Five Riverfront Activities for the Whole Family
From tubing and kayaking to fishing and picnic parties, the Lower Colorado River area makes for a fun year-round family destination. There are historic sites and attractions to see including the Yuma Territorial Prison State Historic Park, Quartermaster Depot State Historic Park, Pivot Point Interpretive Plaza and Mormon Battalion Statue, as well as gardens, wetlands and trails to explore, and a plethora of recreational opportunities to experience. Just a few blocks from the Coronado Motor Hotel, Yuma’s riverfront region is made up of the East Wetlands, Gateway Park, and the West Wetlands Park.
Kayak, Canoe, River Tube or Boat – Bring your canoe, kayak or tube and enjoy a day of floating and paddling down the Colorado River. You can get into the water where the confluence of the Gila and Colorado Rivers, or at Gateway Park, and Centennial Beach at the West Wetlands Park. The City of Yuma Parks and Recreation Department offers guided canoe and kayak trips for groups. These guided trips can be taken during the day or evening, and include the canoes and kayaks, and are $20 per person. There is a group minimum of 10, and reservations need to be made three weeks ahead of time – call: (928) 373-5234. There are also scheduled guided trips held every month. Yuma River Tubing operates during the summer months by supply the gear and rides upriver – call: (928) 750-0247 for details. Centennial Beach at the West Wetlands has a boat ramp.
Grab your Fishing Pole – Stocked with striped bass, flathead and channel catfish, tilapia, crappie, mullet and bluegill, the Colorado River makes for a good fishing spot. There are fishing piers at Gateway Park, and the pond at the West Wetlands Park is kept stocked with game fish by Arizona Game and Fish. For fishing licenses and information call the Arizona Game and Fish at (928) 342-0091. If you need a fishing pole, come see us at the front desk of the hotel.
Follow Paths and Trails – Cycle, skate, jog or walk the trails system in the East Wetlands, West Wetlands, and Gateway Park. There is a 2 trail that runs from the West Wetlands Park to Gateway Park, and has a 5-mile extension. You can follow a 3 mile loop around the East Wetlands, as well as an unpaved ½ mile trail that does have a few benches, and leads to an overlook that provides views of the river, and Ocean-to-Ocean Bridge. If you need a bicycle, you can rent one from the Quartermaster Depot State Park.
Gather for a Picnic & Barbecue – Gateway Park and West Wetlands Park both have shaded picnic areas (ramadas), where you can grill up your freshly caught fish or favorite barbecue fare, and gather for a family picnic. Gateway Park has a shaded playground and lawn area, and a sandy beach sand swimming area for kids to play and splash around in. West Wetlands Park features a fishing pond, a shaded playground, a grassy area where you can enjoy a game of Frisbee, hummingbird and butterfly gardens, and Centennial Beach where kids can play and build sand castles. To reserve a shaded ramada, call (928) 373-5243.
Watch Birds and Butterflies, Oh My! Yuma is a permanent and temporary home to almost 400 bird species that range from osprey and red-tailed hawks to bluer herons and great egrets, coots, Yuma clapper rails, stilts, killdeer, flycatchers, roadrunners, woodpeckers, quail, and warblers! The East Wetlands and West Wetlands are both popular bird watching spots, and the West Wetlands also has a butterfly garden and hummingbird garden. For more about birding in Yuma, visit www.AudubonYuma.org.