NOTICE: We are suspending rafting tour until Labor Day weekend.

​5 River Rafting Safety Tips

The Colorado River is home to some of the wildest, most challenging rapids in the Southwest. Countless rafters have told stories about their encounters with Class IV and V rapids, having their kayaks flip over or swimming in freezing cold waters.

Here’s the good news: You won’t have to endure any of that on the Black Canyon Raft Tour, which takes adventurers on a 3-hour water trek through Black Canyon from Hoover Dam about 12 miles south to Willow Beach. The waters in this section are smooth and calm. There’s no paddling required on our motorized rafts, leaving plenty of time for you to enjoy the sights and sounds of the Black Canyon Water Trail.

Even so, safety is always a primary concern. While staying safe on this stretch of the Colorado is easy, here are 5 tips to keep in mind during your Hoover Dam river rafting ride.

1. Wear Proper Gear: Black Canyon River Adventures outfits all rafters with life vests required by the National Park Service. Most vacation clothes are fine for the 3-hour trip; just make sure you’re comfortable and have closed-toed shoes. If you plan to take a dip on the shore, wear swimwear underneath layered clothing.

2. Be Prepared for Anything: While the waters from Hoover Dam to Willow Beach are relatively flat, they still move. Keep your hands inside the raft while it’s in motion and remain seated unless your guide says otherwise. The waters can occasionally get choppy due to high winds or river changes, so be prepared to follow quick instructions during these times.

3. Enjoy the Sounds of Silence: If you’re like most travelers, you’ll have your Smartphone at the ready for photos during your rafting trip. Silence your phone so that you (and your fellow travelers) can hear important information or instructions from your river guide. Plus, you don’t want to be that annoying guy talking on his cell throughout the whole trip. No one likes that dude.

4. Connect with Wildlife (From Afar): Your river rafting guide will point out Hoover Dam wildlfhrefife such as ospreys, bighorn sheep and the occasional coyote along your journey. Most of the time, these native animals steer clear of humans and motorized rafts. However, occasionally a stray bird or mammal gets cozy with travelers. Keep a safe distance of 5-10 feet for most small animals, and avoid handling fish, birds or squirrels even if they seem friendly.

5. Protect Yourself: Water and lunch is provided during your trip, but it’s always smart to carry extra fluids and hydrate in the warm desert sun. Wear a hat and sunglasses, and reapply sunscreen at least once during your raft ride. SPF 30 or better is recommended.

Seeing the magnificence of Hoover Dam from the waters below is an incredible experience – one you’ll likely want to share with friends and document on social media. By incorporating our safety tips, you can sit back and just enjoy the ride. The bottom line? Stay sun safe. Pay attention. And above all else, listen to your guide. Book now or call 800-455-3490 to get your Hoover Dam rafting adventure in the works.

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