What to bring

Colorado River Trail

​Pack proper equipment for a safe, enjoyable trip


Your safety and enjoyment, as well as the health of the environment, depends on good planning. Before starting a trip on the Colorado River, be sure to include the following items:

  • Life jackets
    State Law requires each passenger in the boat, including canoes, to have a Coast Guard-approved personal flotation device within reach. Children under 13 must wear a life jacket at all times.
  • Food and fresh water
    Pick up and pack out all litter to keep river corridors pristine. Set a good example by picking up litter left by others.
  • Portable toilet
    All boating parties should carry a portable, reusable system that can be flushed out at a proper waste facility, such as an RV dump station. Or, keep toilet paper, small paper bags, a one pound coffee can, and a small container of toilet chemical accessible during the day. Deposit human waste and toilet paper in the paper bag, then seal it in the coffee can until the bag can be put in the regular camp toilet in the evening. The paper bag will break down in the waste container.
  • River Map
    Plan out your trip by looking at where the different access points are located by going to the following link: Lower Colorado River access points.
  • Towels or sponges
    Use these as a seat cushion, or to remove water from the boat. During rest breaks stretch towels between canoe paddles for shade.
  • Watertight containers
    Carry food, extra clothes and cell phones in water-tight containers. Plastic trash bags or zippered sandwich bags provide inexpensive dry storage.
  • Spare paddle
  • Rope
  • Pocket knife
  • First-aid kit
  • Insect repellent
  • Compass
  • Sunscreen


To make faster progress downstream, rub the bottom of the canoe with car wax, and position the most experienced paddler to steer from the aft (rear) seat.