WHO WE ARE
Jerkwater Canoe Co., Inc. has been providing canoeing equipment and running scenic river, paddling trips on the class I, flat waters of the Colorado River in the Arizona/California/Nevada region for over 40 years. We cover Hoover Dam to Parker Dam and everything in between!
WHAT WE DO
We are a completely service-oriented company specializing in family friendly wilderness recreation. We value our client relationships above all else and enjoy tremendous customer loyalty. Our purpose is to provide the finest available outdoor experience for each and every one of our paddlers.
Our services include providing rental equipment and shuttle transportation for your individual or group river trip. Rental equipment includes canoe or kayak, paddle, personal flotation device, and river map. Shuttle service includes picking you up from your hotel or campsite (based on location) and taking you to your launch location, as well as dropping you off at your hotel or campsite at the end of your trip. Safety orientations are provided for every trip, and are geared toward the specific stretch of river that you will be paddling.
Canoe and kayak trips are a great team-building opportunity for wilderness explorers of all ages. These trips are ideal for families and youth groups, such as Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, YCMA groups, school field trips, and church groups.
We also organize special theme events that are geared to families, special interests, and youth recreation.
WHERE WE DO IT
Choose from Black Canyon, Topock Gorge, Topock Marsh, Needles area, or Lake Mead (some Covid restrictions still apply). With so many available options, we are sure to have a trip that fits your needs! Wilderness activities include flat-water paddling, fishing, hiking, camping, exploring, bird watching, photography, or simply relaxing. We always have a good time on the river, and we want you to have a good time too.
Jerkwater Canoe Co., Inc. is licensed by the National Park Service to provide canoe and kayak adventures at the base of Hoover Dam for Black Canyon outings. We maintain a base of operations in Topock, Arizona, where Route 66 crosses the Colorado River. Paddle trips within driving distance of all of Southern California include multi-day and single-day paddle craft excursions.
So what does “Jerkwater” mean?
People often ask us about our name and how it originated – so here’s the straight stuff:
Back in the 19th century, steam railroads were the hottest thing going – the innovative method of travel into the West. These locomotives required access to fresh water along the entire route to refill the boilers. Many small towns, and some larger ones, grew up along the routes as water towers were constructed and staffed to replenish the steam engines in the least possible amount of time.
Tiny, no-name water stops along the steam rail line – necessarily next to creeks, rivers and other water sources – had no towers (or anything else, for that matter). The trainmen had to get off and carry water to the engine by hand – they were “jerking water”. That stop on the line was a “Jerkwater Town” – generally unpopular with trainmen.