Kayaking the Southwest
June 22 - 28, 2014
$2495 plus 9.35% sales tax
If you enjoy the outdoors but LOVE flat-water kayaking, this is the trip for you!! Who knew there were so many amazing rivers, lakes and reservoirs in the desert - and so close to our base here in the red rocks of Sedona. We’ve been paddling these waters on day trips for years and we decided it’s time to share our playground and our favorite pastime on a week-long trip with you!
Two one-way flights are required for this trip. You fly INTO Phoenix and you fly OUT OF Las Vegas at the end of the trip. You are responsible for your accommodation in Phoenix before the trip starts and in Las Vegas after the tour ends. This is a great opportunity to enjoy one of the Las Vegas shows. Look up your choices on-line and be sure and book your seat WAY in advance.
|Airfares are NOT INCLUDED in Canyon Calling trips. It is your responsibility to get yourself to the assembly point of a trip and home afterwards. There are many reasons for this policy including customers wanting to use their air miles, people wanting to go early or stay on after the trip, some wanting to drive etc. Jane at Jane’s Travel in Phoenix has helped our customers with booking their flights for the last 17 years. You can phone her at (480) 755-1388 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org Internal flights are included in trip prices when they fall inside a tour like on our Costa Rican, Peruvian Andes, Australian and Hawaiian Islands trips.
Your Guides will meet you at Phoenix Airport, Terminal 3 at 11am where the tour begins. Most flights arrive from the East Coast and mid-west before 11am and this will save you a night’s accommodation. This morning, please be dressed for kayaking in swimsuit, river shorts, a non-cotton dry shirt, water sandals and a hat. We’ll drive east to the Salt River and picnic at Saguaro Lake Ranch. After launching our kayaks and getting safety instructions we’ll be kayaking downriver for 13 miles, about four and a half hours. Stewart Mountain dam releases enough for recreation use and that ensures that there is a good flow pushing us along. It’s mostly a flat-water day with a few riffles along the way to give beginning kayakers a few thrills. The scenery is beautiful with tall saguaro cactus standing sentinel and red wing black birds flitting and chirping about us. We often see wild horses drinking at river’s edge. Transport hauls us back to our base where we change into dry clothes. Drive north to Sedona – just in time to watch the sun set on Cathedral Rock at Red Rock Crossing. Check into our lodging. Enjoy dinner at a favorite local restaurant.
Today is a magical kayaking day and evening camp at Blue Ridge Reservoir at 6700’ in the White Mountains. Our camping gear is already packed and we help load our kayaks for the 1.5-hour ride to the launch. It takes about an hour to get all our gear unloaded and attached and stashed amongst our kayaks – and then, we’re off! Blue Ridge is a flat body of water so paddling here feels serene and meditative. It’s a couple of hours of relaxed paddling to our favorite campsite amongst the pines and shrub oaks. It’s great fun to set up our campsite and then we usually go on another evening paddle a little further up the reservoir. There is a resident pelican and it’s fun to watch him fishing. There is also an osprey nest by our campsite and its great to see the parents flying back and forth with fishy morsels for the chicks. Dinner cooked in the outdoors is always tasty, why is that? Campfire is our favorite part of the day and of course we all roast smores for dessert.
This is a great morning to sleep in, get up at your leisure and maybe enjoy a peaceful swim in the pristine water. After a hearty breakfast we’ll pack up camp and reload the kayaks. Our route back to the launch is a lazy two-hour paddle, float and swim affair. Once the vehicles are repacked and loaded with kayaks we’ll head to a local café for lunch. They also happen to make great pies! Drive back to Sedona and we’ll check you into your hotel for a three-night stay. Change into hiking gear and we’ll hike one of the many fabulous trails that no one has hiked before. When we’re all hot and grubby from the hike we’ll head up to Slide Rock in Oak Creek Canyon for a swim and slide down the chilly chute – great fun! Dinner this evening will be on Cheryl’s patio.
Breakfast at NY Bagels on the way out of town. We have a two-hour ride to Winslow, AZ (and yes we will stop so you can stand on the corner and take pictures of you singing with one of the Eagles!) Launch our kayaks at McHood Park and kayak up Clear Creek Reservoir for two hours. It’s perfect to lunch in the shade where the creek meets the reservoir. Our return trip is another easy paddle on flat water beneath towering sandstone cliffs. Once the kayaks are all re-loaded onto the vehicles we have a treat for you. We’re going to take you to a magical place called Rock Art Ranch. This small oasis in the desert has a host of original and rare petroglyphs picked and chipped into the creekside rock walls. The petroglyphs are protected by a wonderful elderly rancher, who discovered them as a boy. Returning to Sedona we’ll dine at Wildflower Restaurant.
The Verde River is just 30 miles south of Sedona and in June it has level 1 easy rapids to suit beginners plus enough flow to ensure that more experienced folks will love the kayaking as well. We launch at White Bridge in Camp Verde and take out about five hours later at Beazley Flats. The river is warm and we all take a couple of dips along the way. We’ll stop to eat lunch on a riverbank in the shade. The Verde is an idyllic nature preserve where we’ll certainly see herons, kingfishers and hawks. Sometimes we even see bald eagles, owls and otters. Back in Sedona we’ll freshen up at our hotel and dine at a favorite local restaurant.
Breakfast at renown Coffee Pot Restaurant, home of 101 omelets. Drive to Jerome and learn the history of this amazing old mining town and have an hour to explore the fun stores here. Then we’ll head over the hill to Watson Lake in Prescott for an afternoon of kayaking. Lunch will be a picnic by the lake before climbing aboard our sit-on-top kayaks. The lake is edged with pink granite boulders and we’re in for a wonderful three-hour easy paddle exploring in and out all the nooks and crannies of these boulders. Drive north to Seligman so you can see the preserved Route 66 buildings and signs – it’s quite the photo opportunity – and a great place for an ice cream! Dinner will be at Kingman and then we have another hour’s drive to Boulder City and our hotel for the evening. Tonight we stay in Nevada so of course we spend the night in a high-rise casino! You’ll have all night to enjoy the entertainment if that appeals. Our hotel has a wonderful film we can watch about the construction of nearby Hoover Dam. We’ll learn how the Depression-era construction of this dam was a giant in American achievement. What an extraordinary impact this had on both the history of the West and on American morale.
Breakfast at the hotel before meeting our kayak provider, drive a short distance to the river and launch our sit-on-top double kayaks for a 12-mile paddle on the Colorado River. Our group in our kayaks will make a great picture with the dam and bridge towering behind us. We’ll stop and soak in all the amazing spots including Sauna Cave, Gold Strike Canyon and Arizona Hot Springs. It’s fabulous to soak in these natural hot pools. And it’s also fun to take a cold plunge into the Colorado. Lunch will be a picnic on the beach. On the paddle to Willow Beach take-out we may see big horn sheep staring down watching us pass. The scenery is incredible. Transport meets us at the take-out and returns us to our van. We drive 30 miles into Las Vegas and drop you, around 4pm, at the hotel that you’ve booked yourselves for this evening. Tour ends.