I am relatively new to the southwest Arizona Desert (Imperial CA, El centro CA, Yuma AZ). While I am experianced in ISUP and Kayaking in the Midwest I am eager to get out in my new area and do this in the Southwest Arizona desert. Is there anything I need to know about the Colorado River or the rivers in Arizona that I need to be cautious about?
Use lots of sunscreen a wide brimmed hat, paddling gloves, sunglasses, etc. As for the Colorado, it is pretty tame if you don’t count high winds on the reservoirs. Most places on the river, there is a little too much current to make a round trip of it. I would recommend checking out the lower end of Lake Mohave. Lake Havasu also has some good paddling. The rest of them, not so much. And then there is Lake Mead, but that might be quite a distance for you. Martinez Lake down by Yuma might be a good one, but I don’t think I’ve ever actually been there. At times the boat traffic can be the biggest hazard.
Thank you!! Yeah I noticed boat traffic and the currents as well making me think it will only be a 1 way paddle trip. I go to Lake Havasu lots of times but its always crowded with boating, jet skis etc. I Just remembered Martinez lake I will go check that area out. Thank you
Watch out for power boaters on the lower Colorado River. There have been several serious accidents with collisions. On a weekend or holiday the water is full of drunk douches. On an SUP. The smaller rivers can be run during good years ( Verde , upper Gila). I would check out taking trips to Rocky Point, - Puerto Penasco in Mexico … The Sea of Cortez in Baja is great, fastastic paddling, just be careful and ask advice where it is safe to camp, drive alone etc. Crossing border at Why used to be really easy. Not sure how Trumpism has altered that. Also depending where you are San Diego is close by and a good place for paddling in protected bays (San Diego Bay, Mission Bay) and Lajolla Cove area usually have small waves and tremendous wildlife viewing to get used to open coast paddling.
Thank you! San Diego might be a fun little day trip … I never thought of to go there. Would be nice to go without having it be a one way trip like the colorado river is. This weekend Im checking out lake martinez but with the weather getting warmer and more military to the area, I feel that its going to be a mess with the not so smart young military guys. I will look into San Diego. Thank you
Also I forgot to mention there are lots of outfitters who give lessons and tours in San Diego. Check out Aqua-Adventures on Mission Bay, you might want to take surf lessons when here. One thing I forgot to mention, if you are a recent transplant from the Midwest, the hot weather will soon be coming. It will soon be 115 F in places on the lower Colorado, hot weather lasts til late October so plan accordingly. I lived in Tucson for a few years and traveled to San Diego and Northern Utah, I’ve been through Yuma and Gila Bend several times when it was 119 F. Last summer it was 122 F when I was traveling in the Mojave, keep plenty of drinking water with you when traveling and learn about desert survival before heading out for adventures on the water.