Kayaking on the Gila River, a journey into the near wild

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather
DSCN0795.JPG

Keep your eyes open. You may see something quite unexpected. Nina Crowder | Copper Basin News

By Nina Crowder

Copper Basin News

Kayaking in the Copper Corridor takes just a short journey for a day filled with fun, laughs, sight-seeing and exercise.

Just 20 miles from Mammoth to Winkelman off Highway 77, turn right to Winkelman Flats Park, where the park is free for day use. Park one vehicle here and then in a second vehicle with kayaks, continue north on Highway 77 for 3.2 miles, which will bring you to the Shores.

Or, if you feel adventurous, continue on Highway 77 for 6.7 miles from Winkelman Flats to Christmas. Either place enables you to put your kayaks in the Gila River and start your adventure.

As our kayaks were set in the water, the wildlife viewing started right away with mallard ducks just ahead that were startled and started flying. There are several spots in the river that seem like they are going to be white water rapids, but were actually rocks with the water pouring over them. Where many of the rocks were it was very shallow and we had to walk through some of those areas to keep from bottoming out on the kayaks.

From the Christmas use area to the Shores area, it was approximately 2.75 hours. From the Shores to Winkelman Flats was approximately 1.75 hours.

From the Shores to Winkelman Flats we were able to see two deer drinking from the river. The mallard ducks stayed with us throughout the day. There were many other birds including hummingbirds, red cardinals and sparrows. There were some good rapids and we had several wipe-outs throughout the day that kept our laughter up and kept us anticipating what was around the next corner of the river.

When the river splits it is necessary to select the route you feel is best. There is no particular way to tell which route will be better, just do your best and know that you may end up upside down in your kayak.

It is important that you don’t go the river alone as many people wipe out and get caught in the tree branches or tree roots that are along both sides of the river. Be sure to wear protective gear including life jackets and bring plenty of water to drink.

The Gila River is a major waterway through Arizona and generally runs year round. Lately with our temperatures close to 75 degrees and plenty of sunshine it’s a perfect time to try out the Gila River.

Winkelman Flat Park has an array of covered picnic tables, softball fields, children’s jungle gym area, an arena for horse activities and great places to camp. The time is right to get out and enjoy our Copper Corridor!

admin (7673 Posts)


Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather
Facebooktwitterby feather

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

  • Additional Stories

    Defense dominates again in Panther victory

    September 21st, 2016
    by

      The Superior football team won its fourth-straight game last Friday night, defeating NFL Yet Academy on the road, 52 […]


    Miner swimmers qualify for state

    September 21st, 2016
    by

      Miner swimmers had a busy week.  First they traveled to Florence on Thursday, Sept. 15, to compete against Florence […]


    Oracle Piano Society hosts student concert Oct. 2

    September 21st, 2016
    by

    Don’t miss Oracle Piano Society’s first Collegiate Concert featuring talented students of Arizona State University Professor, and Oracle Piano Society […]


    Miners’ offense MIA as winless streak continues

    September 21st, 2016
    by

      The San Manuel football team lost its fifth-straight game last Friday night, falling at Globe, 30 – 6.   […]


  • Additional Stories

    Ray football wins another by forfeit

    September 21st, 2016
    by

      The Ray football team is now riding a three-game winning streak after starting the season with consecutive losses. The […]


    Hayden defeats Duncan to even record

    September 21st, 2016
    by

      The Hayden football team improved to 2 – 2 following a 28 – 24 victory at Duncan last Friday […]


    Winkelman to celebrate bridge’s 100th birthday

    September 21st, 2016
    by

      In 1916, Pinal County decided to build a 419 foot long bridge over the Gila River at Winkelman. Since […]


    Oracle State Park tops October events with birding weekend

    September 21st, 2016
    by

      Discovering birds along the trails, learning about colorful species, and socializing with other bird-lovers at will fill the weekend […]


  • Copperarea

  • [Advertisement.]
  • [Advertisement.]
  • Southeast Valley Ledger

  • Arizona Headlines & Current Weather