Crystal River is a gently moving, shallow stream in Glen Arbor.

Do yourself a favor and kayak Crystal River. It is beautiful and peaceful.

Crystal River is ideal for the entire family.

Crystal River by kayak is not like white-water rafting the grand rivers of the Appalachians or Rockies.

It won’t sweep you along through white-water, or past grand cliffs.

Crystal River is simple, peaceful beauty. 

Crystal River is an excellent choice for those uncomfortable with the idea of being on a large body of water. 

All About Water has helped many families enjoy the river – everyone from young children to grandparents.

Small children can even ride on the same kayak with mom and dad.

Much of the river is a foot deep. 

Take the time to appreciate the drinking-water-clarity of Crystal River.

Notice the rocks, grasses, and sands that make up the bottom.

Enjoy the peace and quiet provided by the woods and lack of development.

The National Park Service maintains the river in as natural a condition as possible while still making it accessible to the many visitors to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.

When you make the reservation through All About Water, you’ll paddle on a 2 mile stretch that is undeveloped. That’s right, there are no houses or buildings on the entire 2 miles. Enjoy!

Crystal River is lined with trees that lean out and even across the river.

Crystal River is a simple, special place.

All About Water will shuttle you from our parking area at 5998 West River Road, Glen Arbor to the put-in at Fisher Road and CR 675 (also known as South Dunns Farm Road and/or West Crystal View Road).

(Our parking area at 5998 West River Road is just northeast of the gas station on M-22 in Glen Arbor. It is NOT the area that seems connected to the gas station, but is across the little side street (Egeler Road) on M-22.)

You’ll be on the water to just past the “shoot the tube” on CR675. 

“Shoot the tube,” is a few seconds of excitement at the end of your peaceful trip.

You can “shoot the tube” (go through the tube that channels the water under the road), or stop on the bank just short and portage (carry) your kayak across the road. There is a ramp down to the river that makes it easy to take out before the shoot the tube.

It may look more intimidating that it is in real life.

It’s great fun for all ages.

You can take out where those timbers are. This paddler chose to, “shoot the tube”!

This is just over two miles on Crystal River. 

All About Water will pick you up at the take out there, and return you to the parking area at 5998 West River Road, Glen Arbor where you started.

Some stretches of the river are narrow, and others are much wider.

FAQs about the Crystal River trip:

The distance is approximately two miles

A few have made the trip in just under an hour, but for most it is a trip of 60-90 minutes

The price ($25/person) includes the shuttle to and from the water, the kayak, seat back(s), paddle(s), life jacket(s)

Please bring snacks and beverages

Note: This trip is within Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore – the Park Service prohibits glass containers on the river

Those 21 and older may consume beer, etc. in cans or plastic containers

We will shuttle you to the put-in anywhere from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm

Please feel free to come to the shop even without a reservation and we will get you on the water as fast as possible – almost always just a few minutes

If you will make the reservation at least a little in advance we will do our best to have the kayaks waiting for you to minimize your wait time

If you need to cancel we will refund 95% of the charge

Please email ( or text (269-214-4848) if you have any questions

Self-Guided Kayak Tours 


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