Nevada, Arizona

Black Canyon Water Trail

The Black Canyon Water Trail is located along a rugged and remote portion of the Colorado River of Arizona and Nevada. The trail follows the Colorado River through Black Canyon for approximately 30 miles, terminating at the historic mining area known as Eldorado Canyon on Lake Mohave.


Length: 30.00 miles
Loop Trail? No
Type: National Water Trails System
Entry Fee? $25.00
     Launching at Hoover Dam requires a permit, shuttle service and payment of a fee to enter the security zone, which totals approximately $32. Willow Beach and Eldorado Canyon will only require the payment of park entrance fees of $10. Due to the location

Parking Fee? No

Allowed Uses:

Boating, Motorized
Boating, non-motorized: Canoeing
Boating, non-motorized: Kayaking
Boating, non-motorized: Rafting
Heritage and History
Wildlife Observation

     Natural hot springs occur in side canyons where soaking is common, camping is prohibited in Security Zone.Water released at the base of Hoover Dam is a constant 53 degrees Fahrenheit

See more details.


Location: The trail is located on the Colorado River beginning at the Hoover Dam Security Zone and extending south for approximately 30 miles to Eldorado Canyon, within Lake Mead National Recreation Area.
State(s): Nevada, Arizona
Counties: Clark, Mohave
Longitude: -114.74267
Latitude: 36.01057

Driving Directions

The 30-mile water trail is assessable at three points: Hoover Dam, Willow Beach and Eldorado Canyon.
Hoover Dam 36 00' 58.26" 114 44' 13.62"
Willow Beach 35 52' 10.63" 114 39' 38.48"
Eldorado Canyon 35 42' 27.30" 114 42' 28.30"


The Black Canyon Water Trail is located within Lake Mead National Recreation Area, a unit of the National Park System. The trip begins, as the river flows, at the base of Hoover Dam, one of the engineering marvels of the world and meanders through 30 miles of the Colorado River where it enters Lake Mohave. This spectacular river setting provides unique paddling and rafting opportunities that are not matched in the southwestern United States. There are flowing hot springs in some of the side canyons and a great deal of history associated with the construction of and research connected to Hoover Dam including a sauna cave, gauging stations, catwalks, trails and foundations of early inhabitants.

Approximately 12 miles downstream from Hoover Dam, you arrive at Willow Beach, a developed area which is the only road accessible portion of the 30 mile stretch of river. Willow Beach is a historic river access site and is developed with all the amenities one would associate with a National Park Service development site. Rental craft are available at Willow Beach for those who would like to access the river from this location.

The river, in the next segment, transitions into a lake but maintains the canyon environment with small bays and beaches appearing as you continue down stream. The setting is extreme and remote with designated wilderness on the Nevada side of the river and proposed wilderness on the Arizona side. As you approach Eldorado Canyon, the main canyon opens so that the size of Lake Mohave begins to be realized. The Edorado Canyon is known for its mineral history. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, gold and silver mines were active in the mountains that form the horizon in Nevada. Steamboats would transport the ore from Eldorado Canyon down to the Gulf of California and on to mills in southern California.

Additional Details

Primary Surface: Not Available
Secondary Surface: Rock, boulders
Rock, smooth
Water, still

Elevation Low Point: Not Available
Elevation High Point: Not Available
Elevation Gain (cumulative): Not Available

Year Designated:

Supporting Webpages and Documents

Brochure: Trail information
Brochure: Brochure
Website: National Park Service
Website: Black Canyon National Water Trail

Contact Information

For more information and current conditions, contact the trail manager (listed below). For questions, suggestions, and corrections to information listed on the website, contact American Trails.

Public Contact:
William Dickinson
National Park Service
601 Nevada Way
Boulder City, NV 89005
702 293-8920
[email protected]

Trail Management:
Robert Skordas
Deputy Area Manager
Bureau of Reclamation
Lower Colorado Dams Office
P.O. Box 60400
Boulder City, NV 89006 -0400
(702) 494-2301
[email protected]








We hired an outfitter to rent our kayaks, get our permit and they dropped us off and picked us back up 3 days later. Launched at Hoover Dam (OMG, WOW) and camped/kayaked to Willow Beach. Amazing camping (wild skunks), kayaking and a ton of hot springs every quarter mile in the slot canyons. AMAZING experience!

January 12, 2023



Submit an Edit

Trail Managers: please use the official NRT update form to update your trail for any of the following changes:

  • Change in trail mileage through trail extension
  • Change in trail mileage through trail retraction
  • Change in trail mileage through significant trail reroute
  • Change to trail name
  • Change in trail description or use
  • Undesignation of trail (removal of NRT designation status)
  • Other significant updates

>> Download the official NRT update form.

All other edits can be submitted via the below form: