Frequently Asked Questions
- Is any food provided on the river trips?
No, please bring whatever food you need. We recommend bringing snacks and plenty of water for the half-day trips.
- Do I need to have kayaking experience?
No! Most of the year, this is a fun river float trip well-suited to beginners and children. The Verde River 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. There is no white water.
Sometimes, during our spring run-off in February and March and during our rainy season of mid-July through mid-September, there can be bigger water flows. Our experienced guides offer information on what to expect and conduct a pre-trip Paddling 101 class to show you how to navigate the river.
- Do we see red rocks on the river trips?
You see red rocks on your way out of town as well as mountain chains and fabulous Verde Valley sights, but not along the river.
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.
- Are the river trips suitable for children?
Absolutely. Our river trips are great for families. Even grandma and grandpa can go! On guided river trips, children 3 – 12 years old must accompany a parent in a tandem ducky kayak.
- Do you offer discounts for families and groups?
Yes! Call to talk to a representative about available discounts that are periodically offered for families and for groups of 10 or more persons. Also, if you book two or more tours, you receive a 10% discount.
- What should I wear and bring with me?
Bring your sunscreen, hat, sunglasses, lip balm, water bottle, and a change of clothes (if you so desire). Depending on the season, you may want to layer your clothing and wear quick-drying fabrics. If you have water shoes, you can wear them.
- Where do the river trips launch from?
Each trip we have meets at different locations throughout the Verde Valley. Please check out the link for directions on the trip you are interested in.
- What if there’s inclement weather?
This is an adventure, and we go rain or shine unless the conditions make it unsafe.
- What should I tip my shuttle driver and guides?
We recommend 15% of the rack rate. The shuttle drivers and guides have a wealth of information and work hard behind the scenes to ensure your Verde River adventures are fun, safe, and memorable.
- Are there bathroom facilities available during the trip?
We recommend using restrooms prior to departure for the river. There are Forest Service restrooms at all our meeting locations.
- What if I can’t swim?
Because of the ducky kayak’s stability, it is the exception rather than the rule for someone to have to swim. Life jackets are supplied and required, and helmets are optional.
You can stand up in much of the river and, of course, on guided trips your guide is always nearby to assist you. In fact, we have had many non-swimmers go on our trips, albeit with some trepidation, only to come back smiling and glad that they went!
- Do I need to be physically fit to do the river trips?
River trips do require the ability to paddle and get in and out of your boat for the mandatory portage. Some weight restrictions may apply.
We do not recommend this trip for pregnant women, people with back, shoulder, or knee issues, or people who have trouble sitting for a couple of hours.
- Reservation Policy
- Full payment is required at the time of reservation.
- Groups 10+: A minimum 50% deposit is due at time of reservation. Payment in full is due seven days prior to departure.
- Listed prices do not include applicable sales tax, Forest Service land use, reservation fees, or guide gratuities.
- Cancellation Policy
- If you need to cancel or reschedule your tour, notify us more than 48 hours before your tour date to receive a refund, minus a $10 per person per trip fee.
- If any trip is cancelled due to severe weather, mechanical failure, unsafe conditions, or insufficient reservations, a full refund is issued.
- We reserve the right to cancel any departure if we have insufficient reservations. We do all we can to reschedule or accommodate guests reserved on any departure with insufficient reservations.
- Age Policy
- The minimum age for boating and all our tours is 3 years old.
- On ducky kayak trips, children must ride in a tandem kayak with an adult.
- Wine tours are not recommended for children.
- Safety Policy
- Outdoor activities in the natural world have inherent risks, and all participants are required to sign a Release and Acknowledgment of Risk form before their tour.
- Most of our trips are conducted in wilderness settings outside of cell phone coverage areas and hours from outside help. Therefore, appropriate caution should be exercised.
- Drinking of alcoholic beverages before or during guided tours is prohibited and will prevent your participation in your activity (with the exception of the vineyard portions of our wine tours.)