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  • Apr 15 2024
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The Sedona Experience: On The Water – Kayaking, Rafting & River Tours

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People rafting down a rushing river, surrounded by long grass.

No matter what time of year you visit Sedona and what type of traveler you are, there are countless activities to be had. During the warm summer months, Sedona offers a great escape from the desert heat of Phoenix with lots of shady trails and watering holes. One water-centric experience not to be missed is rafting or kayaking Sedona & Northern Arizona via the Verde and Colorado Rivers.

Imagine meandering along the riverbanks under a canopy of trees offering peeks at the stunning landscape as you admire the ducks swimming by. Whether a casual kayak or an adrenaline-laced raft trip, these activities offer a different perspective of the natural beauty around every corner (or river bend!) in Northern Arizona.

The Verde River

The Verde River meanders through Northern Arizona and boasts mild temperatures perfect for hiking, canoeing, picnicking, fishing, or just wading in the cool water. Life along the river changes with the season, giving visitors a glimpse of great blue heron, black hawks, coyotes, raccoons, mule deer, beavers, ducks, frogs, and toads. The Verde River and surrounding corridor support nearly twenty threatened or endangered species including river otter, southwestern bald eagles, southwestern willow flycatchers, and lowland leopard frogs.

A duck floating around calm water, causing ripples.

Enjoy half-day guided tours or take off on your own with self-guided options. “Interspersed with exhilarating chutes and calm floating pools, the Verde River is the perfect river experience for folks of all ages. The classification for the river on this tour is class one for the majority of the experience, with a couple short sections qualifying as class two.”

Tour times range from 2-5 hours and are available several days of the week. Traditional kayaks as well as inflatable kayaks are available depending on the tour company and itinerary.

Wine lovers will delight in the “Water to Wine” tour – a guided tour beginning with a one-hour Ducky Kayak trip on a scenic stretch of the Verde River, and ending in the shade of giant Cottonwood trees before taking a path up through the vineyards to the farmhouse at Alcantara Vineyards for your wine tasting delight.

Recommended Tour Companies:

South by Southwest Adventures
(928) 421-1288

Sedona Adventure Tours
(877) 673-3661

The Colorado River

The renowned Colorado River meanders through much of the Southwest, creating masterpieces such as the Grand Canyon and Lake Powell. Whether a scenic float or a white water rafting tour, the Colorado River boasts incredible scenery and an unforgettable experience. Looking for relaxation? Float one of the most dramatic stretches of river in the western United States while your experienced guide tells stories of the area’s soaring cliffs, crystal clear waters, local wildlife and past explorers. Into adrenaline? Get your heart thumping with rafting tours on the mighty Colorado River amidst the iconic Grand Canyon.

Tours run several days a week, some offering pickup at L’Auberge and others departing from locations in Sedona (L’Auberge offers complimentary transportation to these locations).

Recommended Tour Companies:

Great Venture Tours
(928) 282-4451

Colorado River Discovery
(928) 645-9175

A boat full of multiple people white water rafting.

Posted: August 19, 2016

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