Need suggestions on 1 day tour that includes hiking and kayaking

There are really only 2 places for a 1 day Hiking & Kayaking experience can take place near the Grand Canyon.
 #1 –  is Glen Canyon below Glen Canyon Dam…which I did this last Friday…it was awesome!
Here at Glen Canyon you can go directly to Kayak The Colorado now and they provide both the Kayak with Paddle and Personal Floatation Device (PFD) and the Backhaul up to Glen Canyon Dam or other closer drop off points on the Colorado River. You can also rent Kayaks from Lake Powell Paddleboards and transport them to Lees Ferry, then you arrange for a Backhaul with Wilderness River Adventures. I highly recommend it if you will be over on the East end of the Grand Canyon…also, this is where Horseshoe Bend is…and you actually kayak around it! There are short hikes along the way to see Petroglyphs in Glen Canyon, as well.
#2 – is Black Canyon below Hoover Dam…I have NOT done that one yet…and don’t know the details of how to pull it off. However, I do know that Kayaking tours are conducted there from when I took the 20 minute Heli ride offered at the Hacienda Hotel just before you get down to Hoover…I saw the Kayaker’s on the river.
I just did a Google search and found the following links: http://kayaklasvegas.com/kayak_half_river/
So, having just taken my first Kayaking trip on the River last Friday…I am a major convert. It is a great way to spend a day and the water below both Glen Canyon & Hoover Dam is 47-50 degree’s…so you can easily cool off in these hot temperatures if you need to.
Everything within Grand Canyon proper is highly inaccessible for 1 day of Kayaking. There are plenty of 1 day hikes in the Grand Canyon, however, I only recommend going below the rim in the Fall, Winter and Spring due to the excessive heat.

14 Responses

    1. Moe,

      I recommend you go with Kayak Horseshoe Bend for now as it is unknown if Wilderness River Adventures will be operating Kayak Backhauls for 2021 at this time from Glen Canyon Dam to Lees Ferry.
      If Wilderness operates, here is their link:

      If you are looking for Kayaking from the Las Vegas/Hoover Dam portion of the Colorado River then take a look at:

      I personally love kayaking from Glen Canyon Dam to Lees Ferry…however, recognize I live in Page, Arizona and it’s a great local activity for me!

      Come Enjoy,


    1. Christopher,

      If you are looking for an upstream event from Lake Mead into the Grand Canyon…it doesn’t exist, except for the Jet Boat that goes and picks up Whitewater Rafting passengers with Park Service approval.

      All other Upstream events occur from Lee’s Ferry to Glen Canyon Dam…I have enjoyed both Kayak Horseshoe Bend and Wilderness River Expeditions over time.



    1. Tricia,

      I live on the East end of the Grand Canyon in Page, Arizona and I would recommend Kayak Horseshoe Bend as they provide the Kayak, Paddles, and Personal Floatation Device along with the Backhaul from Lees Ferry up to Glen Canyon Dam or other drop off locations. This is extremely convenient.

      Your other options are to rent a kayak in Page, then transport it to Lees Ferry, book a Backhaul with Wilderness River Expeditions, and then at the end you must return the Kayak back to Page.

      I will be doing this very Kayaking Adventure on Wednesday this week. I love it!



    1. Ruth,

      The challenge with March is that it can be windy. Also, depending on the day, that can also still be fairly cool to be on 47 degree water kayaking around Horseshoe Bend. If you are prepared for both of those challenges, then March can be a good time of the year. I personally prefer May – September.

      Either way, here is a link to the Backhauling Services provided by Wilderness River Expeditions to help you get your Kayak up to Glen Canyon Dam:



    1. Tabatha,

      Both of the places I would recommend Kayaking are NOT in Grand Canyon National Park.

      They are on Smoothwater below Glen Canyon Dam and Hoover Dam…which are both ends of Grand Canyon National Park.



  1. Hi so what is the best time for kayaking around the horshoe bend? And it is a camping site over there somewhere nearby?
    Thank you

    1. Lukas,

      Usually after it warms up from about Mid-May until Mid-September. The Colorado River is at 47 degree’s coming out of Glen Canyon Dam, so kayaking the river is most comfortable during that time period. Now, of course, you can wear a wetsuit and it’d be comfortable at other times too.

      Normally, unless you have other arrangements, most people arrange a backhaul with Colorado River Discovery from the Lee’s Ferry dock. You can learn more about that here: https://www.riveradventures.com/horseshoe-bend-rafting-trips/backhauling-services/

      There are several campsites along the Colorado River between where Colorado River Discovery backhauls you to and Lee’s Ferry. One of those campsites is right on the nose of Horseshoe Bend, by the way. There’s one at the bottom of the Ropes Trail, Ferry Swale, and I’m forgetting the name of the other one. These are all of the beaches/campsites that have a Restroom. Currently, it is open camping on the Colorado River in this 15 mile stretch. Obviously, first come, first serve.

      Enjoy…I’d like to do it again myself. It’s been a few years.

      Thank You,


  2. Hello,
    This sounds awesome! I love the idea of kayaking around Horseshoe Bend. What is a Backhaul? Could I go myself to a ramp and kayak along the river?
    Additionally, is this too crazy to do in early July?

    1. Hello Natan,
      A backhaul is a way of getting to a location up=river from Lee’s Ferry. You could Kayak up-river but the current is rather strong and it can be tricky. There is a company that does a float trip down the river and they could backhaul you to a point above Horseshoe Bend. There are no ramps where you can go as a private individual to kayak downstream. July is generally hot and it is also generally the start of the “monsoon season” which means you could experience rain and winds – not a fun combination for kayaking on the river.

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