Frequently Asked Questions
Is there white water? Will I tip over?
Most days, the river is 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. Our kayaks are stable, and most people make it through the day without any “out-of-boat experiences". 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 steer you in the right direction for a safe and 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 53°F/10.5°C 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 safe and 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 lead guides, they must undergo a series of intense training programs, which include rescue techniques, wind and weather patterns, basic river kayaking certifications, physical skills tests, and written tests. CPR and Wilderness First-Aid training is standard, and we carry communication devices for emergencies. Our guides reserve the right to move the group around if they deem necessary to benefit the group as a whole and to provide the guests with the safest experience possible.
What should I bring/wear?
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 otherwise known as zōri, thongs, Jandals, go-aheads, slappies, slides, step-ins, slippers 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!
Bathing suit under layered clothing (PREFERABLY 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 Teva type sandals will be fine. Don’t forget the camera!
What if I am a beginner?
You may start as a beginner, but you will likely end the trip as a confident kayaker! Our guides are professionals, and we introduce newcomers to the sport every day. A high percentage of our trips consist of first-time paddlers or those who have tried it once or twice. Because of this, we’ve chosen lightweight, fast kayaks equipped with rudders for easy steering. All trips will receive safety rules, as well as basic paddling instructions. What better way to check out kayaking!
Is there a minimum age requirement?
Nevada law requires minors to be 8 years of age or 80 lbs to ride on our complimentary shuttle. If your little ones do not meet these requirements, you are always welcome to self-drive and meet us at the launch site. The youngest we have taken out is 4 years old, paddling in a tandem kayak with an adult. The oldest was 84... so far! Your guide may rearrange people throughout the day to balance the ability of the group. If you feel you can paddle for two, we won’t stop you! Just remember, our trips are between 4 and 12 miles.
Do I need a reservation?
For the Hoover Dam tour: DEFINITELY YES! Space is limited, so you should make your reservations as soon as possible. This trip is so scenic and popular that the National Park limits the number of people who can launch per day to 45 boats. They control this by issuing launch permits, which can sell out up to six months in advance. Holidays and weekends book up quickly, so be sure to call ahead. As soon as you pick a date, we can reserve your permits for you.
Where do we meet and what time will I get back?
Your pick-up time and location will be on your confirmation. Our tour times vary, and the river is NOT right around the corner from the hotels. We usually arrange our pick-up times to be about 1.5 hours before the tour start time The same goes for drop-off times. Of course this all varies depending on traffic and any unforseen circumstances.
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. You are almost guaranteed to see bighorn sheep drinking from the river and a good swim in the cold water is invigorating to say the least. We run trips year round; there is a season for everyone!