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  • How do you kayak the Horseshoe Bend ?
    The best way to Kayak the Horseshoe Bend is with the assistance of backhaul taxi service. Kayak the Colorado provides fast, sturdy boats and genuine, informative Captains to propel you upstream above Horseshoe Bend where you can kayak downstream back to your car at Lee's Ferry Boat Ramp. There are no roads upstream of Lee's Ferry and no downstream paddling allowed below Lee's Ferry without a permit. Lee's Ferry is the start of the Grand Canyon and folks must be permitted with the Grand Canyon National Park for a 12-30 day private trip. If you have your own kayak, Kayak the Colorado will backhaul you and your kayak upstream at no extra charge.
  • How long does it take to kayak around Horseshoe Bend ?
    Kayaking around Horseshoe Bend takes approximately 4-6 hours back to your car at Lee's Ferry. Kayaking from the Petroglyph Panel is the most common day run. The Petroglyph Panel is approximately 10 river miles from Lee's Ferry and is at the top of the Horseshoe Bend. Generally speaking the current is flowing at 3 mph. The current speed varies a tad depending on where you are in the current, how high or low the water is, and how much wind you may encounter but 3 mph is a good rule of thumb. There are several beaches and hikes along the way where you can stop and eat lunch, and hike. Most people take 5-6 hours to paddle from the Petroglyph Panel because they are going to stop, eat lunch and hike the short 3/4 mile Waterholes slot canyon. If you choose to go to the dam the 15 mile paddle back from the dam to Lee's Ferry will take 6-9 hours depending on your paddle speed, weather, and stops. For trips shorter than 4 hours, tell your Captain how much time you would like to paddle and he will drop you accordingly. Keep in mind the paddling is very friendly with 3 mph of current under your seat. Most people do not paddle vigorously. If one wants to paddle vigorously you will add 1 mph to your speed.
  • Can I bring my own kayak to Horseshoe Bend ?
    You can bring your own watercraft to Horseshoe Bend. There is no extra charge to bring your own kayak on the backhaul service from Kayak the Colorado. If you do not have your own kayak, you can rent a kayak with Kayak the Colorado for your backhaul taxi. KTC will deliver your rental kayak to the dock where the backhaul taxi begins at the Lee's Ferry boat ramp. Check weight requirements for your rental watercraft from Kayak the Colorado. Generally speaking if your total weight is over 250 lbs for a single or 400 lbs for a tandem you should rent an inflatable.
  • If I rent a kayak to paddle Horseshoe Bend, do I need to transport the kayak on my car?
    Kayak the Colorado clients do not need to transport their rental watercraft on their car in order to kayak Horseshoe Bend. Kayak the Colorado delivers all kayaks to Lee's Ferry, as well as retrieves them after they arrive back at Lee's Ferry. There is no checkout or need to wait for an attendant when you arrive back at Lee's Ferry. Simply return the watercraft to the designated return zone, check that you have all of your valuables and you are free to continue your vacation.
  • Are there any hikes along the river at Horseshoe Bend?
    There are many hikes to do as you paddle the Horseshoe Bend. During your backhaul taxi your informative Captain will point out hikes and landmarks as you motor upstream. Popular hikes along the Horseshoe Bend paddle are the Ropes trail mile 14 river right, Petroglyph Panel mille 10 river left, Horseshoe Bend Plateau mile 9 behind the Horseshoe Bend Campground river right. 1 hour downstream from Horseshoe Bend the Limestone Lens Trail behind 6 mile campground river right, another 45 minutes Waterholes Canyon 4 mile river left, across from Waterholes Anasazi slickrock 3 mile river right, Box Canyon river left mile, Fall Canyon mile 2 river left, the Great Sand Dune river left, Wild Horse pasture boulder fields mile 1 river left, Johnson Cabin ruins 1/2 mile river right. Warning, The Glen Canyon National Recreation Area is a fragile eco system, and it is essential that any foot traffic off river is only done with the Leave No Trace ethics. Wherever there is beach sand foot travel is easy and safe for the environment. Hiking should only be done on established trails. There are several crypto biotic soils that have taken centuries to form providing sustenance for plants and wildlife to survive. Crypto biotic soils are fragile especially in the drier months. This crust is an important means by which arid soils resist erosion by wind and water. Many cryptobiotic soil crusts are able to absorb water more quickly than regular soils and as a result reduce runoff and also impede evaporation. In addition, the cyanobacteria in the crust, as well as some of the surface lichens, are nitrogen fixers, meaning that they can chemically convert atmospheric nitrogen into a form usable by other plants. Lichens and mosses often grow on the stabilized surfaces of the crust, and can often cover the crusts. Many unusual and unique organisms occur in association with crusts, including many rare and undescribed algal species as well as rare lichens. It is becoming increasingly clear that the older and better developed crusts support important levels of cryptogamic plant biodiversity. Read up on the very important crypto biotic soil:,organisms%20and%20inorganic%20soil%20matter. And Don't Bust the Crust
  • Are there any rapids or obstacles kayaking the Horseshoe Bend?
    There are no rapids from the Dam down around Horseshoe Bend and back to Lee's Ferry. The Colorado river is a class I river, perfect for beginners but not without its dangers. The water is cold, so always wear your life vest, and dress for the conditions . The Colorado River is a high volume river that moves along nicely for paddling but can take effort to swim in the event of a capsize. Travel near shore if you are not competent to swim in the current. Another difficulty while kayaking the Colorado river is the wind. During wind events, waves can form making downstream travel difficult bringing the river to a class II river (waves). If wind is too strong to paddle, go to shore and wait for the wind to subside. When the wind is howling the river can change from a mellow easy river to waves and splashy wet times. If ever you feel uncomfortable with the waves and feel capsizing is possible, simply pull over and have a snack, drink water, and relax. When there is weather, wind often happens in pulses. Wind can blow for 15 - 30 minutes and relax a bit. When the wind calms down, push back out, get on the 3 mph current and continue downstream. Always check the weather before you travel. 20mph+ winds are not recommended for beginner boaters. People camping overnight have the luxury of time in the wind because they can always pull over and wait, and they should have their gear to comfort them. Never cache your gear for this reason. Caching gear at camps is bad river etiquette. When all of your party and gear reaches camp you have gained a camp. Check the weather conditions before you go, be honest with your abilities and competence and use the and for quick overviews of the conditions. Email us at if you have questions on weather conditions.
  • Can you kayak upstream from Lee's Ferry without a backhaul?
    Paddlers can kayak upstream of Lee's Ferry without a backhaul taxi. It will take much effort and cunning to paddle against the 3 mph current. Most people take advantage of the backhaul service so they can see more of the river like Horseshoe Bend and paddle down with the current. Horseshoe bend is at river mile 9 and takes athletic people a whole day to achieve the upstream paddle against the current. Because it takes 3 hours to return to Lee's Ferry, make sure you give yourself enough time to arrive back at Lee's Ferry by sundown. Lee's Ferry is a dark place with a rapid just below, don't miss the takeout if you choose to paddle upstream at Lee's Ferry.
  • Are fires allowed at the campsites ?
    Fires are allowed in designated fire barrels, burning trash is not allowed. All waste including fire waste must be removed from the Recreation area. Don't bring more than what you will burn. Wood not burned must be removed from the GCNRA. For an easy fire alternative, Consider a low impact flame by bringing coffee can candles and guitars:)
  • Are there any other associated fees to kayak Horseshoe Bend ?
    Currently there is no permit necessary for camping between the dam and Lee's Ferry. All cars visiting the Glen Canyon Recreation Area must have a America the Beautiful Annual All Parks Pass that can be bought online, or Glen Canyon Day pass that can be purchased 1 mile down Lee's Ferry Road at the roadside kiosk. There are 5 campsites to camp along the river. 14 mile (The Ropes Camp), 11 mile Ferry Swale, 9 mile Horseshoe Bend, 8 mile Camp on Right, and 6 mile (Last Camp). Lee's Ferry is 0 mile. These camps are easily seen by the composting toilet at each camp as well as the campground sign, your boat captain will point them out on the way up. Leave No Trace Ethics Regulated at all campsites. Carry all other waste downstream. Pack it In ~ Pack it Out. Please bring a trash container to clean up what others have missed. It takes a village to keep these wild places clean, stewardship of our national parks begins with the grateful users.
  • Do I need a permit to camp overnight along the Horseshoe Bend ?
    Currently there is no permit necessary for camping between the dam and Lee's Ferry. Visitors to the GCNRA must have an annuals park pass that can be purchased online or visit the kiosk 1 mile down Lee's Ferry Road. There are 5 campsites to camp along the river. 14 mile (The Ropes Camp), 11 mile (Ferry Swale Camp), 9 mile Horseshoe Bend, 8 mile Camp on Right, and 6 mile Camp(Last Camp). Lee's Ferry is 0 mile Dam is 15 mile. These camps are easily seen by the composting toilet at each camp as well as sign postage, your boat captain will point them out on the way up:) Leave No Trace Ethics Regulated. Carry all other waste downstream. Pack it In ~ Pack it Out!
  • Kayak the Colorado cancellation Policy
    The Kayak the Colorado cancellation policy is a 48 hour cancellation policy, within 48 hours there will be no refunds unless there is bad weather and we cancel in total. Please give us more time is better so others can use the resource. There is a 3% service fee to recoup costs incurred in the transacation prior to 48 hours. Weather cancellation can be done at anytime by the client, and may be done by Kayak the Colorado at our discretion. To cancel a booking at Kayak the Colorado, email Provide your name on booking, backhaul time and any more details that can assist with the cancellation. Thank you for your consideration.
  • Is the Colorado river low water ?
    Despite the bad news reports about Lake Powell there is still 400 ft behind the dam, decades of flow in the Colorado river. The river is running a beautiful 9K-15K cubic feet perspective. To put this flow in perspective a raftable colorado river like the Animas running through Durango may have 300-1000 cubic feet per second. The water is a high volume river with tons of flow for kayaking downriver from the dam. Even when the river is brought down to its all time low of 4,000 cubic feet per second while they worked on the dam, there was plenty of water for kayaking the Colorado river.
  • How far is Lee's Ferry from Page ? Grand Canyon South Rim? Grand Canyon North Rim? Flagstaff? Kanab? Las Vegas ? Phoenix ?
    Distances to Lee's Ferry: Page to Lee's Ferry ~ 45.3m. 52 minutes Grand Canyon S Rim to Lees Ferry ~ 131m 2 hours 18 min GC North Rim to Lees Ferry ~ 89.2 miles. 1 hour 51 min Flagstaff to Lee's Ferry ~ 110 miles 2 hours Kanab to Lees Ferry ~ 83.7 miles 1 hour 33 min Las Vegas to Lees Ferry ~ 268 miles 4 hours 54 min Phoenix to Lees Ferry ~ 273 miles 4 hours and 10 min
  • Can I kayak the Grand Canyon ?
    Kayakers require a Grand Canyon non-commercial weighted lottery permit to kayak the Grand Canyon or commercial guide service. The Grand Canyon is a class III-IV river with massive hydraulics and waves and should only be kayaked by competent whitewater kayakers with the proper swift water training. Horseshoe Bend is the next best thing to kayaking the Grand Canyon, as it is a thousand foot deep gorge through a pristine wilderness that is hard to beat. Lee's Ferry boat launch is the start of the Grand Canyon National Park river expeditions terminating at Lake Meade National Recreation Area.
  • Where do you go to the bathroom while kayaking the Horseshoe Bend?
    While kayaking the Horseshoe Bend from the Dam to Lee's Ferry there are 8 opportunities for bathrooms along the riverside. River miles 14, 11 mile, 10 mile,9 mile, 8mile, 7mile, 6 mile, and 4 mile. One can also pee in the river, dilution is the solution to pollution in the desert. It rarely rains in the desert so river travelers should not pee on the shore as it can remain for some time until the next storm.
  • How can I book a kayak adventure to the Horseshoe Bend?
    In order to book a kayak adventure to the Horseshoe Bend one can go to: Check Availability Book Now Button Book the backhaul taxi first Date, Time, phone #, email Then pick a watercraft Same time as backhaul and duration 1 day, 2 day, 3 day After you pay you will be sent an email on Where to go and What to bring. If you need to cancel send an email to
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