Where to Kayak Near Sedona
The Verde River is a spring fed river, and was the first of two Wild and Scenic designated rivers in Arizona. Sections of the Verde River can be enjoyed by paddling a kayak or SUP or floating in a tube. Other sections are Class II-IV whitewater and only experienced paddlers should attempt these.
Verde River Flatwater
The Verde River is calm, Class I flatwater from Bridgeport River Access in Cottonwood to the Black Canyon River Access Point in the Prescott National Forest, a distance of twenty-three miles. In many places, it is more of a big creek than a river. Depending on the trip you choose, you encounter about 6 to 12 sporty little chutes and small rapids. Most of the year, this is a fun river float trip well-suited to beginners and children.
The geology along the river is limestone hills, with numerous caves used by pre-historic cultures, as well as gorgeous mountain views. There is an abundance of beautiful sycamore, cottonwood, and willow trees as well as riverside reeds, cattails, grasses, and flowers.
Verde Adventures provides single or tandem inflatable kayaks (PFD and paddle included) that are comfortable, unbelievably stable, easy to paddle, and just plain fun for everyone, as well as a 15-minute shuttle ride to the river access point where your adventure begins.
Verde River Whitewater
Starting at Beasley Flat, the river features Class II-IV rapids for the next 8 miles until the take out point at Gap Creek River Access. Spicy whitewater runs through stunning desert scenery with red rock bluffs lining the river as the river makes its way through Mazatzal Wilderness, Arizona’s largest. Paddling below Beasley Flat is typically run in inflatable kayaks and rafts, and should only be attempted by experienced whitewater boaters. Rapids rate up to Class IV, and during flooding events, Class V. If paddlers and rafters have enough experience, it can be an exciting multi-day adventure down this remote and stunning stretch of the Verde.
About 30 minutes drive from Sedona lies Peck’s Lake, within the Tuzigoot National Monument. One of the highlights of paddling this lake is the thousand-year-old multi-story stone pueblo that was built by the Sinagua people. It is one of the largest and best preserved Sinagua pueblo ruins. Tavasci Marsh sits at the east end of the lake, and is an important migratory bird haven.