Arizona is best known for its beautiful desert environments and rugged mountain terrains. So it is somewhat surprising to learn that kayaking has become one of the fasting growing recreational sports for Arizonans and their families as they get out and discover the lakes and rivers of Arizona.
It was the Inuit and Aleut tribes of the Arctic region of North America that invented these small and highly buoyant watercrafts. Modern engineer have improved kayaks from the original animal skins stretch over a wooden frame design to modern, one and two person stable boats made from high-tech plastics.
Kayaks were the boat of choice for the first explorers of both the North and South Poles. Even though they became popular in Europe by the mid-1800s, it was the kayak races of the 1936 Berlin Olympics that brought the crafts attention to the American public.
Opportunities to kayak are found across Arizona. Such places as the nearby marina at Lake Pleasant, Goldwater and Watson Lakes in Prescott and twelve of Arizona’s State Parks including Alamo, Cattail Cove, Dead Horse Ranch, Patagonia Lake, etc., all are welcoming for those wishing to discover the slow, calm adventure of kayaking on their serene lakes.
A new stretch of the Verde River near Clarkdale has recently been opened and is ideal for a leisurely kayaking river journey.
Tempe Town Lake has become a popular valley venue for kayaking. The City of Tempe offers classes in kayaking and even sponsors the opportunity to kayak Tempe Town Lake at night under the moonlight.
For those more skilled and looking for a greater adventure, white water kayaking is available in the Grand Canyon National Park as well as in parts of the Salt River Canyon. Trips through these areas are best scheduled with knowledgeable vendors and guides.
Most of the lakes have vendors who offer kayak and lifejacket rentals on weekends so that the whole family can safely enjoy these fun water outings with no equipment investment. Often younger children are put in the front seat of a tandem kayak so they too can enjoy the water adventure with their parents but be sure to check with each vendor to see if they have any age/size restrictions.
All these fun adventures still take place under that ol’ Arizona sun. So be sure you take plenty of sunscreen, wear a big brimmed hat and dress to get wet.
So if you are looking for something that is fun and adventurous for you and the whole family to do, consider kayaking Arizona.
You will discover a natural world along the banks and shorelines of Arizona’s rivers and lakes that most never get the chance to see.
Kayak vendor around Arizoina:
Go Paddle Arizona, Lake Pleasant - http://www.gopaddleaz.com/
Tempe Town Lake Rentals - http://boats4rent.com/tempe-town-lake/boats/kayaks/
Moonlight Kayaking on Tempe Town Lake - http://www.tempe.gov/index.aspx?page=1323
Prescott Outdoors - http://www.prescottoutdoors.com/
Sedona Adventure Tours - http://www.sedonaadventuretours.com/
Mild to Wild - http://mild2wildrafting.com/kayaking/salt-river.html -
Arizona State Parks - http://azstateparks.com/find/f_fac_boatramps.html
Arizona Kayaking Club - http://www.meetup.com/arizona-kayaking-trips/
Pictures 1 - 4 belong to Go Paddle Arizona...