Paddle Horseshoe Bend
How to paddle on the Colorado River
Enjoy your own Horseshoe Bend and Grand Canyon-esque adventure without the cost, time, or hassle! The 15 mile paddle trip between the Glen Canyon Dam and Lee's Ferry will amaze you with towering red canyon walls, clear water, legendary trout fishing, and wonderful campsites. There are no rapids. The water is extremely cold, so we don't recommend sustained swimming but quick dips will cool you off.
The trip starts and ends at Lee's Ferry. You will need to reserve a "backhaul," which is a motorized raft that will take you from Lees Ferry upstream to the dam. You then paddle about 6 hours downstream, stopping halfway to camp if you’d like, and end back at Lee's Ferry where your vehicle is parked. Pickup and return your boats, using your own vehicle, at our office in Page, which is 45 minutes away. Lees Ferry is a 45 minute drive from Page, a 2.5 hour drive from the South Rim of the Grand Canyon or Zion and 2 hours from the North Rim.
Step by Step Guide:
2) Make a backhaul reservation with Marble Canyon Outfitters (800-533-7339). A backhaul is mandatory.
3) On the day of your reservation, pick up your rental at the Paddleboard Lake Powell Office.
4) Load up your rental equipment on your own vehicle(s). Multiple kayaks can fit on most vehicles. Pads and straps are provided.
5) Drive to the Lee's Ferry boat ramp and unload your gear. Overnight parking is a short distance before the boat ramp. There are bathrooms, water, and a shaded picnic area. Meet the Marble Canyon Outfitters rafts at the docks just upstream from the boat ramp. Load your equipment onto the rafts and get a ride 15 miles upstream.
6) Make camp at one of the 6 campsites on the river. No reservations are required and they are included with your $20 park entrance fee. Room for tents generally isn't a problem, but you may need to walk in a bit from the beach landing on popular weekends. All campsites have toilets. Fires are allowed, but wood collecting is prohibited. Bring your own firewood.
7) Finish your paddle down the river. Navigating is very easy - it's a big gorge. Print this river map so you can track your progress and find what you are looking for - campsites, petroglyphs, side canyon hikes, or bathrooms. 6 hours is a good estimate for how long the entire paddle will take. Add in extra time for stops on shore. This is just a rough guideline - how hard you paddle, your consistency, the water flow, and the wind conditions are all key factors. If strong winds are in the forecast, it is very important to get an early start on your day, as winds usually increase in the afternoons.
8) You arrive back at Lees Ferry, load your boats back on your car, and return your equipment to the Paddleboard Lake Powell Office in Page, Arizona.