Black Canyon Wilderness
Wilderness Area Status
Designated Wilderness Area
Year Designated: 2002
Act or Law: Clark County Conservation of Public Land and Natural Resources Act of 2002
State Region: Southern Nevada
County Regions: Clark
National Park Service
Local District: Alan Bible Visitor Center
Contact Info: (702) 293-8990
151 Lakeshore Scenic Drive Las Vegas,
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The power of water and time is nowhere more clearly articulated than on the walls, cliffs and buttresses that comprise the Black Canyon Wilderness. Countless millennia of the Colorado River's diligent carving have created a truly spectacular landscape of indescribable scale. With sheer cliff walls towering over narrow slot canyons, countless waterfalls smoothing and cutting deeper into the limestone and immense walls dominating the terrain, this wilderness is as rugged as they come.
Navigating the meandering canyons can be intimidating and confusing, so take your time and be aware of where you are. The utmost care must be given to every step when traversing and down-climbing the chutes. Do not mimic the bighorn sheep as they bound down the vertical walls, they are well adapted to this unforgiving terrain. Massive rappels are possible for the adventurous, however unnecessary to descend from the rim to the river.
Also, there are some spectacular views of the Hoover Dam and Lake Mead, if you are willing to navigate the rolling hills and cliff edges. Hot springs are a popular attraction in this wilderness area. If you can find these springs (best accessed from the river), you will discover that the water seeps from the cliff walls and rolls down the rock, growing thick mats of algae and ferns reminiscent of a tropical rainforest.
Creosote bush scrub.
Desert bighorn sheep. Birds include peregrine falcon, red-tailed hawk, phainopepla, osprey and Cooper's hawk. In winter one may see Bald Eagles along the river. Reptiles include desert banded gecko, Great Basin collared lizard, several species of rattlesnakes and chuckwalla.
Relict leopard frog.
Wildlife: Desert Banded Gecko, Peregrine Falcon, Ospery, Bald Eagle, Relict Leopard Frog, Chuckwalla, Canyon Wren, Cactus Wren, Barrel Cactus, Common Raven, American Coot, Phainopepla
A great way to explore the Black Canyon Wilderness is by kayak along the Colorado River. (c) Brian Beffort
The Black Canyon Wilderness and the Colorado River. (c) Brian Beffort