Hoover Dam put-in for Black Canyon

We want to take a small group (3-4 canoes) down the Colorado from Hoover Dam to Willow Beach. We will have a combination of our own canoes and some rentals, so we need someone to do shuttles and rentals, not just one or the other. Multi-day trip with camping and hot springs being the big reason for the trip.

Who could you recommend for the shuttle?

Is there any way we can leave our cars at Willow Beach and get shuttled to the put-in so we don’t have a deadline?

How far in advance do I need reservations for late Feb/early March?



I’ve done this trip several times.
Its best to make your reservation NOW. This is a popular trip for paddlers. Permits are obtained from the Bureau of Reclamation and they only allow up to 30 launches a day. Cost should be $17 for adults over 15 years and $14 for 14 years and under.

You can leave your vehicles at Willowbeach for up to 7 days with no problem.

As far as an outfitter that can shuttle your group, I always use Desert River Kayak out of Bullhead City, AZ. The owner is Helen Howard and she is extremely professional, knowledgeable, and is one of the most respected outfitters on the lower CO River. They offer kayak and canoe rentals. Their phone number is 928-754-5320 and website is http://www.desertriveroutfitters.com/welcome.htm

Check with outfitters in Boulder City
A group of us launched below the dam a couple of years ago and paddled down river to Willow. At that time individuals could not launch below the dam due to “security issues”. We had to put our boats on an outfitters trailer (dont remember their name) and they had to take us to the launch. We also had to be cleared by the Department of Homeland Security before the outfitter could take us below the dam. Dept of Homeland met us at our motel (the Hacienda) with the outfitter and checked ids before putting our boats on the trailer. The Hacienda is a motel/casino and it was very decent and very cheap, like about $25 a night.

The road down is very narrow and steep, and the parking area is very small.

It is a beautiful trip.

Dam paddling
I have contemplated the same put-in but don’t like all the reservations and dependence on others, etc. River trips have a lot of logistical challenges. Adding all those additional layers has no appeal.

My plan is to put-in at Willow Beach and eddy hop upstream for a day. Then we will paddle down to Lake Havasu for the take out.

Got our permits
Decided not to wait so I made our reservations last week. The price wasn’t outrageous for the shuttle, and it is easier to go downstream instead of upstream, particularly if the dam starts generating electricity! We will be on the river 2 nights, visiting lots of hot springs.


Check your plans.
You sort of skipped right past Davis Dam. You will need to portage around that and I wouldn’t recommend attempting that without a vehicle.

One other detail to take into consideration is the wind. There are times when the wind will blow at 50 miles per hour, day and night for days on end. You won’t want to be on Lake Mohave when that is going on.