New Announcements – Trips & Activities

Desert River Kayak, Canoe and Float Tube LLC
2472 Miracle Mile
Bullhead City, AZ 86442
928-763-3033Shop, 928-201-7221Cell, desertriver@frontiernet.net  E-Mail

Re: MLK Lower CO River trip, Jan. 18-20, 2020
To Friends and Family – The time has come to start thinking about the Annual Friends and Family trip January 18-20, 2020 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.
Shuttles:
For our friends in Las Vegas or who will be flying into Vegas and those around Bullhead City we will be leaving Vegas on Friday about 8AM with stops in Boulder City and Bullhead City and then straight into Walters Camp. That van will bring you ( and your own yak or canoe) back from Fishers Landing on Monday, expect to arrive in Vegas about 7 P.M.
For anyone who wants their transportation at Fisher’s Landing where we get out, we will run a shuttle on Friday afternoon. January 17,2020, 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. Late comers frequently come straight into Walters Camp and we shuttle them back on Monday afternoon.
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 troop 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 Taylor 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 8/9, 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 Fisher’s 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
Cost.
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. We are only charging enough to cover the cost to use our drivers and vans for the trip.
Camping 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. 10 years ago we had 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 15 and communicated to everyone I have who has called me to reserve spots.
Note 2. Alcohol in moderation is OK on the trip. Drunk and disorderly behavior is not. 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 drugs are not welcome because this is mostly Federal Land and drugs are not allowed by law on Federal land. 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.

Rick Johnson’s Annual Yuma Ren Faire-paddle trip-campout, Jan. 31 to Feb. 2, 2020.
 
Every year we do the Yuma Trip first weekend in February.
Arrive Friday 31 January at Squaw lake for camping near Yuma.  There is a fee but I am still waiting to hear back from the campground.  (928) 317-3200 is the campground info line.  They do accept the Senior Pass.
Cell phone is spotty at the top of the dam above the campground, no cell AT the campground so you have to climb the road to use the phone.
Camping is primitive but they do have flush toilets and pay showers.  Bring change to buy tokens for the shower.
 
Schedule is to arrive Friday afternoon (it is 4:30 drive from Tucson to the lake) and set up.
Sat, 1 Feb: some of us will go to the 2 Rivers Renaissance Fair, some will paddle the backwaters.  It will be a half-moon so we may decorate our boats with lights and do a night paddle through the reeds.
 
Sunday, 2 Feb: we will be paddling the back waters to the Dam.
For those who have to work Monday, leave after this paddle.
 
Monday is early am paddle, then pack-up and go home.
 
If interested, contact Richard Johnson (520) 979-2023  RikJohnson39@gmail.com for a map to the site and more info.
I do have boats&gear to loan but if I am hauling them, I expect some gas money or pizza. If you haul them, you are responsible for their safe return (replace the boat or pay the cost of replacement if you damage it).
 
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NOTE: as the weather warms, I will be doing more day-trips and overnight trips at nearby lakes such as Saguaro & Canyon Lakes, Parker Canyon & Pena Blanca Lakes, etc.  We rarely plan these but decide “Let’s go paddling this weekend” so anyone is welcome to be put on the Announcement List to be notified when we set one up.  These are calm water lakes where the worst thing is some wind and speedboats.  We do them to relax and for exercise so there is rarely any excitement.