Travel Blog

Nevada White Water Rafting

In southern Nevada the only white water rafting you are going to be able to do is in one of the theme parks in Las Vegas. The middle of the desert does not provide many opportunities for white water enthusiasts to pursue one of their favorite sports.

Las Vegas

Las Vegas
is the largest major city in the state of Nevada and can be found near the southern end of the state. There are no rivers in the area. White water rafting enthusiasts will have to look to other locations and venues to get their thrills. Neighboring Utah and Arizona offer significant and exciting white water opportunities down the Colorado river. In addition there are a number of other rivers that can be found in the area.

In the city of Las Vegas there are several water parks for the kids to try out high slides and make believe white water rapids. However, that is about it. As a result, adults will have to resolve themselves to enjoying some of the top line entertainment and fine food in many of the 5 star restaurants. Take in some of the best casinos in the country and relax and enjoy yourself around the pool.


Laughlin is at the southern tip of Nevada and is in the middle of the desert. Hence there is no discernible white water rafting in the area. However the city of Laughlin is actually on the border of Nevada and Arizona and is separated by the fast running Colorado river. The picture to the left is taken from the banks of the Colorado on the Arizona side. As a result you are looking towards the Colorado Belle, one of the Casinos located along the river  in Laughlin, Nevada. Nevada White Water Rafting.

In this area, the river is not really suitable for white water rafting. The Colorado runs deep, wide and fast on its way towards the Pacific Ocean. Across the river from Laughlin is the city of Bullhead  in Arizona. There are many housing and condo developments along the river and further in land from the river. This section of the river is down stream from the Hoover Dam and Lake Mead.

Recreational activities include boating and fishing as well as tour boat operators plying the river. Lake Havasu is further up river were the London bridge is and another recreational area.


Reno offers a small white water park  that many tourists can try out.  The Truckee River Whitewater Park is in the heart of Reno’s bustling downtown hotel-casino and booming arts district. With 11 drop water pools and 2600 feet in length it is ideal for kayaks. They can enter the river at many locations. Over 7000 tons of smooth rocks have been added along the river. There are may deep pools that are populated with trout. The river is suitable for kayaks, canoes and inner tubes. This smaller white water rafting location is  considered a class 2 or 3 course.

Lake Mead

Lake Mead was created by the construction of the Hoover Dam in the 1930’s.  Since that time, the dam has also been the main route south from Las Vegas. This takes you to Kingman and Flagstaff , Arizona. This is an aerial view of the lake from plane flying into Las Vegas.

The road ran along the top of the dam and only recently has there been concern about security. Since 911, the state has decided to build a bridge across the Colorado. It is just south of the dam and block all traffic from crossing the dam.

They are very concerned and very dependent on electricity as well as water generated by the dam. They are spending many millions of dollars building a new road and bridge across the river.

Lake Mead offers a great deal of recreational activity. However again this is in the middle of the desert with no white water rafting in the area.

Grand Canyon

The Grand canyon is about 5 hours drive to the south rim of the Grand Canyon in Arizona. You cannot gain access to the Colorado river unless you are prepared to hike all day down to the river. You must also spend the night camping along the river before you hike back up the next day. This is a one mile elevation hike. So you need to be in good shape if you plan to do this hike.

There are white water rafting trips available in Arizona and Utah with access to the Grand Canyon. However they are quite a long way from Las Vegas, Nevada or from the Hoover Dam in Nevada. Still visiting the Grand Canyon as a hiker is a fantastic experience which everyone should experience.

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