Where to Kayak in Arizona

8 Best Places to Kayak in Arizona

Are you looking for a new venture? Try out kayaking, this is one sport you can learn easily, and you’ll be in a position to involve your family and friends. One great kayaking destination is Arizona. However, when you mention Arizona, people think of the desert. What most people do not know is that Arizona has so much more to offer. If you are a lover of kayaking, this is a destination worth trying out. The different rivers and freshwater lakes give the perfect spot for kayaking. Several seasonal rivers are dependant on molten snow and rainfall. Additionally, the sun is always shining above the rivers providing the perfect weather for kayaking and other water sports.

Kayaking In Arizona

While in Arizona, there are several spots you can choose to go kayaking. These spots include valley Lakes, Mountain Lakes, and different rivers.

Lake Pleasant is a Valley lake, and it has ports like Scorpion Bay and Pleasant Harbour, where kayakers and paddlers can rent their canoes and kayaks. Near the lake, there is also an outdoor retailer popularly known as Cabela’s, where you can purchase your Kayaking gear. Other valley lakes include Roosevelt Lake. Roosevelt Lake is a popular motorboat destination. Also, if you own a watercraft, this is the destination for you. However, if you are looking for a perfect canoeing or kayaking spot, you can try out the East side of the lake.

If you are looking to kayak in the mountain lakes, Big Lake is the perfect location. This lake is elevated up to 9,000 feet in the White Mountains. While kayaking here, you can be sure you will not be competing with large vessels. Most activities around here are motor boating, water skiing, and windsurfing.

The most prevalent water vessels here are sailboats, canoes, and motorized boats. Additionally, there are set campgrounds adjacent to the lake where kayakers get to rest and make stopovers.

Read More: Top Kayaking Destinations and Things to do in Kentucky

Where to Kayak in Arizona

If you are looking for the best places to kayak in Arizona, you have various places to choose from. You can choose to go to the valley lakes, seasonal rivers or mountain lakes. Some of the best sports to go kayaking include

  1. Lake Pleasant
  2. Lower Salt River, Mea Arizona
  3. Big Lake
  4. Blue Ridge Reservoir
  5. Colorado River
  6. Kayaking in Lake Pleasant, Arizona
  7. Roper Lake State Park
  8. Knoll Lake, Arizona
  9. Verde River

Kayaking In Lake Pleasant Arizona

As we have seen above, Lake Pleasant is a valley lake, and it’s a perfect destination for any kayaker looking for calm waters to explore. It does not matter whether you are a beginner or an expert. Another advantage of kayaking in Lake Pleasant is its closeness to Metro Phoenix.  This makes it an excellent destination area for locals and international visitors. You get to enjoy the Heard museum, hikes, Desert Botanical garden and the musical instrument museum. The 11.5 miles lake will give you the best kayaking experience, and you will get to enjoy the beauty of Arizona. Other than kayaking and canoeing, you can get into fishing, scuba diving, stargazing and scorpion hunting.

Kayaking in Lower Salt River, Mesa, Arizona

Suppose you are looking to enjoy a kayaking experience and experience. The salt river is also a popular touring destination and offers canoeing, kayaking, boating, tubing and whitewater rafting. While kayaking in this river, you get to enjoy the spectacular view of Arizona. Additionally, you get to explore the calm waters of this river. Paddling here also allows you to connect with nature as you go through Tonto National Forest. Once in a while, you can even spot a Wildhorse or other animals along the shore.

Kayaking at Big Lake, Arizona

The big lake is an extensive lake found in Nothern, Arizona. The lake is less famous due to its location. So, if you are looking for a calm spot to go kayaking and enjoy calm waters, this is the perfect place.

The serene environment makes a great place for those looking to fish. You can bring your fishing kayak and be sure to have a catch.

Kayaking in Colorado River

Colorado River is one of the best kayaking spots in Arizona. There are different points where you can enjoy a kayaking experience.

These sites include Horseshoe and Six Mile Bend. These are the spots where you get to enjoy calm waters. However, as you proceed, the river gets rough. Unless you are trying to prove your prowess and are good at maneuvering, this type of water is not advisable for a beginner.

The water levels in these rivers tend to fluctuate with seasons. If the water levels are low, you can proceed to Lees Ferry through Marble Canyon to the Navajo bridge. Beyond this point, the currents are strong, and kayaking here can be dangerous. However, you will get to enjoy watching the Anasazi Petroglyphs, interesting rocks and wash beaches.  You can also enjoy other water activities like fishing, tubing, speed boating and water skiing.

Blue Ridge Reservoir

Blue Ridge reservoir is located in Northeastern Arizona. It is a great vacation destination, and if you are looking for the perfect kayaking spot, this place has it. You can enjoy kayaking in the calm waters while enjoying nature. The nine miles stretch offers a great time to relax paddling in the smooth waters. Even with limited resources, you can easily go kayaking here since no pass, permit or fee is required to access the lake. After a tiresome day in the water, you can camp in the nearby camping areas. There are also other open activities like fishing, boating and camping. So you are not only limited to kayaking and canoeing.

Roper Lake State Park, Arizona

Roper Lake is a 30-acre lake in the Gila River valley in the southern part of Arizona. This undiscovered place offers the opportunity to relax away from your daily routine. If you are looking to relax and get away from your stress, this is the place to be. It is perfect for local and international visitors. The lake offers you a chance for a great paddling experience, and you get to enjoy a scenic wildlife view.

You don’t have to worry, even when taking up multiple days paddling. There are different campgrounds where you can stop and rest or spend the night. This park also offers other activities like fishing, camping, picnics and bird watching. The lake also allows for electric motors and non-motorized boats.

Kayaking in Knoll Lake, Arizona

Just like Big Lake, this lake I also a mountain kayaking lake. It offers the best environment to go out and enjoy some alone time or go kayaking with the family. Kayaking through the secluded forest gives you a magnificent view of nature, and once in a while, you might spot an animal or two. It is also surrounded by ponderosa pines giving it a beautiful view. The lake covers a distance of 75 acres with a depth of about 50 feet.

Kayaking in Verde River, Arizona

Verde River is a major tributary of the Salt River. It is one of the largest rivers in Arizona, and it’s about 170 miles long. The river has gained popularity as a recreational site for locals. This river is a popular canoeing and kayaking destination. In addition to that, it is an excellent destination for fishing, hiking and bird watching.  The river is, however, recommended for expert kayakers and anglers. This is because of the rapid changes in the river conditions. One minute, the river is calm, and the next, there are strong currents.

Read More: Best Places to Kayak in Tampa Bay

Best Kayak and Canoe Rental Services in Arizona

Go Paddle AZ

Go paddle AZ is located at Pleasant Harbor Marina,8708 W Blvd Peoria, AZ 85383. Here you get to choose from the different sizes of kayaks and canoes.

Riverbound Sports Paddle Company

This company is located at the University Plaza. The exact address is 1425 E University Dr Ste B-102 Tempe, AZ 85281.

Salt River Rafting

This company hires rafts, canoes and Kayaks. Here you can get any size kayak or canoe. So whether you are looking for a family vessel or you are looking forward to paddling solo, this company has got you sorted.

Northshore Water Sport Rentals

This company is located in Vela at Tempe Town Lake apartments. It offers canoe and kayak rental services throughout the year.

Final Thoughts

Undoubtedly, Arizona is one of the best kayaking destinations. If you are looking to enjoy your time in calm waters as you reminisce through nature, this is the perfect destination. The different rivers, lakes and dams allow any level kayaker. It doesn’t matter whether you are a beginner or expert here. You get to enjoy your camping trip, and you can always get a guide. In addition to this, you don’t have to carry your kayak or canoe for miles. The different kayak rental companies have you covered. 

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