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There's no white water on the Colorado River below Hoover Dam. Instead, the river and its lakes offer many opportunities to explore the gorges and marshes that line the shores. If you prefer to do it yourself, look into the canoe and kayak rentals available on Lakes Mead, Mohave, and Havasu. Raft adventures will take you through the Topock Gorge near Lake Havasu, or you can take a trip upriver from Willow Beach 12 miles to the base of Hoover Dam. Along the way, chances are good you'll see bighorn sheep moving along the steep basaltic cliffs, and depending on the season, you can view hundreds of different types of migrating birds.
Blue Water Jet Boat Tours. From September through May, Blue Water Jet Boat Tours takes guests on a 2½-hour narrated trip up the Colorado River to Topock Gorge in the climate-controlled Starship. Other tours run to Bill Williams Wildlife Refuge (3 hours) and around the lake's famed lighthouses (1½ hours). Prices range from $24 to $38 per person, depending on the tour. 501 English Village, Lake Havasu City, AZ, 86403. 928/855–7171 or 888/855–7171. www.coloradoriverjetboattours.com. Closed June–Aug.
Desert River Outfitters. Kayakers can choose between Davis Dam to Rotary Park half-day ($35 per person) paddling trips along the Colorado River Heritage Trail and all-day trips from Topock Gorge ($50 per person) to the upper reaches of Lake Havasu. The full-day trips are for intermediate kayakers and are available only from mid-October to mid-April; the others are suitable for beginners and can be undertaken year-round. Some excursions are offered in the evening, by moonlight. 1034 AZ 95, Bullhead City, AZ, 86429. 888/529–2533. www.desertriveroutfitters.com.
Jerkwater Canoe Co.. Jerkwater offers three different one-day paddling trips, including exploratory excursions in Topock Gorge and Black Canyon—rates are from $41 to $78 per person, depending on the trip. Multiday trips along several scenic stretches of the Colorado River are also available. 13003 Powell Lake Rd., Topock, Lake Havasu City, AZ, 86436. 928/768–7753 or 800/421–7803. www.jerkwatercanoe.com.
Western Arizona Canoe & Kayak Outfitter (WACKO). This outfitter gets the outdoor adventure going with paddling trips of Topock Gorge, Lake Havasu, and Bill Williams Wildlife Refuge. Excurions cost $40 to $48 per person. AZ. 928/855–6414 or 888/881–5038. www.azwacko.com.
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