The Verde River is one of Arizona’s best kept secrets. Verde Adventures is spreading the news with customizable kayaking, tubing and wine tasting trips.
Thanks to our friends at Arizona Living for checking it out and creating a video tour. Float along with them in the video, or read the video transcript below (lightly edited for clarity).
Dick Lynch, CEO Verde Adventures 0:03 – We started this back in the day, about 15 years ago, nobody even knew where the Verde River was. It was like, Oh my god, where do you go boating down here? And myself, I came from a river background, being a professional river guide for a number of years. I looked at this and go “Why isn’t anybody doing any kind of trips, tours, organized,” and it wasn’t happening at all. We started off with six boats, a Jeep, a laptop, and a cell phone. And today we take 20,000 people down the river.
DL 0:34 – We have tandem kayaks. These are great for families when you have kids. The kids can ride in the front, the adult can be in the back paddling, being the navigator of the whole bed. Then we have little spuddie boats, they’re like kayaks that are about three quarters of the size of a regular adult kayak, for for the younger adults just getting ready to learn how to paddle to go in. And then tubes – we have tubing that runs from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Get out here be soaked all day long in the Arizona heat.
DL 1:01 – Everything out here that we do our float trips, everything is a float trip. If you fall out of the boat, stand up, get back in. You know, Verde is not that big of a river. It’s more of a big creek than anything else. But it’s very, very safe. We go down to three years of age for kayaking. For tubing, it’s got to be eight years of age or four feet tall.
DL 1:23 – We’re at the Water to Wine right now at the Alcantara Vineyard, the confluence of Oak Creek and the Verde River. And this is our signature trip we started this with the Alcantara back in 2009. I’ve been doing it now what 12,13 years. But this is a really fun little float trip about an hour and a half on the river where you float down this magic carpet of liquid energy and you arrive at the vineyard for a wine tasting.
DL 1:48 – What keeps people coming back is the fun, you know. The people they meet here, the people they meet on the river. River people are always fun, good attitude, great, great environment, the peacefulness, you’re never in a hurry. These trips are all self guided, there is no pace that you have to keep up with. You can float at your leisure, or you can paddle straight through and on to your next adventure type thing. And the fact that we provide them with a great system of all they have to do is show up everything else is taken care of.
DL 2:15 – We’re a seasonal business, we start operating about mid February, and then we’ll run till the end of November. If we don’t get a winter like we did last year, November stays very, very busy. So it is seasonal based upon the temperatures the weather that we get. I love hearing people laugh. I love hearing people having fun. I mean, what better job on the planet can you have?
Entertaining people and to see the smiles and to see the return people coming back sometimes every week. And you just kind of go, “Good God, thank you that we’re able to do this,” because not everybody is as fortunate as we are to have such fun, enjoyable and beautiful jobs.