Winter Is The Ideal Time To Go
Yuma River Tours (YRT) offers jet boat and sternwheeler tours
on the lower Colorado River.
Their office is located at 1920 Arizona Avenue in Yuma,
Ariz., but their round-trip tours are based at Fisher's Landing
at the south of Martinez Lake.
Although open year round, Yuma River Tours' busy season is
winter, when the weather is enjoyable for sightseeing.
In 1987, Ron Knowlton, his parents Smokey and Sheila
Knowlton, and brother Randy Knowlton - all Coast Guard-licensed
captains formed Yuma River Tours. Smokey and Sheila are both
retired now but still occasionally participate in tours or
Today Ron serves as president and shares captain duties with
Loyd Robertson and occasionally brother Randy Knowlton. Ron's
wife Julie and daughters Danelle (who also has her U.S. Coast
Guard Captain license), age 20, and Jodi, age 17, are also
active in the business.
The Knowltons' experience on the lower Colorado River can be
traced back to the 1940s, when Cecil and Ruth Knowlton, Ron's
grandparents, began boating and exploring the lower Colorado
River, eventually becoming permanent residents of Martinez Lake
For Yuma River Tours' employees, this business is special
because of the history, the scenery, and the variety of people.
There are local residents - some who know the river well, and
others who are amazed to discover it.
With the many winter visitors, YRT enjoys multi-generational
family excursions and groups of friends. Tour-bus groups from
across the United States and Canada, RVers, car and motorcycle
clubs join the tours to see the wonderful sights of this area.
Businesses, clubs, organizations, and churches use the tours
for meetings, employee outings, parties, and employee
recruiting. Schools and youth groups do Colorado River field
trips with YRT. They also shuttle canoeists and kayakers upriver
in groups, or individually along with their jet-boat tours.
The business started with one 18-foot passenger jet boat. YRT
now also runs two 40-foot passenger jet boats and a 49-passenger
Their jet-boat tours are "active" in that they stop and let
passengers disembark to see points of interest in the beautiful
Imperial Wildlife Refuge - migratory and native birds, a mining
cabin built in the 1800s, Picacho State Park in California, and
Lunch is at Norton's Landing, a historic steamboat site that
was once a thriving mining town.
The Colorado King is a double-decker sternwheeler tour
boat with an open-air upper deck and an enclosed main deck.
There is a small snack bar on board where passengers can
purchase non-alcoholic beverages and snack items.
Offered are three-hour, non-stop tours on the Colorado
King, either daytime trips downriver with an optional boxed
lunch, or evening sunset dinner cruises with a hot buffet dinner
served on board.
Prices for YRT standard trips range from $38 to $89 per
person, and they are glad to provide quotations for custom tours
and charters. Additional information is available on the Web
Reservation requests are accepted from the Web site link or
at our e-mail address:
firstname.lastname@example.org. Because the YRT calendar changes
quickly, the current schedule is only available by phone at