Paddle Boarding Las Vegas

Las Vegas at night. | Photo courtesy: Shutterstock Las Vegas at night. | Photo courtesy: Shutterstock


The City of Lights hides a hidden treasure for stand up paddle boarders that is just beyond the surrounding mountains.The Black Canyon National Water Trail was designated by the Secretary of Interior in 2014, making it the first in the Southwest and the first to flow through a desert. The lights of Las Vegas are powered by the ‘Great and Wondrous’ Hoover Dam, which is one of the “Seven Modern Wonders of the World” and now you can paddle this 13 mile stretch of the Colorado River and experience a day paddle unlike any other in the world. You will begin your journey below the mighty Hoover Dam as you are set free to explore the natural hot springs and various coves and beaches along your way.

Kathy Holesapple opened Paddle to the Core in Lake Las Vegas and introduced Stand Up Paddle to the Las Vegas Valley on Independence day 2010. It was a big hit and she soon watched the SUP Craze take over Las Vegas and the rest of the World.


las vegas sup wreckagePhoto courtesy: Kathy Holesapple

Las Vegas can get very windy, so always be prepared for wind paddling when on Lake Mead or anywhere on the river. We do have some of the best weather in the country but often the wind will pick up in the afternoon and become hazardous if you are not aware of the changing conditions. Always check the weather before paddling as conditions can change rapidly in the desert.


Spring is the most beautiful time to see our parks and waterways as the wild flowers are blooming and the desert life is waking up. We do advise that Spring is the windiest time of year and can be very strong and gusty.


Summer is hot and dry so be prepared with plenty of water and stay hydrated. We suggest sun hats and UV protective clothing. The river is the best option in the Summer as the cooler waters bring a refreshing change to the very hot and dry air.


Fall is fabulous and our best time of year to SUP The Park. Our National Recreation Area is very large and can be overwhelming if you do not know where to start. We highly recommend calling Paddle to the Core for help with SUP destinations.


Winter is wonderful for those who are confident and efficient paddlers who have winter paddling gear and don’t mind a little chill. Lake Mead is the best option to paddle in the Winter as the beaches are less crowded and the water is warmer than the river.

Hot Spots

emerald coveEmerald Cove, in the Black Canyon River Trail. | Photo via: Kathy Holesapple

black canyon black canyon1

Paddling Black Canyon Water Trail. | Photos courtesy: Kathy Holesapple

Most Las Vegas paddle destinations are all remote with at least an hour of travel time. Most Outfitters do not transport but there are some that do so you will need to ask your chosen service provider. Most clients will meet at the destination with their own transportation.

Hoover Dam / Kingman Wash

Kingman Wash is on a rough road which you will need to have a truck or jeep to reach. This paddle destination is stunning with red rocks and black canyons and a beautiful beach to launch your Inflatable SUP’s or transported gear. We recommend this destination for Independent and Confident Paddlers Only.

hoover dam supPhoto courtesy: Kathy Holesapple

Cottonwood Cove

A river destination with a full services Marina and endless coves and beaches to explore and enjoy. This is the lower part of the Colorado, with slightly warmer waters and amazing beaches to swim or have lunch at. This destination is best when it is not windy as the wind makes this location hazardous for those who are not strong wind paddlers.

cottonwood coveAn aerial view of the marina at Cottonwood Cove. | Photo: Shutterstock

Nelsons Landing

This destination is a short drive off the beaten path to a small little town called Nelson Nevada. It will feel like you are stepping back in time when life in the desert was bustling with miners and water barges. There is very little water traffic here now, so you will be relying on your own wisdom and skill in these remote but wonderful SUP destinations.

Next time you visit “The Meadows” i.e Las Vegas…Get off the Strip and SUP our national parks and rivers.

Other Paddlers:

paddle to the coreHoneymoon paddlers. | Photo courtesy: Kathy Holesapple

SUPLV a.k.a Paddle to the Core, hosted the World SUP Championships in 2013 at the Westin LLV bringing World Wide SUP attention to Lake Las Vegas and made their G.M very happy indeed. Paddle to the Core is not operational at Lake Las Vegas anymore, however you may find them still standing and spreading the Love of SUP on our National WaterWays. You can visit them at www.paddletothecore.com where you can read the testimonial of the Editor at the Stand Up Journal.

For more SUP destinations, click HERE.

Last modified onThursday, 11 May 2023 12:24
Kathy Holesapple

Kathy found the Love of SUP in 2009 and has been a Champion for the sport by proving its popularity as an inland sport. Kathy was also one of the first SUP Yoga enthusiasts to be published in 2009 and then watched the SUP Yoga craze happen before her eyes. She believes in the power of the sport to be "life changing" as the benefits on the mind, body and soul are unbeatable.

Website: www.paddletothecore.com Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.