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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 paddle board. 

 

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.

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.

Kayak Salt River in Arizona

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.

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 Salt River Kayak Trip

Salt River/
Foxtail

$51 - $57 plus tax

Book an un-guided 2-hour trip (5 miles) on the Lower Salt River. Good swimming abilities are required and PFDs should be worn at all times.

  • Launch times vary

  • Age requirement 12 years & older

  • Height requirement 4' 6" tall

  • Single sit-on tops only (no doubles)

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

  • Meet at Saguaro Lake Guest Ranch

  • Return shuttle is included

Book a Salt River Kayak Trip

Salt River/
Granite Reef

$80 - $90 plus tax

Book an un-guided 4.5-hour trip (13 miles) on the Lower Salt River. Good swimming abilities are required and PFDs should be worn at all times. If you finish early, you can paddle around or hang out on the river bank until the scheduled return shuttle arrives. There are no early pickups.

  • Daily: 7:30 am

  • Duration: 4.5 hours 

  • Age requirement 12 years & older

  • Height requirement 4' 6" tall

  • Single sit-on tops only (no doubles)

  • Meet at Saguaro Lake Guest Ranch

  • Return shuttle is included

Book a Salt River Kayak Trip

Salt River/
Red Mountain Trip

$51 - $57 plus tax

Book an un-guided 2-hour athletic paddle on the Salt River. Good swimming abilities are required and PFDs should be worn at all times.

OFFERED IN THE FALL / WINTER

  • 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

  • Return shuttle is included

Book a Lake Kayak Trip

Un-guided Saguaro Lake Trip

Two Hour Trip: $51-$57 plus tax

Extended Three Hour Trip:

$61 - $67 plus tax

Book an un-guided 2-hour or

three-hour athletic paddle on Saguaro Lake. Good swimming abilities are required and PFDs should be worn at all times.

OFFERED IN THE FALL / WINTER

  • Launch times vary

  • Min requirements 10 yrs & 4′ tall

  • Single Sit on tops only (no doubles)

  • Meet at Saguaro Lake Guest Ranch

  • Round-trip shuttle is included

Book a Guided Lake Kayak Trip

Guided Saguaro Lake Trip

$110 plus tax

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

OFFERED IN THE FALL / WINTER

  • Min 10 yrs & 4′ tall

  • Meet at Saguaro Lake Guest Ranch

  • Round-trip shuttle is included

Book a Guided River Raft Trip

Guided Foxtail
Salt River Raft Trip

$80-$100 plus tax

Book a guided 2-hour raft trip from Saguaro Lake Ranch to the Foxtail private exit.

48 hrs advance booking required.

JUNE & JULY: 

  • Monday-Thursday:  6:30am

  • Includes breakfast burritos to enjoy on the raft. Please inform us of any dietary restrictions 24 hours in advance.

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

  • Meet at Saguaro Lake Guest Ranch

  • Return shuttle is included

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Self-Launch from the Ranch

Do you have your own equipment & transportation? You can launch directly from the Ranch, on the Lower Salt River. Advance reservations are required to secure a launch pass prior to arriving at the Ranch.

Self-Launch Fees:

$15 self-launch reservation fee (Includes onsite parking for 1 vehicle)

$5 per kayak and/or paddle board (Paid upon check-in)

  • Daily: 7:00 am to 11:30 am

  • All vehicles must be off the Ranch property by 6:00 pm

  • Prohibited: Rafts, Tubes & Alcohol

A limited number of self-launches are available per day, so reserve early!

If shuttle service is needed because you only have one vehicle, please see our Phon D to Water Users Shuttle. This will be your best option. Learn More

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
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