What's a Backhaul taxi to Horseshoe Bend? Why do so many people use it?
Updated: Aug 4, 2022
A backhaul taxi to Horseshoe Bend is a motorized boat that carries people, watercraft and gear upstream from Lee's Ferry to the base of the Glen Canyon Dam, Horseshoe Bend or anywhere along the Colorado river. Kayak the Colorado provides kayak rental and backhaul taxi services to Horseshoe Bend and the dam. The Backhaul taxi service is the most convenient way to see Horseshoe Bend and kayak within the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area.
Glen Canyon National Recreation (Horseshoe Bend) area is accessed by the Lee's Ferry road near the Navajo bridge. There is no downstream travel below Lee's Ferry without a permit from the Grand Canyon National Park, non-commercial weighted lottery. For folks that travel downstream from Lee's Ferry enter into the challenging whitewater of the Grand Canyon. One must have a permit to enter the river through the Grand Canyon National Park, there are no roads for 226 miles. Most people take 16-30 days to travel down through the Grand Canyon National Park.
Upstream of Lee's Ferry to the Dam is the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. Horseshoe Bend lies 9 miles upstream from Lee's Ferry. It is a long upstream paddle against the current, hence the popularity of the "backhaul" taxi upstream. The Backhaul taxi is a 30 minute boat ride upstream above Horseshoe Bend where you then paddle back to the Lee's Ferry Boat Ramp with the current. https://www.kayakthecolorado.com/backhaul-service
Another benefit of using the Backhaul is the ease of renting kayaks. When our clients rent kayaks from Kayak the Colorado we bring the watercraft to Lee's Ferry, and retrieve it when you are done. No Need to transport gear on or in a car. See FAQ's, https://www.kayakthecolorado.com/frequently-asked-questions
For $80/person the taxi will take you passed Horseshoe Bend to the Petroglyph Panel at 10 mile for a daily, or the dam at 15 mile for the overnight. From these two drop off points folks paddle back on the 3 mph current to the parking at Lee's Ferry. Stopping for Lunch, and a hike or two. Kayak the Colorado clients can bring their own watercraft at no extra charge, or rent a watercraft at a nominal cost of $35 per kayak. Kayaks will be delivered to the dock at Lee's Ferry.
Most people take 5-6 hours for a daily trip to the Petroglyphs and 6-9 hours from the Dam.
When you return to Lee's Ferry, empty your boat of any trash you created or thoughtfully found and do your part to keep GCNRA in its pristine nature.
Next, carry your boat to the KTC Staging area right above the water, and return PFD's and paddles as well. Make sure not to leave any valuables in the boat before you leave.
Give thanks to Mother Nature and enjoy the Grandeur of the rest of the day.