Black Canyon Wilderness


Black Canyon Wilderness
Black Canyon Wilderness
Black Canyon Wilderness

Black Canyon Wilderness is a 17,220-acre property just to the south and west of Hoover Dam in the Lake Mead National Recreation Area. The landscape is mostly volcanic in origin and there are hot springs still flowing in places. The area is extremely rugged: a maze of peaks and side canyons with vertical cliff walls dropping to the Colorado River. In addition to the historic mining detritus in places there are also archaeological resources including lithic scatters, petroglyphs and an intaglio.

Most folks visit Black Canyon Wilderness on rafts, canoes and kayaks, floating down the Colorado to Lake Mojave. Technically, Lake Mojave backs water right up to the foot of Hoover Dam so the current is very slow past Black Canyon. There are also a couple of 4WD roads tunneled into the wilderness from the west but they end at the edges of the cliffs.

Because of all the volcanic rock, vegetation is sparse. But there is enough vegetation to support a small population of desert bighorn sheep and some mountain lions, coyotes and jackrabbits. In the spring and fall you might also see rattlesnakes, side-blotched lizards, Western chukwallas or maybe even a desert tortoise sunning itself in the afternoon but in the summer, it's far too hot for that.

Black Canyon Wilderness is separated from Eldorado Wilderness to the southwest by a power line right-of-way.

Black Canyon Wilderness from the top of Hoover Dam
Black Canyon Wilderness from the top of Hoover Dam
Black Canyon Wilderness map
Black Canyon Wilderness area map