Two river options
Spend four to six days canoeing down the river, past the towering cliffs of Black Canyon into the broad reaches of Lake Mojave. This is a wilderness trip, as we are completely self-contained. A perfect trip for high school students. Best dates mid-September through May
Four to five days camping along the lower Colorado. Pass through two National Wildlife Refuges and historic Picacho State Park, site of southern California’s largest gold mine. Great bird life, numerous side lakes to explore. This section can be adapted for students as young as sixth grade. Vehicle support is available.
The Colorado River marks the border between California and Arizona. It has often been called California's "east coast". Voyage down the lower Colorado River through National Wildlife Refuges, towering cliffs, explore side channels rich in animal life, and historic state parks.
Learn the role this largest of all southwest rivers plays in all our lives. Observe the rich bird life along its banks. Walk a few feet from this ribbon of life into California driest deserts. Discover how plants and animals thrive in this seemingly inhospitable environment. The colorful history of the miners, ranchers, and river men who made their lives along the river is an exciting aspect of this trip.
Canoe trips along this scenic waterway make ideal class retreats or natural history trips. There is fine canoeing along the most of the school year; the climate is very similar to Palm Springs. During October to early May, the weather is cooler and there are few other boats on the river. The current moves at a leisurely pace allowing ample time for viewing the landscape and exploring the area. Students spend their days paddling down this Class 1 river (non-whitewater) and nights camping in NAL provided tents on the banks. Learn geology, paleontology, flora, and fauna of this unique region Students will be in situations that require them to work together toward common goals (e.g canoe handling, camping, camp chores) as well as develop individual skills necessary for safe travel on a class 1 river. The shared experience fosters group cooperation. All students and chaperones share in the success of the trip and have an active role in the journey.
Middle through high school. Best Times-- October through mid-May
Natural history themes include Sonoran Desert or Mojave Desert ecology, riparian habitats, and the geologic and social history of the Colorado River. Emphasis can be placed on man's role in the desert. Guided by Naturalists at Large naturalists canoe the Lower Colorado River to discover the largest and most important river of the Southwest as well a unique way to explore the surrounding desert..
The Lower Colorado River is a relatively lush riparian zone that contrasts sharply with the arid Sonoran and Mojave Deserts that surrounds it. The presence of water in this hottest, driest of the American deserts provides an abundance of flora and fauna to observe, including excellent “birding”.
Naturalists at Large is a leading outdoor and environmental education group in California. Since 1985, we have provided outdoor education programs for tens of thousands of students from over two hundred schools, offering custom client designed trips, flexible dates and locations, commitment to safety and comfort in the outdoors, the wonder of nature and the importance of outdoor and experiential education.