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Floating down from Hoover Dam.

History, wildlife, and sun are the appeals of 5-hour raft trips March through November on the Colorado River. They run from Hoover Dam to Willow Beach-some 11 miles by water.

Black Canyon River Raft Tours buses depart Gold Strike Inn Casino, 4 miles east of Boulder City on U.S. 95, at about 10 A.M. daily. They make a dramatic descent (on a road otherwise off limits) through Black Canyon to a put-in spot at the base of the 726-foot-tall dam. Even the rafts have a history; they're World War II "J-tubes," like those once laced together to make anything from bridges to landing strips.

Strings of rafts travel within 400 yards of the dam and its 50-foot-diameter diversion tunnels. You pass waterfalls, hot springs, and birds. And you'll see wild bighorn sheep- rarely fewer than a dozen, sometimes as many as 70, some within 40 yards. A narrator enhances what you're seeing with everything from descriptions of dam construction in the 1930s to observations on geology, wildlife, and the Colorado's steamboat era.

Tours (lunch included) cost $49.95, $25 for ages 12 and under. Add $10 per person if you want to be picked up at a Las Vegas hotel. For reservations, call (702) 293-3776 or (602) 767-3311.
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Title Annotation:Black Canyon River Raft Tour
Date:Jun 1, 1989
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