What kind of kayaks do you use?
Our guided trips are equipped with high performance touring kayaks made by top names such as
Current Designs, and
just to name a few. They are strong, fast, and lightweight. These top of the line boats have rudders to make steering
easy, along with sealed hatches to keep your items protected. Our fleet contains these
high performance boats, as well as recreational boats, sit-on-top kayaks, and canoes from
What is included on a guided trip?
Guided trips are all inclusive. You will get personalized service, great equipment, freshly prepared and tasty meals,
and a professionally trained guide. Most kayaks will have a rudder for easy steering, and we will give you a dry bag
to keep your essentials safe. A guided trip is the best value for your money. Your guide has knowledge of water currents,
scenic spots to hike, wildlife patterns, and is equipped to deal with emergencies. If you feel uneasy or uncomfortable
about kayaking, or are a first time paddler, we recommend a guided trip.
I don’t know how to swim. Can I still go?
Although it is extremely beneficial to know how to swim and will greatly aid in your safety, it is your choice. Swimming, in most cases,
is optional. Nature can be unpredictable though, and there is always the possibility of capsizing. Cold water and swift currents
present risks as well. Personal flotation devices are properly fitted to you, and are mandatory on all paddling trips. Our guides
are trained in river rescue techniques, as well as First Aid and CPR. They know how to read currents, and can help get you back
into your boat if the need arises. While we take every precaution to minimize risks and provide a safe, enjoyable experience, ultimately the
decision to take this risk is up to you.
Is there white water? Will I tip over?
Most days, the river is moving flat water, with no rapids. Depending on wind, weather, and flow rates, there can be choppy
water, rolling waves, and even large swells along the way. We use touring kayaks and most people make it through the day without
an out-of-boat experience, (although there are no guarantees). This doesn’t mean that you should take this river lightly. The
Colorado is a big cold river, and there can be strong currents, eddies, hidden obstacles, and other unforeseen circumstances
that may pose a threat. Our guides are prepared for this and will help steer you in the right direction for a memorable experience.
Will I get wet?
Yes. This is a river trip! You will definitely get wet at least up to your knees. Anything above that is considered a bonus.
The river is 54F degrees year round. It is quite refreshing during the heat of summer, but unless you want to become part of the
polar bear club, too cold for winter swimming. Bathing suits are recommended for the hot springs. We will give you a dry bag to
keep your belongings dry.
What kind of experience do your guides have?
Our guides have been paddling personally and professionally for years. They possess a vast knowledge of the history
of the area, wildlife, plants, weather patterns, and river currents. Before they can become trip leaders, they must
undergo an intense training programs which includes group management, risk management, rescue techniques, wind and
weather, river kayaking, towing, physical skills tests, and written tests. All guides are certified in CPR/AED, Wilderness
First Aid or Wilderness First Responder, Leave No Trace, and all USDOT regulations. We carry satellite phones, marine radios,
SPOT GPS trackers, or cell phones on our trips.
What should I bring/wear?
In summer: Shorts and a T-shirt, along with a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen. Wear a bathing suit under layers of clothing.
Some people prefer long sleeves to protect from sun exposure. Be sure to wear river sandals or old tennis shoes that can get wet.
Flip flops are not suitable for the area; the algae and moss is very slippery and flip flops don’t give enough support. You should
definitely bring a camera or buy a waterproof disposable.
In winter: Bathing suit under long sleeves and pants (no cotton). Cotton tends to retain water, so fleece or synthetic
material is best for cold weather. Nylon, polyester, capilene, and polypropylene work wonders. A light fleece jacket keeps you
warm after soaking, and a pair of wool socks will warm your feet even when wet. A ski-type beanie or hat that covers your ears is
oh-so-nice and a light pair of gloves will keep your digits warm and toasty. Bring sunglasses and sunscreen. Water shoes or river
sandals will be fine. Don’t forget the camera!
What if I am a beginner?
You may start as a beginner, but you will end the trip as a confident kayaker. Our guides are professionals and we introduce
newcomers to the sport everyday. A high percentage of our trips consist of first-time paddlers or those who have tried it once
or twice. Because of this, we use lightweight kayaks equipped with rudders for easy steering. All trips will receive a pre-trip
orientation as well as basic paddling instructions. What better way to try a new sport?
Is there a minimum age requirement?
For guided trips, we recommend the child be at least 6 years old and paddle in a tandem kayak with an adult, or 14 years old if
they wish to paddle their own kayak. Your guide may rearrange people throughout the day to balance the ability of the group.
If you feel you can paddle for two, well we won’t stop you. Just remember, the trip is almost 12 miles.
Are there any restrictions in the canyon?
There are no campsite restrictions in the canyon, as long as you pack out what you pack in, and practice Leave No Trace ethics.
It is recommended that large groups bring a portable toilet or groover, although it is not required. Depending on spring rains
and weather conditions, fire restrictions may be in effect; please inquire when planning your trip. There is absolutely no
cutting or gathering of wood or downed vegetation. Fishing requires a license in either AZ or NV and a stamp from the other state. A trout stamp is required for trout fishing.
How much should I tip my guide?
Your guides work very hard to make sure your experience is rewarding and memorable. They often spend hours preparing before your
trip to ensure your comfort and physical needs are met. During a trip, your guide is constantly on the lookout to minimize risks
and maximize enjoyment. They appreciate your verbal praise and thanks, as well as monetary gratuities. Any cash tips can be given
to the guide at the end of the trip. Gratuities generally range between 10%-20% of the total trip price, at your discretion.
Do you rent or sell equipment?
Yes to both. We rent boats, paddles, coolers, tents, sleeping bags, stoves, and camping equipment. Digital waterproof cameras
can be rented for the day, and photos burned to a high resolution DVD for you to take home. In our retail shop you can find last
minute items such as sunscreen, dry bags, waterproof cameras, batteries, film, squirt guns, etc. If you are looking for a new
kayak, we can definitely set you up with everything you need. Want to save a few bucks? We sell used equipment as well.
When should I make a reservation?
Permits sell out quickly, sometimes up to six months in advance. You should make your reservations as early as possible to secure a permit. Holidays and weekends book up quickly, so be sure to call before making big plans.
Where do we meet and what time will I get back?
We will pick you up at your hotel about an hour before your trip. Depending on traffic we should arrive back at your
hotel about an hour after you finish.
What is the best time of year to go?
Anytime! Our guides favor the fall and winter with calm, glassy waters, no motor boats, and fewer crowds. Daytime winter
temperatures hover in the low 60’s, making the hot springs inviting as steam rises above their surface. Springtime brings
colorful wildflowers, newborn wildlife, and warmer temperatures. Winds can sometimes be brutal during March and April. Summer
is just plain hot, but is still our busiest time of year. A good swim in the lake water is invigorating to say the least.
We run trips year round, with a season for everyone!
Do you offer any discounts for children or locals?
For our guided day trips, we offer a $10 discount for children 14 years and younger. Locals receive $20 off any guided trip and $5 off any rental (must present a ID).
Is there a minimum number required for your trips?
The minimum # of people required for a guided kayak, hiking, or biking trip is two (2) people. Overnight camping trips and
certain multi-sport trips may have different requirements.
Do you supply alcohol? May we bring our own?
No. Alcohol is not permitted, and you must not have any mind altering drugs in your system if you want to participate. For the
safety of our guides, drivers, guests, and everyone involved - if we feel you are
intoxicated we will refuse service, without a refund.
Should I buy travel insurance?
If you are concerned about the possibility of having to cancel, we strongly suggest you purchase trip cancellation
insurance to protect your vacation investment. Our cancellation policy will apply in every instance, with no
exceptions for any reason. Desert Adventures is not responsible for any expenses incurred due to travel delays,
flight cancellations, or illness. Desert Adventures assumes no financial responsibility for personal injury,
emergency evacuation, or equipment lost or damaged in any way.
What if I have to cancel?
We have a 14 day cancellation policy. Cancellations made 2 weeks prior to departure date will receive a full refund, minus a 6%
Cancellations made within those dates will be issued a percentage of their refund, with absolutely no refunds or
rescheduling within 48 hours. If you must reschedule, we require 48 hours notice and rescheduling fees
will apply. Desert Adventures will not issue any refund for leaving a trip early.
Trips run rain or shine. Desert Adventures reserves the right to cancel trips due to weather, road closures, or unsafe
conditions. In this case, we will reschedule, issue a credit, or refund money, depending on individual
circumstances. For more information see our Payment & Cancellation Policies
section, or call our offices.
*LAUNCH PERMITS ARE NON-REFUNDABLE AND CANNOT BE TRANSFERRED.
PERMITS: NPS permits are limited and sell out quickly
(up to 6 months in advance!) Call 702-293-5026 to reserve your permits today.