Lower Salt River Kayaking Tour

Starting from


ArizonaPhoenix, AZScottsdale, AZ
Tour Length
Guide Type
Skill Level
​Beginner - Intermediate

Salt River kayaking tours are the perfect way to cool off on a warm day in Arizona’s desert. Most travelers to the area are surprised to find kayaking in Arizona, but this beautiful stretch of river is just a short drive from Phoenix. Spend a relaxing morning paddling along lush green riverbanks and towering red cliffs, keep alert for sightings of wild horses and bald eagles. Guided river kayak tours are scheduled to avoid crowds and take advantage of all the river has to offer, including refreshingly cool swimming and a unique perspective on the desert. We kayak every section of the river from Saguaro Lake to Granite Reef, the chosen section varies day to day depending on the river’s water level.

The kayak tour gave us phenomenal views of the river and the surrounding Indian reservation and mountain landscape. We had such a great time and if we ever make it back to this area, we will definitely return for another tour!Priscilla

What's Included

Tour Price Includes

  • Professional safety-certified river guide
  • Bottled water & snacks
  • Inflatable 2-person kayak
  • Paddles PFD (life jacket)
  • National Forest entry fees
  • Dry bags

What to Bring


Comfortable, weather appropriate athletic clothing – shorts and a t-shirt, bathing suit, on cooler mornings long sleeves are advised. We recommend bringing a dry change of clothes for after your rafting trip.

Water shoes/sandals/old sneakers

These must stay on your feet at all times – sport sandals only please. Flip flops or bare feet are not allowed.


Sunglasses, sunscreen, camera, lip balm, medications, hat, etc.

Upgrades + Additions

Hotel/Residence Pick Up

$250 per group – inquire over the phone

Private Tour

$200 per group. No other parties may add to your tour. We can schedule private tours any day of the week.

Upgrade to a 1 person kayak

$10 per person

Optional upgrades, additions, and rentals subject to tax (8.05%).


  • 1 Person $ 340 pp 340
  • 2-3 People $ 170 pp 170
  • 4 or more $ 136 pp 136
  • Groups of 13+ Call to inquire

Tours, rentals, and add-ons may be subject to sales tax at the local rate.

Days & Times

Tour Days

Tours run Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays

Departure Times

Tours depart at 8:30am and 1:30pm
Activity duration: 2-3 hours


Pilot your own craft down the beginner‐friendly Lower Salt River on one of our guided kayak tours. The Salt River is a short drive from Phoenix and Scottsdale. Our inflatable kayaks are stable and easy to maneuver, creating the perfect platform for splashing, relaxing, or wildlife viewing. The river is an indispensable oasis in the vast Sonoran Desert, attracting a multitude of birds and wildlife – we often see wild horses and bald eagles during our tour! Take time to appreciate the surrounding mountain peaks, giant saguaro cactus, and flora unique to the river ecosystem. Your guides are always available to teach you the natural history of the area and give you expert paddling instruction.

All of our regularly scheduled kayak tours take place on the Lower Salt River in the Tonto National Forest. The Lower Salt River is scenic, Class I (the easiest rating on the international river difficulty scale), and provides some of the best opportunities for viewing wildlife and bird watching in the Southwest. We have a number of put‐in/take‐out locations and select our launch locations based on the current water flow to provide you with the best experience. Water temperatures vary from the 60s in the winter to low 80s in the summer months. Swimming is possible year‐round but it can be a bit bracing in January! All tours meet at the tour location.

This guided tour is operated under permit of Desert Voyagers in the Tonto National Forest.