Kayaking, Canoeing, and Tubing
When you’re looking for a natural experience of flowing along the Colorado River, it doesn’t get any better than seeing the Colorado River as it comes in from north of Yuma, along the western edge of town. Silent sports like kayaking, canoeing, and tubing are a great way to be up close to wildlife and to take it all in at a slow-flow speed. Catching dawn’s rays or a sunset can be a real “wow” moment as the colors break across the sky. Any time of day, floating along makes for great bonding with friends or family in the great outdoors.
Numerous water birds such as Snowy Egrets, ibis, cormorants, ducks and geese, and many songbirds make the cattails and reeds at the water’s edge their homes. Many people sneak peeks of busy beavers and fat muskrats, and telltale signs show coyotes and other animals use the river as well. Patience and quiet while you float will open a whole other natural environment to you, just steps away from bustling downtown Yuma.
A “city” river experience is quick and convenient for those with not much time. Bring your kayak, canoe, or tube to the river’s edge at Gateway Park’s beach for a short (45 minutes to one hour) float down to Centennial Beach or Playa Linda in the West Wetlands. Just be sure to arrange a ride back to where you parked! You can also rent a float, go as a group, or get lessons.
If you’re looking to get back to nature for a little longer, head north of Yuma to the confluence of the Gila and Colorado Rivers’ junction. Grab your beverages and sunscreen and make a day of it (starting early in the day during summer is advised). It’s about a 3-4 hour float downriver to the West Wetlands, plus any extra time you want to haul out on a beach to sightsee or picnic. See the links above to get gear if you don’t have your own.
The wide-open spaces in and around Yuma lend themselves perfectly to outdoor adventures in the desert or on the Colorado River. Social distancing? No problem! Fresh air and nature? Lots of it! Sunny and warm weather? Undoubtedly, since Yuma is the Sunniest City on Earth, according to Guinness World...Read More