About an hour away from the excitement of the Las Vegas Strip awaits a scenic respite known as Emerald Cove. Nestled along the banks of the mighty Colorado River amid the Black Canyon Water Trail, Emerald Cove is a popular stop for those taking river tours to witness the spectacular Hoover Dam. However, this lovely cove has a few secrets and interesting historical notes we’d like to share that further enhances its natural beauty.
1. What Makes Emerald Cove’s Water Look So Green?
Thanks to the remarkable power of science and nature working together, this beautiful spot lives up to its name with eerily striking photogenic emerald green waters on sunny days. The emerald hue doesn’t come from algae in the water as many often believe. Rather, it occurs as a result of the sun’s reflection off of the surrounding cavern’s yellow-brownish walls and the blue of the sky combining to create a stunning emerald green appearance.
2. Emerald Cove Has Its Own Cave
A highlight of visiting this unique cove is the fact that it has a natural shallow cave on the river’s Arizona border side. It’s hard to pass by this hidden gem without taking a peek inside, but generally only those on kayaks or paddle rafts get to enjoy in-depth exploration. These types of watercraft can be rented at Willow Beach two miles from Emerald Cove.
3. Emerald Cove Sits Adjacent to a Historical Site
Constructed in 1931 to gauge the downstream flow from Hoover Dam, the Willow Beach Gauging Station was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1986. An architectural feat in engineering, the gauging station hangs precariously along a vertical wall amid the Black Canyon. Accessing the station hundreds of feet in the air via cable tramway is not for the faint of heart, but the site sure makes for great snapshots across from Emerald Cove.
4. Tens of Thousands of Visitors Cruise Past Emerald Cove Annually
As a part of the Lake Mead National Recreation Area, the best way to explore the Black Canyon Water Trail is by boat. In fact, at least 25,000 nature lovers traverse these waters by raft, canoe or kayak each year. Of course, Emerald Cove and its fascinating cave are must-sees along the trail.
5. The Best Way to See Emerald Cove is Via Black Canyon Raft Tours
If you want to see Hoover Dam, Emerald Cove, the Willow Beach Gauging Station and much more, check out the three hour Black Canyon Raft Tour offered by the skilled guides at Black Canyon River Adventures. View majestic wildlife like bighorn sheep, great blue herons and osprey while soaking in the incredible sites both made by man and provided by nature at its finest.