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Topock Gorge, AZ
mini location map2015-01-20
16 by photographer avatarazbackpackr
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page 1   2
 
Topock Gorge, AZ 
Topock Gorge, AZ
 
Kayak avatar Jan 20 2015
azbackpackr
Kayak16.20 Miles
Kayak16.20 Miles   6 Hrs   8 Mns   3.00 mph
      44 Mns Break
 
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This was a kayak trip down the famous Topock Gorge, which seems to be on every kayaker's wish list, (and some wannabe kayaker's wish lists as well, alas.) It is a beautiful run, despite the motorboats. I'm really glad I did it on a weekday in moderately cool, somewhat cloudy weather because otherwise there would have been too many motorboats. Yes there are motorboats, hundreds of them if it is summer.

It is beautiful but it's long and not really a good run for beginners, although I am sure many beginners have done it. There are no options for early take-out. You have to get to Castle Rock Bay. This take-out would have been very easy to miss (not see), so I was glad I had scouted it out last March by paddling up the lake from Mesquite Cove. http://hikearizona.com/photoset=29571 The take-out has been silting-in, and is almost too shallow to get boats through at one point, but of course the Wildlife Refuge admin isn't going to do anything about it. If you paddle on down to Mesquite Cove that adds 4 more miles, or to Windsor Beach, adds 5 miles. By then you'd be exhausted and any fun you had at the beginning, in the early morning, would be only a distant memory.

Anyway, it's a beautiful gorge. No camping is allowed. There are places where people have camped, or stopped to party, and left a lot of trash behind. The motor boaters are infamous for throwing trash--I have heard locals complain about this problem. There are places to camp on the right side (Indian Reservation) before you get to Castle Rock Bay, after leaving the gorge.

We saw a few birds, but it wasn't a bird-watching trip. A lot of hikes would be available to access from the river, but you don't have time to do them because you have to keep on paddling down the river. When you get to the Lake an afternoon wind can come up and make things very difficult. In our case the afternoon wind was from the north, so it was helpful. It's a long day and it beat me up pretty good.

I did stop to walk up to see the petroglyphs, but I didn't take the time to get very close. There are a lot of them, and they are big ones.

I'm glad I did the trip, it was really, really pretty in the morning. And I went with one of my best kayaking buddies. We had fun. We know each other well, and we know each other's weaknesses and capabilities regarding dealing with the boats.

But I am not taking anyone else to do it. I have a lot of friends who want me to take them here and take them there. I'm done, poke me with a toothpick. No more taking people here and there. Do it yourself, like I did. Although I learned to kayak years ago, I've been paddling seriously for ONLY about 13 months! How did I get to be this go-to person for kayaking? Because I went kayaking a lot? I get emails all the time from people wanting me to "take" them to Topock, etc. I am going to start referring them to Desert River, the local outfitter, who also does guided trips. Pay her to take you. Leave me out of it.

:out: :x
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