Lie Back…Enjoy Your Unforgettable Horseshoe Bend Kayak

Kayak Horseshoe Bend on the Colorado River

Horseshoe Bend was once an obscure afterthought for the vast majority of travelers in the Grand Canyon area. You could spend hours, if not a whole day gazing upon this entrenched meander of the Colorado River without seeing another soul. Those days are history, and now, Horseshoe Bend Overlook is an Insta-famous bucket list item for everyone who visits Page, AZ! Most will view Horseshoe Bend from its easiest, accessible vantage point: the top down. Eventually, some may spot colored specks on the sparkling green waters of the Colorado River below. Upon closer examination, you find these are kayaks and rafts. You’ll want to join them – you can, and you should!

Hands On Experience

Join Kayak Horseshoe Bend and Lees Ferry Anglers for a more hands-on experience than the Horseshoe Bend Float Trip. Self-drive to Lees Ferry, approximately 1 hour from Page, AZ. Bring your own paddle craft, or rent a single or tandem kayak or stand-up paddleboard (SUP) for a day of adventure in the last remaining intact stretch of beautiful Glen Canyon. Upon boarding a specially outfitted backhaul boat piloted by a US Coast Guard Certified Captain, you’ll make quick work of the 15-mile stretch of the Colorado River from Lees Ferry to Glen Canyon Dam. If you’re short on time, you can also opt to drop off at Horseshoe Bend, Petroglyph Beach, or anywhere else between the dam and Lees Ferry. 

Paddle down the Colorado River

From there, the day is yours to paddle at your leisure back to Lees Ferry. Take your time; you’ll want to soak in every sight and sound (including the silence) you’ll encounter on this calm, serene stretch of a river that’s better known for its hairy, scary rapids. Listen for the wistful call of a canyon wren or the screech of a falcon diving for its dinner. Keep your eyes peeled for wild horses, big horn sheep, herons, egrets, and maybe even a California condor. Savor the scent of the fresh, clean air. As for swimming, it’s doable, but fair warning: the water is cold! Want to do some fishing? Bring your rod and reel and your Arizona fishing license – this stretch of the Colorado River is a world-famous trophy trout fishery! Those with the time, inclination, and the appropriate provisions can pitch a tent in one of 5 first-come, first-served campsites on the river, including Horseshoe Bend itself, no permit required. If you’ve never kayaked before, don’t worry – there are no rapids on this section of the Colorado River. Plenty of first-time kayakers have traveled Horseshoe Bend in safety and had an amazing experience. Surely, you will too!

Your Unforgettable Southwest Vacation

After pulling off the river at Lees Ferry, you’ll marvel at what you’ve just seen and done. Like many who have come before you, Kayak Horseshoe Bend might very well be the unexpected highlight of your American Southwest vacation. 

Trip duration: 2 hours to full day depending on your timeframe, preferences, etc. 


Operating season: March through October

Backhaul Fees:

  • $75 per person for backhaul service including up to 100 pounds of watercraft, luggage, and gear. There is a two-person minimum ($150) for the backhaul boat.

  • $50 surcharge per person for watercraft, luggage and gear exceeding 100 pound

Kayak/watercraft rental fees:

  • Single Inflatable $35

  • Single Inflatable XL Kayak $45

  • Tandem Inflatable $55

  • Fishing Kayak $45

  • Paddleboard $35 What’s included:

  • For boat/kayak rentals: paddles and PFD’s (personal flotation devices aka life jackets)

What’s not included:

  • Food and beverages

  • Glen Canyon National Recreation Area entrance fee ($30/vehicle, good for 7 days time)

  • Camping or fishing equipment

What to know: 

  • You are welcome to bring your own kayak or stand-up paddleboard, but Lees Ferry Anglers will not launch any craft deemed to be unsuitable or unsafe for local river conditions.

  • Extremely hot and warm evenings typify summer weather. There is very little shade in the canyon. Adequate sun protection (sunscreen, sunglasses, wide-brimmed hat, etc.), as well as a canopy or umbrella, are highly recommended. Monsoon storms (mid-July through mid-September) may occur in the afternoon, in which case, you should be prepared to seek shelter. 

  • Lees Ferry Anglers reserves the right to cancel a trip if weather or other conditions render the river unsafe for travel.

  • Children must be at least 5 and accompanied by a parent or guardian in a tandem kayak to take part.

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