New Announcements – Trips & Activities

Rescheduled – Estero Tastiota, MX: April 4 – 8, 2019 (Thur – Mon)

Due to extenuating circumstances John’s annual trip to this favorite Mexican estuary on the Sea Of Cortez is now in April. We will drive down to El Colorado and car camp the first night with option to eat at El Colorado. This is a seven hour drive and we usually stop for lunch in Hermosillo. The following morning we paddle up the coast six miles to the estuary which has myriad species of waterfowl. This is a two to two and half hour paddle suitable for intermediate paddlers. We will camp out at the mouth of estuary for three nights, returning El Colorado early Monday morning and driving home. From our camp we will explore the estuary seeking out various species of waterfowl as the tides allow. This is a primitive camp with no amenities. Bring everything needed for kayak camping. Days are usually warm with cool evenings. No campfires. Everyone needs passport or passport card. Drivers need to insure their vehicles. For additional information or to express interest please contact John Maier at


Rescheduled – Gila Box Float – March 28 & 29, 2019 (Thur – Fri)

Gila Box Float – March 28 & 29, 2019
The flow on the Gila looks good! Right now it’s about 300 at the put in and 800 at the take out. It should be lower for us. There is always a chance that precipitation in New Mexico will raise levels. This trip cancels if the flow is too high for my comfort.
Thursday 3/28 and Friday 3/29 (camping near the put-in if preferred Wednesday night (3/13) right after the SAPC meeting).
Gila Box Canoe/Kayak Trip. The Gila River runs westward across southern Arizona and the portion in the Gila Box Riparian National Conservation Area has year round water and is perfect for canoes and kayaks. Bring your binoculars and camera as this area is home to black bear, mule deer, javelina, bighorn sheep, beaver, bobcat, coatimundi and mountain lion.

Where do we put in and take the boats out?

 The 2-day Gila Box paddle trip starts at the Old Safford Bridge near Clifton, ends 23 miles downriver at Dry Canyon near Safford and the group will camp overnight near the halfway point at Eagle Creek. The put in is a dirt launch ramp on the Southwest side of the old Safford Bridge. You can drive to the water’s edge to launch your boat. 
Participants must provide or rent all equipment including canoe/kayak, paddles, PFD, dry bags, camping gear and food. Paddlers must have previous experience including the skill to negotiate up to class II+ rapids and avoid strainers/sweepers.  The Gila Box RNCA charges a $3/person fee.
 The Google map URL below shows the location of the launch point at Old Safford Bridge.

Owl Creek Campground is located just before the Old Safford Bridge on the left side of Old Safford Road. This BLM Map link shows the Owl Creek Campground and the Gila Box NCA area.
 The campground is $5.00/campsite and usually has plenty of room.
 The takeout point is Dry Creek on the North side of the Gila East of Safford. The Google map URL below shows the location of the takeout point.

What type of boat is needed?

An inflatable self bailing kayak however other possibilities include hard-shell kayaks and tandem canoes. The boat must have enough capacity to carry both you and your camping gear and be aware that waves may wash over your boat in rapids. Hard-shell kayaks should have a spray skirt and canoes need a bailing method.
When does the trip begin and end?

 The beginning of the trip has 2 options:
 1.  Leave  (Wed.) 3/13 and camp at Owl Creek campground near the put-in.
 The campground is $5.00/campsite and usually has plenty of room.
2.  Leave early Thursday morning 3/14 and drive directly to the put-in. In both cases you should be at the put-in at by 9 am on Thursday morning.

What type of boating equipment is needed?
 1.     Boat suitable for self and gear.
 2.     Dry bags to store gear and keep it dry.
 3.     Personal Floatation Device (PFD).
 4.     Paddle.
 5.     Paddle gloves.
 6.     Spare paddle (not everyone needs a spare paddle but we need a few spare paddles for the group).
 7.     Pump (for inflatables).
 8.     Bailing device (unless self-bailing).
 9.     Repair kit for inflatables.
 10.     Rope to tie up boat along the river.
 11.     Rope to tie in dry bags.
 12.     Wetsuit? Some people may prefer a wetsuit for warmth. I do not plan to bring a wetsuit.
 13.     $3 for launch fee and you need exact change.

What Camping Equipment is needed?

 Think of this trip as a backpack trip where you carry your pack in a boat rather than on your back.
 1.     Tent.
 2.     Sleeping bag and sleeping pad.
 3.     Food
 4.     Stove and cookware.
 5.     Dry bag(s) to keep gear dry.
 6.     Water – Bring about 2.5 gallons for the trip or bring a water filter to filter stream/river water.
 7.     Camera if desired and provisions to keep it dry.
 8.     Shoes and clothes that will get wet during the trip.
 9.     Dry shoes and clothes for the evening and drive home (warm clothes for cold nights).
 10.   Rope and bag to hang your food. Hanging your food is essential to prevent rodents and other animals from eating your food.
 11.   Small towel to dry yourself and equipment.
 12.   Sunscreen and Hat for sun.
 13.   Long pants to protect legs from sun (if you have inflatable kayak).
 14.   Long sleeve shirt for sun protection.
**  If you use a paddle, you need some sort of paddle leash (could be a piece of parachute cord). If you wear glasses, you need some sort of glasses leash. The dollar store usually sells the kind that float.

Car Shuttle between Put-in and Takeout:
 Our group has to do its own car shuttle between the put-in and takeout points. To do this we need to drop off 1 or more cars at the takeout and at the end of the trip we use the car(s) at the takeout to retrieve the cars at the put-in. I can refine the car shuttle details after I know who is driving, and how many of what kind of boats are going.
Please contact Peg Davis to sign-up & coordinate transportation/shuttle & for more info. 520-628-8985

Mar. 15-17, 2019 – Lake Havasu Ren Faire.  I have reserved a camping space next to the Faire. Staggering distance with bathroom and showers!
So far me, Ken, Shawna and Tiffany. We will leave Thu or Fri to set-up and return home Sun evening. Contact Rick Johnson.

Sunday, Mar. 31, 2019 – 20th Annual SAPC Patagonia Lake shore Clean-up & Pot-luck Picnic Starts at 09:00, picnic at Noon. Map Link


April 5-7, 2019 – 10th Annual Lake Pleasant Paddle Fest
April 06, 2019 – (08:00 AM – 05:00 PM)
Lake Pleasant Regional Park – Fireman’s Cove Area
Castle Hot Springs Road to Castle Creek Dr. to Fireman’s Cove
Peoria, AZ , 85383    928-501-1703
Ranger Terry Gerber is helping arrange a camp area at the lake shore for all participating paddle clubs.  SAPC members may be able to camp out here on Fri. Apr. 5. before the Fest?
Member Rick Johnson is leaving early Friday to set-up the SAPC welcome booth. Returning Sunday afternoon after take-down. You can ride with Rick or come up later.  As SAPC will have a booth there, he is willing to loan: 10×10 pop-up sunshade, ice chest and a couple 8′ tables (bring your own chairs and drinks). Rick will be manning the booth but needs someone else to help take over while he helps Ranger Terry at the Lake event.
Who is in charge of the SAPC booth?? Rick will, ONLY IF no one else volunteers. Contact
Rick Johnson for more info, to volunteer with SAPC Welcome booth or share ride, etc. 622-2653

Apr. 5-11, 2019 – Baja trip. This is a commercial trip that includes meals, beer, and white water areas. Contact Oscar Berven for more details on signing up.

April 12-14, 2019 – BOW in Prescott, AZ. Rick and Shawna are again volunteering to teach (with Tommy James). I will bring 5’, 10’ & 12′ kayaks or 4 kayaks and one 12′ canoe as that loads my car & trailer. Leaving Thurs or Friday early, returning Monday afternoon.  ***I will need a dog sitter for this weekend as BOW doesn’t want pets. Contact: Rick

May 4-5, 2019 – Glen Cyn. Dam to Lees Ferry Paddle/Camp trip. Norma’s Cinco de Mayo trip. Back Hauling by Wilderness River Adventures (hauling you, your kayak, & all gear/food, water, etc. 15 mi. to base of Dam. All inclusive = $80 per person + Kayak + gear. Need to reserve your spot soon if planning on going. We’ll be leaving Tucson on Fri. May 3 to camp at the Lees Ferry Camp. Must pay for camp & multi-day parking permits when entering the Nat. Park entrance at Lees Ferry. There will be an option to paddle up river to the Horseshoe Bend Campground on the river if the Dam isn’t releasing over 8000 cfs. I’ll keep tabs on the releases for Apr.-May. Call Wilderness River Adventures to reserve your spot on the raft shuttle for Sat. May 4. There phone: (800) 992-8022 (opt. 1). Tell the operator that you’re with the So. AZ Paddlers group leaving at 10:30, May 4. We’ll be shooting to camp at Horseshoe Bend about halfway down to Lees Ferry. There are 6 sites along the river with port-potties, they don’t require a fee & are FCFS. Bring all your own water or a way to purify river water. Need all gear for overnight camping, food, clothes, etc. Should have a hardshell kayak or canoe. 12 to 16 ft. length is suggested.
Contact Norma Miller for more info. 235-8927


27-28 Apr or 4-5 May Escondido & San Diego Ren Faire and paddle. TBA
(Camping in San Diego. Doing the Ren Faire and paddling Mission Bay.) 
***I will need a dog sitter for which weekends I am going. Contact: Rick

May, 2019 – Gunnison River, UT  & CO River – Loma to Westwater, UT multi-day river trips & Canyon hikes. Proposed by Bob Schoen. Dates TBA at Mar. 13 meeting. Contact Bob for interest.


SAPC is selling new commemorative 20th Annual Patagonia Lake LS t-shirts (men’s & women’s styles) & new caps & wide-brim hats with club logo. All merchandise will be sold at member discount.

The free camping policies during our Lake Patagonia cleanup events have changed & are no longer permitted. The new policies are set by the State Volunteer Coordinator to help sustain the system. AZ State Parks only operate & implement improvements from entrance fees & camping fees & no other funds from state or nation. It’s been their mission to improve the state parks, especially Patagonia, for the better enjoyment of all. And, volunteers have certainly played a large part.



Southern AZ now has a much improved resource for paddle sports. Local business TG Watersports in Tucson is open at a new location for kayak sales & rentals. They offer a huge inventory of paddle sports equipment, parts & accessories. Located at 925 W Prince Rd. Tucson 85705, For questions phone: 520-349-1833 or Email: