Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Not Renting Any More

I am not going to be renting the kayaks anymore now that I have a real job. I will still keep up this blog from time to time to talk about kayaking things. Hopefully someday someone will find it and decide to check out "that big lake to the west of us" as a friend of mine once called Utah Lake.

So, I have been out on the lake since the last post, but I think only once. The main problem is that the East Bay entrance is blocked by construction. Also I found out this weekend that that area is maybe better known as "the Knolls," according to my brother-in-law. I have been dying to go out there because my brother just got back from Lake Titicaca in Peru where they live on man made islands just like I want to make here. Here are some links to some pictures of the islands.

On another note, my brother went out this past weekend and said Utah Lake State park is flooded over the parking lot. I dont know if that is normal, but I definitely have never seen the water that high.

Oh, and did I mention we took the kayaks to Lake Powell?? Loved it. I just wish we had motors so we could get to some of the back areas of the lake.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Back on the Lake!

My wife and I went out on the lake last night for the first time this year! It was such nice weather and we were there well after sunset. We were going to go to the East Bay area, but the road was closed because of construction on the freeway, so we went to the Palmyra launch where I used to go for lunch when I worked in Spanish Fork. It was a great place to launch from. I had forgotten how nice it was. It had the reeds and the birds that the marshes have, but it is a lot more accessible. I'm worried that there will be too many boats there in the summer though because there was a water ski club dock just off of the landing. Either way, it was beautiful. I'll get some pictures up here when I get a chance.

Oh, I need to give credit to my brother and nephew for getting the kayaks back in shape for the year. They had been sitting out for a while, but now they look great again! Thanks guys.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Late Summer Special--$15/kayak

Sadly, summer is coming to an end. But, because of this, I am making a special deal on my kayaks! As of today, the price will be $15/kayak for a trip instead of $20. This means taking that new girl out on a date just became affordable!

The price will remain the same for insurance and transportation.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Spanish Fork River Directions

Here is a link to the Google maps directions

  • Springville Exit next to Walmart (I-15 Exit 260)
  • Head West until a "T" intersection.
  • Turn Right
  • Turn Right again on the first road (River Road, but the sign is TINY).
  • Follow this road out to the lake.

There will be a place to put in at the end of the road. The road is only paved half way out to the lake, but its a pretty good dirt road. Oh, and don't try to drive along the beach even though it looks like there is a road there unless you have a vehicle equipped for it. I have seen many cars stuck in the sand and in holes in the road out there.

Spanish Fork River

So I haven't done much with my kayaks lately, but I have a great excuse...I'm getting married.

OK, now that we have that cleared up, why don't I tell you about a pretty little spot I found last year to kayak. I guess I should have mentioned it sooner. The directions are below, it is the outlet of the Spanish Fork River into Utah Lake from what I can tell. Others call it Sandy Beach, for obvious reasons, although they go there typically more for bonfires and fishing.

The river is much like the Lower Provo, but narrower. The flow of the water is basically nothing, but I did notice a little speed on the way down river. It is dredged too, so there is no need to worry about hitting rocks and things.

My brother and I pushed as far up this river as we could and after a good long ride (sorry, it was last year so I don't remember how long) we still hadn't reached the end of the dredged water. We had a great ride though. Trees line the sides, so you are shaded the whole time, and there is plenty of wildlife especially since you are farther from the city. We saw a couple of beavers on the shore that weren't scared of our boats, and a group of deer ran through the water right in front of us!

The put in location is close to Utah Lake, so if you are interested in that part of the water instead you have your choice. The lake is really shallow here, in fact I have seen fishermen wade probably a quarter mile off shore and still only be up to their waste. I guess this depends on the time of year-I have heard rumor that when the lake is low the whole area is actually sandy, but other times it may be deep. I am not very aware of the effect this has on the waves, so be careful if you are out in it.

The beach north of the road is a fun area for bonfires and other parties. It seems to be mostly HS/College kids there, but I'm fairly sure you could find an area away from it all or not at night if you are with your family.

Directions will be posted separately.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Upper Provo River

So...I know this blog is called Provo River Kayaks even though I mostly talk about the lake. I think it just sounded cooler than Utah Lake Kayaks.

Anyway, I thought I would post a link here that gives some information including average drop and average CFS (cubic feet per second) rates for the upper river. This is a part of the Utah Valley visitors center website (http://www.utahvalley.org/).

Although I can't rent my kayaks for use on this area, it is still a lot of fun to take a raft/kayak/inner tube down. I have taken the first leg of the Provo River from Deer Creek to Vivian and it is a really fun ride in an inner tube.

For those of you curious people, I don't rent my boats for the white water stuff because:
  • It hurts my boats too much when you hit rocks.
  • It is a lot more dangerous. (It is not uncommon to capsize.)
  • This raises liability issues that are less of a concern on flat water.
  • I don't have skirts to keep the spray out. (I ended up stopping three times just to dump the water out of my boat.)
The section of the river right by the lake is much more appropriate for my boats. If you would like to do the upper river contact me and I can give some recommendations. BYU rents white water kayaks as well as a few other companies around.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Kayak to Hawaii?

OK, so I mentioned crossing Utah lake recently. This trip seems like the next logical step, right?

In case you cant read it, this is google map's directions from Provo, UT, to Honolulu, HI. Step 17 recommends:

Monday, April 19, 2010


So, I'm building an island. Pictures and details to come, lets just say it will be awesome. It will be a cool destination and I'm planning on making a pirate map to show how to get to it. Get excited, but not too impatient. It may take a couple of months to finish.

Monday, April 12, 2010


Saturday we took a trip out on the lake farther than I've been before. As you can see from my map we took off at a little park just north of Vineyard (a little community west of Orem and north of UVU). The park needs some green, but there are two picnic tables and a bike path to enjoy there. It is hiding down the hill from the road, so it can be easily missed even if you are looking for it. The bike path is paved and had a number of families enjoying the summer weather.

The park has a little bit of a beach right on the lake which is nice and a long stretch of shallow sandy water, but it wasn't my favorite park. I may be a little bias-my memories of it go back before it was a park to huge bonfire parties with truckloads of pallets. The fires have been banned now and replaced with a semi-manicured picnic area. Maybe if they could keep a little grass at least, but maybe the soil makes that unfeasible.

After enjoying the lake for a while we turned around to go back and found that we had drifted north (a common thing on the lake. I recommend looking behind you on a regular basis so you know where you are.) Thinking we had drifted south, I ended up missing the park and adding an unexpected loop to our trip. We ended up going nearly 5 miles in the end.

My review of the Vineyard area is pretty low. I would rather go south or stay on a river, where most of these posts are about, but if you live up north, or you want a quick way to get out on the body of the lake, this is not a bad option.

It turns out that crossing the lake is approximately a 5-6 mile trip, one way, if you go straight the whole time. Maybe that will happen next week...

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


I know summer is just beginning, but the allure of the lake is definitely back. I have been out three times already-I need to put up some pictures. I went with a friend today to the east bay marshes and saw a whole bunch of birds. I've never been one for birdwatching, but it was pretty cool to know what I was seeing. Although I'm sure there is more, here's the list that I can remember:

Double-crested Cormorant
Pelicans (So amazing especially when they fly in a long chain together)
Beaver (not technically a bird)
Coots (my favorite because they can walk on water)
The state bird of Utah:Seagulls
Great Blue Heron
Night Heron
Paired off Mallards
Red-winged Blackbirds
Yellow-headed Blackbirds
Carp jumping fully out of the water (not very good at being a bird)

Unfortunately none of these are my pictures. I think I will start taking a camera and working on this list.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Utah Lake in the Winter

This is why I dont kayak on Utah Lake in the winter. It is REALLY pretty though, if you ever get a chance to get out on it. It will surely surprise you. Ice mountains, Huge fields of tiny crystal formations, patches of smooth clear ice. It is pretty amazing. Be careful though, it has potential to be dangerous, although through most of the winter the ice is plenty thick. Check out this guys blog for more pictures and stuff. He actually ran across the lake and back and took some fantastic pictures along the way.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Deep Sea Kayak Fishing

This man is amazing. I would love to do this at some point in my life. Using a kayak only a bit larger than mine (12ft vs 9.5ft) he wrestled a 157-lb ~5.5ft bluefin tuna 'till it wore itself out, then tied it to his boat and made it the 2+ miles back to shore. My favorite quotes from this article are:

Bluefins are powerful enough, he said, that if given too little line, they can cause a kayak to flip end over end.

being towed at speeds up to 15 miles an hour before the fish exhausts itself.

First you have to hook the fish, which strikes suddenly and violently — “sort of like a raging bull,” he said. Then there’s the ride, which is the scariest part but also “the most fun thing I’ve ever done.” After that you have to fight the fish until it dies of exhaustion.

In August he reluctantly did this (turned over a fish to a larger boat) with a bluefin that eventually escaped but that on the fishing boat’s sonar looked to be about 800 pounds.
“That just broke my spirit,” he said. “They told me, ‘That fish is so big, it doesn’t even know you’re here.’ ”

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Lincoln Beach

  • Marina directly on the lake
  • Flat water in the marina
  • Fun waves in the lake-weather permitting
  • Covered picnic tables and BBQ pits available at the marina
  • Free boat launch (for bigger boats on trailers)
  • Great place for a large group get together
Directions (approx. 30 min. from Provo)
  • I-15 south from Provo
  • Exit 257 to Spanish fork
  • Turn Left onto Spanish Fork Main Street
  • Turn Right at 400N (at the One Man Band Diner)
  • Follow this road out to the end of the peninsula (10 miles from Spanish Fork)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Lincoln Beach and Bird Island trip

Just a quick picture from when my cousin and I went to Lincoln beach. This really nice man took our picture as we were coming in. The trip was really cool, but kinda dangerous. The waves were much bigger than I had been in before, but fortunately were long rolling waves that did not threaten to tip us. We were searching for Bird Island, ~2.5mi north of Lincoln beach, but never found it. This is where I soaked my phone a few weeks back.

I had a renter take the kayaks here for a family reunion a few weeks back and had a great time! They were careful to keep everyone in the marina and within eyesight so everyone was safe at the end of the day.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


I realized it might be a good idea to put more info on the actual specifications of the kayaks up here on this blog. These kayaks were made from a mold taken from the Old Town brand Otter kayak. The dimensions and specifications for that kayak can be found here.

Weight...............One is 30lbs, the other is 40lbs
Max Capacity...275lbs

They are made from chopped fiber sprayed into the mold with a white gel coat paint for the shell. The first one I made was made with a group of scouts. Because of this the fiberglass was laid up 0.120" thick. This was way thicker than it needed to be mostly because scouts tend to use their kayaks rougher. When I made the second I made it 0.080-0.090" thick. This made it 10lbs lighter and still plenty strong enough for the times I treat it rough.

After the shell was laid up I took the top and bottom pieces and using a roofing silicone I bound them together. Then I used regular Bondo to cover the seam between the two. This is the strip of off white color you can see in the pictures. This process has weathered great, but I can see that there are better ways I could do it, and will do it in the future. I plan on taking the bondo off at some point and replacing it with a fiberglass strip which would completely hide the seam making the kayak essentially one piece in the end, for example.

I am on my third type of seat now. First was a piece of packing Styrofoam like you would find in a computer box or something. Second was an open cell Styrofoam-not sure what it was used for, but I wrapped it in Saran wrap and it has worked great. One of each of these has been lost, but I just bought a new seat as a replacement. It is one of those camping seats that is just a back and seat strapped together like this one, but not this brand. We will see how comfortable it is, but even if it is not, I still have the old ones.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

East Bay Kayak Trip

These pictures are of a trip I went on down to the East Bay area. This area is absolutely gorgeous especially in the evenings. The section of the lake that you end up at is a shallow area with marshes all around that speed boats don't enter. Your only human visitors will be fishermen on flatboats, but more common sightings are the blackbirds singing, the fish jumping, and the pelicans flying, with an occasional swimming muskrat.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Atlantic Kayak Tours

I found this website today with tons of great info on kayaking skills, boat types, and safety procedures. One of the best things I learned from them is that I do not want to put new high back seats into my kayaks. This quote is from their buying a kayak guide.

"Some kayaks are sold with a real seat, that has a real back, like a chair. It makes a boat look seductive in the showroom, but unless you can make a deal with God that you'll never, ever capsize, it's not a feature you want. A seat that sticks up higher than the cockpit rim makes it significantly harder to get back in your boat after a capsize - whether you're doing a self-rescue or getting help from someone else. If the boat of your dreams has a chair back to its seat, have the dealer replace it with a low back-band."

So instead I am considering a Velcro strap to attach the Styrofoam seat to the boat.

In other news, I have just repaired the kayak tips so they have a nice round nose on both ends. It is just another step closer to painting them. My sister and brother in law rented them for this weekend and will be taking them up to Tibble Creek Res. in American Fork canyon. It is great to finally be sending them out! Have fun guys!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Brother at Deer Creek Res.

My brother and some friends went to Deer Creek reservoir a little while ago and had a blast. They said there is an island that they kayaked out to and were able to explore. They also were able to get these great pictures. Maybe they will post something about the cool things they saw there at some point.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Need a Waterproof Phone

Went on one of the coolest kayaking trips yet on the south side of the lake yesterday. There were rolling waves probably 3+ feet high, it felt like the ocean. Unfortunately I drowned my phone in the process, but I'm back on line now with a new phone (and zero contacts.)  

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

East Bay

1 mile river through reeds to the lake
Most beautiful sunsets
Open water area available without being in the lake with waves and big boats
Bird Refuge
Yellow headed Blackbirds
•Red winged Blackbirds
Song birds
Other wildlife
Close to Provo (~20min from campus)
I-15 Exit 261
Go west
Turn RIGHT immediately onto the gravel road
Drive until you see a boat ramp into the water.
There are two boat ramps, the first is the one I like the best.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Provo River/ Utah Lake State Park

Down river to the lake (~1/2 mile)
Up river as far as you want
Close to Provo (~15min from campus)
Options for scenery (river or lake)
Ducks, geese, song birds and the occasional muskrat
Go west on Center Street (Provo).
Right after you cross over the river pull off onto the gravel. This is just before the Utah Lake State Park toll gate.
Put in at the river below.
Go down stream and under the bridge to get to the lake.
Go up stream to enjoy the river.

Friday, May 8, 2009


Open water marsh-maze along the south bank of Utah Lake
Direct lake access
Bird refuge
Marsh mazes
Close to Spanish Fork (~30min from campus)
I-15 Exit 260
Go 4 mi west on HW 77 (400 South in Springville)
Sharp right turn onto dirt road, 2750 W.
Follow road 1.4 miles north until you see the lake.


This blog is for posting pictures and stories of kayaking adventures on Utah Lake, the Provo River, and anywhere else my home-made kayaks have been. If you have any good stories or pretty pictures from your adventures please send them to me and I would be glad to post them here.