The Black Canyon of the Colorado, 2015One of our favorite winter trips from Kernville is to nearby Las Vegas, and it is not for the bright lights and gambling. Not far from the bustle of Sin City, is its polar opposite. A place where time stands still and you are really in no hurry to do anything; probably because you are sitting in a hot spring with the relax-o-meter pegged at 10.
|The crew at the put-in|
|Left to right, Rose, Sarah and Emily|
For those that don't know, you need a permit for this trip and you have to be escorted to the put-in by a licensed outfitter. Once on the river, you can camp pretty much anywhere, and in the first 3 miles or so there are many side excursions that are worth checking out, most of which have hot springs of one form or another. On this trip, there were two shuttle vans dropping off customers, but as usual, most folks headed off downstream rather quickly and we were left with the whole canyon to ourselves.
|Innocence and, well, not so much...|
|Don't get anything in your nose Maggie|
|In the Sauna Cave|
After a nice long soak here, we made our way downs stream past Gold Strike Canyon (a nice little hike if you have plenty of time) and Palm Canyon, where we stopped at a warm waterfall. There is a short climb up on the downstream side if you want to sit in the small pool at the lip. We skipped this part on this trip, but another worthy side excursion.
For my money, Boyscout Canyon is the best spot for an adventure, so we stopped there for a hike and some lunch, and of course, another soak. The canyon itself is amazing with a series of slots and climbs through warm water and the occasional pool to hang out in.
The side hikes are not the only fun to be had as the views are reminiscent of the Grand Canyon below Diamond Bar. The water is also crystal clear and poking around the various coves and caves is fun for everyone.
|Another fun spot|
|Practicing for next year|
|Already better than Dad at this...|
|Starting up the canyon|
|Peyton enjoying going into the slot|
|Dad gives rides up the ladder|
|Dads have fun in here as well...|
The girls had a blast playing in the canyons and springs as well as climbing around the rocks at camp "laying eggs". The benefit to bringing a giant canoe is the endless supply of food, beer/wine, and, of course, firewood. After a great night of a whole lot of nothing, we had to head out the next day to meet our shuttle. As always, we waited till the last possible moment to leave the campsite and still make it to Willow beach by the prescribed time, so we didn't stop for many pictures. This part of the trip is scenic as well, in particular there is a steep walled canyon near "emerald cave" with a very cool catwalk for the gauging station. There always seems to be a bald eagle roaming this spot and bighorns scrambling along the cliffs.
As usual, we rolled into the takeout with only a couple of minutes to spare. The friendly shuttle driver was waiting for us and we were quickly on our way back to "civilization" and the drive through Las Vegas and our way home. Whenever you leave this place you always wish you were able to spend a little more time, but the good news is that it will always be there for you.