam and ending at Willow Beach, Arizona. It was one of the greatest adventures I’ve had and I’m so glad I got to do it with the people I love! 🙂
If you have a free day on your next trip to Vegas, please check it out! The company we used was Grand Adventures , they were GREAT! Here’s my Yelp review as well : http://www.yelp.com/biz/grand-adventures-las-vegas#hrid:PoMKm0hzIBHMpwFuvr2I_Q