Emerald Cave at Lake Mead shows stunning, colorful images

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LAKE MEAD, Ariz. (FOX 10) - It's only accessible by kayak - but that doesn't stop hundreds of tourists from paddling they way to the Emerald Cave. It's only the Colorado River - just below the Hoover Dam. When the sun is just right, the reflection of the green algae on the bottom of the river gives off a green hue, which creates incredible images.

Robert Finlay is a kayak enthusiast who also leads tours to the cave through his company, Kayak Lake Meade. He says the trip to the cave is his most popular.

"It's a scenic place to go and it's easy to get to," Finlay said. "And people love it."

We tagged along on one of his tours. After a brief rundown on how to maneuver the kayak, we were off. It's about two miles to the cove once you leave the Willow Beach Marina, gliding through crystal clear water.

"It comes out of the Grand Canyon - reddish, the Colorado [river], but the time it does, 70 miles of twists and turns and basins and canyons of Lake Mead, [you get] to Hoover Dam," Finlay said. "It's well-filtered, so beautiful - clear water, right?"

Along the way, we stopped to learn about the history of the Hoover Dam as well as take in the sights of the canyon. The opening of the cave doesn't look like much from the outside but once you paddle inside and look out, the water appears to be a brilliant green.

"That's simply the algae," Finlay said. "[It's] the light refracting through the water and thus you get an emerald color."

Finlay says he loves to show off this beautiful part of the world - and hopefully impart a bit of his love of kayaking on others.

"I like sharing what I know with other people so they can go about their kayaking and learn and have fun," Finlay said.