Q: Do I need to have kayaking experience?
A: Kayaking experience is not necessary! The Verde River @ Clarkdale is well suited for beginners and children as it offers a fun, educational introduction to kayaking. There is no whitewater on this Class 1 stretch of river, but there are many scenic, calm water pools followed by fun, fast, little chutes. Our American Canoe Association certified guides offer instruction, guidance and help throughout the trip.
Q: Do I need to be physically fit?
A: You must be able to get in and out of your sit-on-top kayak, as well as paddle your boat downstream. The trip is moderate in terms of how physically demanding it is. The weight limit on the boats is 250 lb. for single occupant boats and 500 lbs for the tandem occupant boats. If you are more than 250 lbs, we will have you ride in an inflatable kayak for your comfort and safety. The tandem occupant boats are only available for families with children (age 5 - 12), who must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
Q: Do I have to be able to swim?
A: It is not necessary that you know how to swim. You will be outfitted with a stable, sit-on-top kayak. It is the rare occasion that people come out of their boats. The majority of the Verde River @ Clarkdale stretch is shallow enough (2'-3') that you can easily stand up if you were to come out of your boat. All participants will be outfitted with a Coast Guard Approved Type 3 PFD.
Q: Is the trip suitable for children?
A: This trip is designed to be a family-friendly excursion. Children 12 years and younger will be accompanied by a parent or guardian in a tandem kayak. The Verde River @ Clarkdale is well suited for beginners and children as it offers a fun, educational introduction to kayaking. There is no whitewater on this Class 1 stretch of river, but there are many scenic, calm water pools followed by fun, fast, little chutes. Our certified guides offer instruction, guidance and help throughout the trip. We do however ask that no children younger than 5 years participate.
Q: What is the river like?
A: The Verde River @ Clarkdale is designated as a Class 1 stretch of river (no whitewater). A small sized river with gentle pools, swift runs and beautiful scenery. Most of the river averages 2-3 ft deep, with a few deeper pools for swimming. The water is generally warm, depending on the time of the year.
Q: What will I see on the trip?
A: The riparian zone surrounding Arizona's desert rivers is home to more than 75% of Arizona's animals, plants and insects. You can expect to see a variety of dragonflies, damselflies, insects, lizards, ducks, songbirds, hawks and eagles. Less frequent sightings include: otter, muskrat, coyote, javelina, jack rabbit, beaver, owl and mule deer.
Q: Is food provided?
A: Food on the trip is not provided. However, located near our base of operations is Smelter Town Brewery, offering a snacks and a selection of local craft beers.
Q: Where does the trip launch from?
A: Participants arrive 30 minutes prior to their trip time, at 920 Main Street, Clarkdale AZ 86324. From here we shuttle to our launch point at the Lower Tapco River Access Park. This R.A.P. is located a short 4.2 mile drive from our base of operations. The tour ends at the Tuzigoot R.A.P, which is only a mile from our base of operations. From Tuzigoot participants are shuttled back to our boathouse.
Q: Are restroom facilities available throughout the trip?
A: Restroom facilities are available at the base of operations as well as the put-in and take-out locations. We advise our participants to use the restroom prior to embarking on the river trip.
Q: What happens if inclement weather develops?
A: The Verde River @ Clarkdale trip is a unique Arizona adventure. We will run the river, rain or shine, unless unsafe conditions present. Please see Weather Cancellation Policy.
Q: What if I need to cancel?
A: Cancellations more than 48 hours from trip time are fully refundable. No refunds will be issued for cancellations that take place within 48 hours of the trip time.
Q: How much should I tip the guides?
A: We recommend 15-20% based on your experience. Our guides go through extensive training and certification to make sure your experience is safe, fun and memorable. Additionally, they put in a ton of work behind the scenes to make sure your trip goes off without a hitch.
Q: Are group discounts offered?
A: Group discounts are available for bookings of 10 participants or more. Call for more information.
Q: Can I book a private trip?
A: Yes, private trips are available and can be tailored to your needs. Please call 800 478-4711 for more information.
• Weather cancellations will not be made until the start of the tour depending on the current weather.
• We paddle rain or shine. (Most storms that arise in the Verde Valley during boating season happen during monsoon season (July – August) and are short-lived with intermittent showers).
• We may elect to cancel a trip if severe weather conditions present.
• We will notify you if your tour will be cancelled due to weather—DO NOT assume your tour is cancelled unless contacted by one of our representatives.
• If we cancel due to severe weather, you will receive a full or partial refund (based on when the tour is cancelled. If you start your tour and we cancel due to a storm, you will receive a partial refund).
• If your group decides against paddling in the rain, you will not receive a refund.
• Please dress appropriately for predicted weather conditions.