Sonoran Kayak Rentals

Where to Kayak:  Summer Edition


Now that it has reached Phoenix’s 110+ degree temps, it’s time to talk about summertime kayaking in AZ. Remember to bring your water and sun screen. 


Local lakes: If you’re thinking about kayaking some of our local lakes, it’s still a great time to do so. Canyon, Saguaro, Apache, Roosevelt, Pleasant, etc are all open, and for the first time in many years, filled to capacity after this year’s rains. During the summer, these lakes can have heavy traffic on the weekends, so midweek is the best time to go for calm water. Temps are high, so morning and evening kayaking are best. Summer water temps approach 80* so it’s great to hop out of your kayak and do some swimming. 


River KayakingSalt River: Phoenix residents are blessed to have a fun, easy river so close to us.

Location: The Salt River, about 5 min north of the 202/Red Mountain Freeway and Power Road, offers some great kayaking. Since it’s so close, it’s also a hot spot for tubers, so weekends can be very busy. Weekdays are much quieter. Getting to the river around 6 - 9 am is the best time to go with cooler temps and less people. With 6 places to get on the water you can have a kayak trip from 1.5 - 6hrs.

If you continue past Phon D Sutton, there is a good chance you could see some of the local mustang herd grazing in the water.

Classification: This river is Class I flat water with one optional bypass that is Class II depending on current flow. Perfect for beginner kayakers. 
Wildlife: Some wildlife you might be lucky enough to see is a larger herd of wild mustangs, big horn sheep if you look high on the cliffs, osprey and bald eagles during the winter months, blue herons, egrets along with a variety of other shore birds. 
Fishing: The Lower Salt River is the only cold water trout fishery located in a desert in all of America. Rainbow trout is stocked each year and the river also has large mouth, small mouth, and yellow bass, tilapia, catfish, carp, crappie, and some walleye. 

Kayak the salt river at night! looking for a new adventure try kayaking down the salt river at night! The sun is down water is calm and you will have the river to yourselves. We recommend starting your paddle just before sunset at the water users recreation area and then exiting at the goldfield recreation area. This section will take about 2.5 hrs to complete. With the moon up there is no need for any headlamps altho having them makes for walking and strapping down the kayaks easier. Enjoy the river in a whole new way in low 80 degree temps!

River Kayaking: Verde River: 

Location: Access to the Lower Verde River is from Bartlett Lake Dam on down the river to a river access point (RAP) known as Box Bar. It's less than an hour's drive from Phoenix to the put in spot, and thirty minutes from the take out point.

It's possible to kayak beyond that point all the way down until the Verde connects to the Salt River. However, passing that point means entering the Fort McDowell Indian Reservation. Boating into the reservation is strictly prohibited without proper permits. Contact representatives from the Apache Nation for further information.

Classification: of the river is Class I to Class II depending on current flow, and the most reliable water is in the spring. Paddling from Riverside RAP below the dam to Box Bar takes most casual paddlers between 2 and 5 hours, and is a nice small step up from the Lower Salt Paddle.

Wildlife: Osprey, eagles, herons, egrets and a variety of other shore birds.

Fishing: Below the dam is some great trout fishing that is stocked during the winter months. 


Northern Lakes: Now is the time to go visit the rest of AZ! With temps 20* cooler, how can you say no? Some great choices are Woods Canyon, Blue Ridge Reservoir, Bear, Knoll, Willow Springs, Fools Hollow, Rainbow, Ashurst, Carnero, Big Reservation, and the list goes on and on. All these lakes have excellent camping.


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  • "It's always a great time paddling with Jeremy. He's got a great attitude and knows a lot about the places we kayak. He's a well trained Paramedic if first aid is needed. He's go..."
    The Dutch