Located in the heart of the superstition mountains, the drive to Canyon Lake is just as dramatic as the paddling itself. Jagged desert peaks surround you and the lake provides 28 miles of shoreline within Tonto National Forest, just an hour's drive outside Phoenix. Check out what paddle.com has to say about Canyon Lake!
Eddyline blog correspondents, kayaking legends at large, and paddle sports media moguls, Dan Arbuckle and Seth West of Headwaters Kayak, recently took a trip to the South and visited Canyon Lake in Phoenix, Arizona for a media shoot and tour. This is what they reported back…
Arbuckle shares, “Canyon Lake is one of the most unusual landscapes I’ve ever paddled in. I’ve done desert paddling before at Lake Powell, Watson Lake and the Green River, but Canyon Lake was different. It was one of the hottest and harshest landscapes I’ve ever visited. The temperature the day we paddled was above 115 degrees.
“Towering Saguaro cactus and massive 500’ cliff faces provided the only shade you’d find. Agave, barrel cactus and other succulents cling to the walls above as you paddle up the canyon.
“Relief came from the amazingly cool and refreshing water, and the multitude of amazing cliff jumping spots and swimming holes. A true oasis in an otherwise forbidden landscape.
“The occasional wakeboard boat would pass us providing great entertainment and a free ride on their wakes, if you could catch the surf. The whole adventure was spectacular. I showed up to the Phoenix area skeptical of what we’d find to paddle, and we left in total awe. It’s a place every flat-water paddler needs to add to their bucket list.”
Arbuckle noted the Sandpiper and Rio as his top pick Eddyline boats for this paddle excursion.
Thanks to Riverbound Sports (based out of Tempe) for guiding the trip. They are one of very few outfitters who hold a permit in the Canyon Lake region, so reach out to them if you're interested in paddling in that area. To get a sense of the Sonoran Desert, Tonto National Forest, meet the owner of Riverbound Sports Paddle Co., and see Dan Arbuckle of Headwater Kayak exploring Canyon Lake, check out Kayaking in the Sonoran Desert!?