NEWB-Kayaking trip Colorado River

Hello all,

New to the Kayak world and have a few questions…

First off, where do you check private messages and view peoples profiles to see if they are active?

Second, I need some help and advice on my wifes and mine first river Kayak trip. I was amazed to see how little info is really out there when it comes to Kayaking but hopefully I found a home here. We are planing to go to Marble Canyon->the dam->mack to Marble Canyon at Lee’s Ferry.

Here is a list of what we have…

-I have a bunch of military gear, ponchos, shovel, camelbacks, wet wheater gear and what not.

-small tent

-sleeping bags

-have access to rented Kayaks, they are called Malibu Revolution 13s


-Also, MREs

-small propane tanks with an attachable stove top

-Fishing polls

I have an SUV with the rack it came with and was plamnning to just strap 2 Malibu Revolution 13s on top of each other on the top. Any suggestions with this? Is it safe to do that? I was going to use the straps that you can crank to get them on really snug. (any video links you know of would be great or just a yay or nay/advice, especially with two kayaks)

We are planning to do a self guided trip starting with taking a “backhaul?” (i believe that is what it is called). We are planning to leave around 2am on and catch the 1030 backhaul that takes us from Lees Ferry to the top by the dam. Has anyone done this? I do not want to be difficult for the people that are taking us up to the damn with the gear and two Kayaks. We are taking the backhaul due to it saying it is too difficult to kayak to the top with 6-8mph currents I am not sure if this is true what do you guys think?

We want to camp two nights out there and supposedly there are 6 campsites or so along the way that are first come first serve. Any suggestions where to stop the first day and if we should stay there both nights? We want to stay at one that has a restroom.

They say you can light fires but you have to take your own wood? how would you manage that? Also, and I cannot stress this enough we need help with the food or water. If you are familiar with the kayaks we are taking where can we store the food and the water? What can we take that will last two days and how do we take this and pack it? (with the food any links would also be much appreciated)

We will be going the first week of august what can we expect for weather? From everything I have read the water is too cold to swim in which is fine.

Fishing, is something I am really debating skipping. We are not big fishers but we do enjoy it and it seems like these Kayaks are made for fishing. Besides the fishing polls what else would we need? What kind of bait? Do we need a net? I dont imagine us keeping any of these fish rather catching and releasing. Do we need a license for that? Would we fish right off the kayak as we were going down stream?

Any suggestions, advice, links, videos that you think would be helpful please shoot them towards me. I am looking forward to this! Again, I want to make this as easy/enjoyable for my wife as possible so we can go on many more kayaking trips. I took her camping for the first time in her life a couple months ago and she like it. So I do not want to scare her off with this trip. Also, I read that Lee’s Ledge has some meals that you can just put over a fire, would I be able to put them over that stove that connects to the propane tank? Anyone have these meals before?

-Thanks so much!


Glen Canyon

– Last Updated: Jul-17-14 9:38 PM EST –

I haven't done it, so maybe am way off. But this is Glen Canton, isn't it? If so, check out an article in California Kayaker Magazine from a person who did the trip. Can be read online for free at Issue #10.

Have you backpacked before? If so, that gear and experience could be useful.

And expect to also want dry bags, to keep your stuff dry while paddling. More so because the kayaks you are thinking of are sit on tops (not that the internal storage of touring kayaks is really that dry).

Missing from your list
PFDs. Don’t leave home without them, and be sure to wear them.

Thats it!
Yes that is the place, nice little read, but nothing on fishing or the packing. Or about a taking firewood…thanks for the article though! It is much appreciated!

Of course!
I did not mention this but we have Lifejackets, but we were just planning to wear bathing suits and take a couple sets of dry clothes and towels? do we need anything else? I do not have wetsuites is that essential?


would it be ok
If i took out some life insurance on you, naming myself as the beneficiery?

seroiusly though this may be biting off a bit more than you want for your first river trip.

first you must have PFD’s and if the water is even just a bit too chilly to want to swim, you must wear them all the time.

firewood? on a SOT? really?

Stack the yaks on the car?

based on some of your questions may I kindly suggest a car camping trip to a nearby lake where you can test out your gear and boats.

Change your plan
Do you really mean to paddle up stream to the dam?

Check out paddling on Ruby and Horsethief Canyons, much more reasonable for beginners.

Weather in August will be hot as hell.

In the nicest way possible…
I totally agree with the above. This trip is way too much for your first foray, methinks.

Packing, planning, food, and gear
You might find the information at this site helpful:

This is perfect thank you!

Thanks for the response…
I left the PFDs out honestly because i just thought that was common sense you know, like wearing a seatbelt.

That is what I was thinking about the firewood but in my research people had fires and it says its illegal to grab wood or something like that so I was just making sure I wasnt missing something

I will figure out how to secure the kayaks on the suv, was just looking for some hints…

I was asking…
How difficult currents were, I’ve read people doing it and not being too difficult, this is our first time we will be taking the back haul. We are taking the kayaks out to a lake this weekend to get used to them but I am not really concerned about that, more concerned about packing and not forgetting anything.

this is where i first saw about not using a backhaul service

I just don’t see how you can pack firewood on a SOT and expect to 1) carry enough for two nights and 2) keep it dry. Wood is heavy. Do you know the maximum weight your kayaks can carry?

Here’s an alternative:

No idea how much each faux log weighs, but you may be able to safely carry four or six - in dry bags. Maybe more. Also, do you have a Plan B in case all of the available campsites are inhabited?

Only reason I mention that is your statement you don’t want to scare your wife away from camping. You need a Plan B. And even a Plan C - with safety on the water being your primary concern.

Not taking campwood
I dont think we will be taking any, and yes we are going on the early backhaul and from what I read it is 6 hours down so we will find a campsite first or make it all the way down, it didnt make any sense to me was just asking in case i was missing something, thanks!

Sounds like a plan
The difference between an adventure and misery is attitude. Have a great time!

If i was harse
on my first post, my apologies, it is just that the OP read like a total newbie that didn’t know WTF he/she was doing.

So I took the time to look over the trip idea. 15 miles of cold, swift mostly flat water. limited stopping spots and some areas where steep canyom walls make stopping impossable. great trout fishing. I still would advise caution with the overnight plan, mostly because it is still a first time for paddling in current. You said the current is swift (6-8 mph) in places. that is enough power to create some real problems with a swimmer and a loose boat. there is a campground at the put in. stay there the first night. paddle upstream a bit, learn to read the water, then take the uphaul part way, do a day trip without all the gear on day two. once to kind of know what you are getting into, try for the overnight.

don’t be shipping firewood
Use your head man.