Grand Canyon Kayaking: A World of Wonder
Ah, the Grand Canyon. One of America's most beautiful and exciting sights to see. With its vast range of endless mountains and varying degrees of both elevation and weather, what's not to love about it?
So vast is its beauty, that the Grand Canyon itself far surpasses the entire state of Rhode Island in size (by about 700 sq miles). With so much to see, one can only wonder what the best way to enjoy the scenery is.
We have made several trips to the Grand Canyon and have found no better way to fully experience it than with some good old fashion kayaking.
Kayaking is one of the most relaxing, yet equally daring, physical activities that one can partake in. Specifically, some of the waters of the Colorado River that run through the Grand Canyon take some real guts to pursue.
Keep reading to learn more about how to kayak in the Grand Canyon.
The Grand Canyon: A Beauty to Be Seen
The Grand Canyon is one of America's most prestigious locations for national and international tourists alike. It's actually the second most visited tourist park within the United States.
But you'd be surprised to know that many people don't know where the Grand Canyon is located! To add to that, the notorious river that runs through it, the Colorado River, further amplifies that confusion. With that in mind, the Grand Canyon actually has its home settled in the hot state of Arizona.
With temperatures that rise well above the 100Fs in the summer, one might wonder if taking a trip to Arizona for the Grand Canyon is even worth it. Well, it might come as a nice surprise to you that the Grand Canyon might not get as hot as you might think.
That's because the Grand Canyon, surprisingly, makes its own weather. The highest peaks of the mountain rise higher than 7,000 feet, and the trenches in between the mountains rest just at 2,000 feet above sea level.
Naturally, these elevation changes impact the weather at differing points on the mountain. Another factor that impacts the weather is the time of the year you go. The time you go should depend on what activity you're trying to do.
Cooling Down With Kayaking + More Activities
Here are some activities you might want to try if you're planning a trip to the Grand Canyon:
- Jeep tours
If you choose to go during the warmer times of the year, you'll definitely want to try out kayaking. Kayaking is a great way to exercise as well as cool down during hot seasons of the year such as summertime.
But be warned! Not all of the Colorado River is safe for new kayakers. Let's look at some things to expect when you go to the Grand Canyon National Park for kayaking.
I'm A New Kayaker: Can I Still Kayak at the Grand Canyon?
As mentioned, not every part of the Colorado River is good for inexperienced kayakers. The good thing is, each section has been labeled under a specific 'class' that determines the difficulty of kayaking.
Class V is the most difficult and is recommended for only the most experienced kayakers. Class I is the easiest, but some lakes that are classified under Class 1 still provide a good test and workout.
Besides asking the locals, tour guides, and employees, there are some ways you can find out what class the river is just by appearance. The most noticeable. Class 1 provides a fast-moving stream with small waves, with Class II being similar with the only difference being occasional maneuvering.
Class III is when things start getting a little tougher. They're known as 'whitewater' rapids because of the white bubbles that form on the water from the crashing of heavy waves.
Class IV is a step up and requires you to really know how to make quick decisions. Injuries are often here, and rescues pose a real challenge.
Finally, Class V rivers are the most extreme rivers that can be kayaked. You'll need extremely reliable equipment and knowledge of survival techniques to survive. Swimming in these rivers poses a huge threat and rescues are very difficult.
What Can I Expect If I Go Grand Canyon Kayaking?
Whether you decide to go for a short and sweet ride around the easier rivers with your friends, or you're a competitive kayaker looking for a real challenger, one thing is always promised when you go kayaking at the Grand Canyon. That is: you'll have an experience like no other.
Every part of the river that runs through the Grand Canyon will reward you with mesmerizing sights of beautiful mountainscapes, luscious foliage, and beautiful water waves.
The water itself will even change color depending on what part of the river you're in. Some places might have bluish water, while others will be mostly greenish-brown.
What to Bring on Your Kayaking Trip
What you need to bring on your trip is ultimately determined by which rivers you plan to kayak, and how long you want to be there. But, here are some general items you'll want to include when you go kayaking:
- Your Kayak (obviously)
- A paddle, possibly a spare one as well
- Clothes you don't mind getting wet in
- A dry bag for your items
- Personal flotation device (PDF)
- Bilge Pump
If you plan to go at night, be sure to take a headlight with extra batteries. The area is only lit by the sun and moon, so once they are down behind the mountains you're on your own!
In the case that you want to stay longer than a few hours, make sure to take food for the trip. Some people even choose to kayak until dusk and camp out for a while, so take your camping gear if that's what you choose.
Kayaking licenses are also required if you plan to kayak in rivers above Class III.
You might even be interested in one of the kayaking tours that local parks at the Grand Canyon host. Be sure to do some research ahead of time to know which location you should arrive at for your tour.
More Water Adventures Ahead
We hope you learned a thing or two about Grand Canyon kayaking! If you decide to plan a trip over to kayak, be sure to check out our vast selection of kayaks and kayaking gear available at a great price.
We here at SplashyMcFun want you to enjoy all there is to enjoy in your kayaking trip. Our specialty is water sports and activities, so we know a thing or two about kayaking. We also provide tons of supplies for other water activities such as swimming and fishing.
Be sure to check out our site for more info about kayaking!
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