Last year’s Super El Nino was a Super dud that only made for 40 days of rafting due to a lack of snow in the White Mountains of northeastern Arizona. Ironically, the normally drier La Nina predicted for this year has produced enough moisture to make the rafting season last into May.
The river has been running at a wonderful medium level since the New Year which is fantastic for beginner to intermediate rafters and families with children 8 and older. The team has been in the canyon making their practice runs and reacquainting themselves with one of the most beautiful places in Arizona for the last two weeks and we are open for business Saturday, March 4th.
Outfitters in the Salt River Canyon understand the ephemeral nature of this river which makes it all the more special when it does run. The Salt River is known far and wide for its Class III & IV rapids that are dispersed throughout the 52 miles of Tribal and federally protected Forest Service lands. The three to five day wilderness trip starting at the Highway 60/77 Bridge that crosses the river between Globe and Show Low and ending just above Roosevelt Lake sees over 1,600 applications for private trips each season with only 304 lucky winners. But anyone who wants to experience this wilderness gem for a day can run the first 10 miles of river with a permit obtained through the White Mountain Apache Tribe.
This is not tubing the Salt. This is fun and exciting whitewater for both the novice and seasoned rafter alike. Against a back drop of 1.4 billion year old granite, the warm spring temperatures bring the wildflowers to bloom alongside the towering saguaro found only in the Sonoran Desert of Arizona and Mexico. The Salt River corridor also boasts over 200 species of birds along with Coati, Javalina, Big Horn Sheep and Gila Monsters, which makes this rafting adventure a unique experience unlike any other in the country. Experienced rafters can enjoy this section on their own but most people will book a trip through one of the four permitted outfitters. Show up with a smile and a sense of adventure, and you too can experience Arizona’s “other Grand Canyon.
Submitted by Salt River Rafting
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