Fires Unknown
Pets Allowed
Water Unknown
About Black Canyon of the Colorado Dispersed Backcountry
National Recreation Area
Hike In
Boat In
Alcohol Allowed
Pets Allowed
Not Reservable
Black Canyon of the Colorado Dispersed Backcountry is located in Arizona
35.7895 N
-114.6949 W
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1 Review of Black Canyon of the Colorado Dispersed Backcountry
The River Between Two States

Along this gorgeous stretch of the Colorado River downstream of Hoover Dam, you will find numerous backcountry camping options on both the AZ and NV sides, many with existing fire rings. In addition, you’ll find emerald green waters, hot springs/hot waterfalls, sauna cave, slot canyons and interesting features along the sides of the canyon.   All camping is first-come, first-served and no permit is needed.  Water can be filtered in an emergency, but it is the Colorado River; so we’d recommend bringing 1 gallon of fresh drinking water per person per day. Please Leave No Trace by bringing Wag Bags or other poop removal method, including your toilet paper. 

Weather & River Concerns: 

  • If you are camping in a wash, be sure to keep an eye on the weather as flash flooding is a major concern during the rainy season.  
  • We launched from Willow Beach marina (AZ side) and paddled up stream to the dam and back over 4 days. We had an amazing weather window, but have heard from locals that this place can be VERY windy (25-50mph), making it impossible to travel against the wind. 
  • When the dam releases, it can also make upriver travel quite difficult (not impossible but difficult depending on your boat and paddling skills). Also, the river can rise 4-6 vertical feet when the dam releases water from Lake Mead, so haul your boats at least 50 feet up the washes and don’t camp close to the water or you’ll find yourself floating downstream in the middle of the night.
  • Cell service in the canyon is very limited. We found a bit near the dam, but otherwise it was emergency calls only.

Note: If you’ve never done backcountry kayak camping, hire a guide or go with a group. There are numerous companies taking groups down the river each day.