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Kayaking

Whether you plan to visit in the summer or winter months, Arizona weather provides the perfect opportunity to explore the outdoors year-round. Saguaro Lake Guest Ranch provides options during all of the seasons to set out on a kayak or paddle board and marvel at the Lower Salt River and nearby Saguaro Lake in the Tonto National Forest.

Kayaking the Scenic Lower Salt River 

Embark on an unforgettable adventure on the Lower Salt River with a chance to see wild horses, river otters, great blue herons and other native wildlife.  There is no better way to escape the hustle and bustle than to marvel at the beautiful Tonto National Forest from your kayak or paddleboard. 

 

In the Winter, as the river flow changes, you will set out on a 2-hour unguided trip at Phon D Sutton Recreation Site where the Verde River meets the Salt River. The swift water will take you downstream about an hour towards the Granite Reef Dam and you will get a chance to explore on your own for an additional hour before the shuttle takes you back to your car.

 

In the Summer, there is no better way to escape the heat than to marvel at the beautiful Tonto National Forest from your kayak or paddle board. Launching directly from the Ranch, you will paddle below thousand-foot cliffs and beside majestic saguaros in the Sonoran Desert. While this is primarily a scenic float there are sections of swift water and kayakers often tip out – so be prepared to get wet. 

For more wildlife viewing and less river traffic, book earlier morning trips. 

Kayak Salt River in Arizona
Saguaro Lake Kayaking

Kayaking Saguaro Lake

Our lake trips are perfect for beginners or seasoned water sports enthusiasts, and we provide everything you need for an epic experience you are going to want to tell your friends and family about. Enjoy a scenic paddle on one of the most beautiful lakes in Arizona!

 

Marvel at the canyons and cliff sides of Saguaro Lake in your kayak or paddle board at your leisure or with a guide on one of our Guided Lake Trips. Before launching you will be provided with an orientation of basic safety and paddling instructions. After receiving suggestions on where to explore you can hit the water and go at your own pace paddling the coves and shorelines of Saguaro Lake.

 

If you choose a guided option; our guides are knowledgeable about the surrounding area and will take you to the best spots for a scenic adventure.

Book a Seasonal Experience

Book a Lake Trip

Saguaro Lake Trip

$51 - $57 plus tax

Book an unguided two-and-a-half-hour athletic paddle on Saguaro Lake. Good swimming abilities are required and PFDs should be worn at all times.

  • Launch times vary

  • Min requirements 10 yrs & 4′ tall

  • Single Sit on tops only (no doubles)

  • Meet at Saguaro Lake Ranch

Book a Guided Lake Trip

Saguaro Lake Guided Trip

$110 plus tax

Book a guided 2.5-hour trip on Saguaro Lake featuring a round-trip shuttle service. 48-hour advance reservations are required.  Good swimming abilities are required and PFDs should be worn at all times.

  • Daily: 1:00 pm

  • Min 10 yrs & 4′ tall

  • Meet at Saguaro Lake Ranch

Book a River Trip

Salt River/Red Mountain Trip

$51 - $57 plus tax

Book an unguided two-and-a-half-hour athletic paddle on the Salt River. Good swimming abilities are required and PFDs should be worn at all times.

  • Daily: 10:30 am – 2:30 pm

  • Min requirements 12 yrs & 4′ 6″ tall

  • Single Sit on tops only (no doubles)

  • Tonto Parking Pass Included

  • Meet at Phon D Sutton Recreation Area

Book a River Trip

Salt River/ Granite Reef

$80-$90 plus tax

Book an unguided four-hour trip (13 miles) on the Lower Salt River. Good swimming abilities are required and PFDs should be worn at all times.

  • Monday - Thursday, 9am only

  • Age requirement 12 years & older

  • Height requirement 4' 6" tall

  • Single sit-on tops only (no doubles)

Book a River Trip

Salt River/ Foxtail

$51 - $57 plus tax

Book an unguided two-hour trip (5 miles) on the Lower Salt River. Good swimming abilities are required and PFDs should be worn at all times. Book earlier for a quieter trip.

  • Launch times vary

  • Age requirement 12 years & older

  • Height requirement 4' 6" tall

  • Single sit-on tops only (no doubles)

Book a Guided Raft Trip

Salt River Raft Trip

$80-$100 plus tax

Book a guided 2-hour raft trip from Phon D Recreation area to Granite Reef Recreation area. 48 hrs advance booking required. Good swimming abilities are required and PFDs should be worn at all times.

  • Daily: 10:45 am & 1:45 pm

  • Min 3 yrs old & weight of 35 lbs to participate

  • Tonto Parking Pass Included

  • Meet at Phon D Sutton Recreation Area

Paddle Boarding

Relish in paddle boarding down the Salt River or on Saguaro Lake. Sit, stand, kneel, or even lay down. The options for experiencing our paddle boards are plentiful and can be suited for all different types of outdoor enthusiasts. Call or book online any of our kayak trips (above) and then just let us know you would like a paddle board instead of a kayak by email or phone and we’ll have one ready for you!

For more information, please call the ranch at 480-984-2194.

Paddleboarding on the Salt River

Frequent Floater Membership

For only $25 per year, become a member and save 25% on all trips, rentals, and shuttles. Discount is valid for the member holder only and one booking per day. When booking more than one activity (rental and shuttle), the discount will only be applied to one item and cannot be combined. Others in the reservation will be at the posted rate. There is a special benefit for Foxtail & Granite Reef Trips! If you’ve listened to a current season orientation already, skip the orientation and get right to the water.

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