New Announcements – Trips & Activities

Walters Camp to Fisher’s Landing  January 19-21, 2019
Announcement of the Annual Walter’s Camp to Fishers Landing trip by Dory, Canoe, Kayak or whatever. We have a few spaces left. Here are the details.
To Friends and Family – The time has come to start thinking about the Annual Friends and Family trip January 19-21, 2019 again this year from Walters Camp to Fisher’s Landing on the beautiful Lower Colorado River between Blythe and Yuma ( the trip is approximately 33 water miles). This will operate the same as it has in past years. On Water days are Saturday, Sunday and Monday. And as always this is a shared expense trip.
For anyone who wants their transportation at Fisher’s Landing where we get out, we will run a shuttle on Friday afternoon, leaving at 3 P.M. Arizona time, 2 P.M. California Time for you and your boats to take you to Walters Camp. If anyone absolutely has to have a later shuttle let me know and we will see what we can arrange.
For everyone who drives straight into Walters Camp on Friday or Saturday early morning we will run a shuttle for you on Monday after lunch at the Fisher’s Landing Bar and Grill, leaving about 1.30 PM AZ and getting into Walter’s Camp between 3 and 4 P.M.
The Trip:
This section of the Colorado River is the closest to the way the river was historically before the dams. There will be more than one meander and a lot of sandbars. The edges of the river mostly are in the Cibola National Wildlife Refuge and the Imperial National Wildlife Refuge and Picacho State Park. Camping spaces are very limited and camping is not allowed in the Refuges. The edges of the river are thick with natural riparian habitat and behind the initial bank there are several wetland areas and lakes. The river is low at this time of year and some of the lakes off the river can not be accessed
The first day will be from Walter’s Camp to the 4 S camping area in Picacho State Park which we will probably be sharing again with the boy scout troupe we have shared the river with the past 8 years ( and usually the only other people we see on the river for the whole trip) We will plan a stop at Draper Ranch for those who want to visit the smoke house a short hike off the river. This first day is about 13 miles. The second day is about 7 miles to the main group camp site at Picacho State Park and we should be in there about noon. For those of you who are coming to investigate this section of the river to bring your own group or troop back to do we will also show you where Ferguson Lake and a couple of other possible camping areas are so you will have an idea of what is available. The third day will be an early start and 12 miles down to Fisher’s Landing where we will load everyone’s boats, have lunch and depart. We usually get on the water by 8, make a stop or two to explore some old gold mining areas and on a sandbar to stretch and we usually get to Fisher’s Landing about noon.
Saturday night at 4 S group site we will again cook a trash can turkey dinner with all the fixings for everyone who comes. Food for the rest of the trip is on your own. If you want to join a cooking group let me know and I will see what I can put together for you. We have changed the date for the turkey to Saturday so if you need to make this a 2 day trip and get out on Sunday you can still participate in this feast and paddle out on Sunday to your car at Fishers Landing
If you would like to see what this trip looks like on Facebook search for Desert River Kayak, select Photos and look for the album labeled Walter’s Camp to Fisher’ s Landing and enjoy. Any questions please call me at 928-201-7221
If you have your own boats and run your own shuttle you are welcome to join us at no cost- just let me know you are coming so we bring enough food for the Saturday night dinner.
If you need to rent a canoe or kayak from us the cost is $75 a person and that includes a one way shuttle at the beginning or end of your trip.
If you have your own boat and need a shuttle for you and it or just for you because you have dropped your boat at Walter’s Camp and have driven your vehicle to Fishers Landing the price is $50 a person. If you dropped all of your boats and people off at Walter’s Camp and 1 of you drive your vehicle to Fisher’s Landing the price is $50 for the one person we are shuttling and we are OK with this.
Camping fees and launch fees at Walter’s Camp is $8 a person. Camping fees at Picacho State Park is $5 a night per person(2 nights, 4 S and main campsite). If you want to pay me the $19 a person and let me pay them that is fine. Otherwise bring dollar bills.
Weather: This area usually is warmer than some of the rest of the state. The past 3 years we have had 70 and 80 degree days and 50 degree nights. 4 years ago we have 50 degree days and 20 degree nights. You should plan accordingly and check the weather for both Blythe and Yuma and average those temps and winds. We usually have north winds in January on this stretch but south winds have occurred while we are on the river.
Fire pits are available at our camp sites on Saturday and Sunday night so bring a few pieces of Fire Wood.
NOTE: This area is subject to severe flash flooding particularly in the camping areas. If a winter storm is forecast for any time that we are scheduled to be on the river I will cancel the trip. That decision will be made on Wednesday the 10th and communicated to everyone I have who has called me to reserve spots.
Note 2. Alcohol in moderation is OK on the trip, Loud discussions of politics, religion and controversial subjects should be between 2 people or taken away from the main group so as to be a private conversation The rest of us are on River Time and those type of discussions can intrude. Recreational Because this is mostly Federal Land Drugs are not welcome. I am amazed at what the drug sniffing dogs can smell at the border inspection stations and I do not want any of my vans or guests subject to that again. (ask me privately if you want the details but everyone we are shuttling will go through at least 1 inspection station and those dogs are amazing)
For those of you who have done this trip with us Welcome Back and for those of you who are thinking of coming for the first time I look forward to sharing this amazing section of the Colorado River with you
Helen Howard and the Staff at Desert River Kayak
Helen Howard


Yuma Renaissance Fair & Paddle Squaw Lake Feb 1===>Feb 4 2019
I am starting to plan my annual Yuma trip for the first weekend in February.
Traditionally we arrive Friday and camp on Squaw Lake.  Paddle that afternoon.
Saturday, some people remain to paddle, some of us do the Yuma Renaissance Fair.
Sunday is another paddle day.
Come home Monday.
Anyone want to go with us, let me know.

Rick Johnson

Bob Schoen has organized a Super Bowl Weekend trip to Canyon Lake on the Salt River canyons. This is a 2 or 3 day trip starting on Fri. Feb. 1 or Sat. the 2nd, 2019. From Tucson to Apache Junction, (Google map) then up the canyon to Canyon Lake. Starting from the Marina then paddling the lake & canyon up several miles to Beer Can Point on the North shore for the boat camp. From there time to paddle to the upper dam through canyon & then return to camp or leave for home. Contact Bob for itinerary & info. 520-561-6081 or  Must be self-contained & have paddle camp experience.


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: