Caves and Canyons Along the Black Canyon Water Trail

Date: May 18, 2017
Category: Blog

All along the Black Canyon National Water Trail, there are some beautiful caves and canyons that were formed by the erosive power of the Colorado River. There are also some stunning ones that are manmade. At Black Canyon River Adventures, our tours will give you a unique opportunity to explore these marvels. Here are just a few of the unique caves and canyons you might see.

Sauna Cave

Sauna Cave is a manmade cave in Black Canyon and is located not far from our launch site at the base of the Hoover Dam. As the Hoover Dam was being built, workers tunneled into the rock about 50 feet before they hit a natural hot spring. The 120 degree Fahrenheit water made it impossible for them to complete the tunnel at this location, so they were forced to abandon the site. The cave is now full of hot water and has a temperature of around 130°F.  However, at the entrance of the cave, the water has cooled enough to touch comfortably. Planks have also been put down to allow visitors to walk to this natural sauna and marvel at its beauty.

Goldstrike Canyon

Goldstrike Canyon is one of the few areas along Black Canyon that is accessible by land. Home to the Goldstrike Hot Springs, the canyon has a variety of pools containing water from 85 to 150 degrees Fahrenheit. The thermal waters in the pools are vivid teals and greens with orange algae visible around some of the edges. As with any hot spring, if you choose to go for a soak, you should not dive or submerge your head under the water. The amoeba Naegleria fowleri is commonly found in thermal pools across the globe. Visitors must beware because if this amoeba enters the body through the nose, it can cause a rare, potentially fatal infection.

Emerald Cave

Emerald Cave is a very shallow cave that is just north of Willow Beach on the Arizona side of the Black Canyon. Although it is easy to miss, it is worth keeping an eye out for and taking the time to explore. Inside Emerald Cave, the bright green glow of the water is striking and perfect for taking unique pictures. It is also a great place to enjoy a picnic and see desert animals and vegetation.
Contact us today to explore the stunning caves and canyons along the National Water Trail on one of our Black Canyon River Adventures.