Salt River Rafting


The Salt River is a fairly technical desert river (class III to IV) that runs through the Salt River Canyon Wilderness. It is a scenic float through the Sonoran Desert that is one of the only river that runs through Saguaro forests. From its source in eastern Arizona to its confluence with the Gila River west of Phoenix, the Salt is about 200 miles long, but the best section for rafters is on the Upper Salt, where there are 52 miles of exciting whitewater. The high use season occurs in the early spring from March 1st through May 15th, and a wilderness permit is required to float the last 32 miles. Most private trips launch close to where the Hwy 60 bridge crosses the river, then take-out just downstream from the Hwy 288 bridge. Private trips plan for 4-5 days to float through this stretch. There are no trails in the wilderness area, but many of the side canyons are hike-able and the wildflowers are stunning in the early spring.

Check out our Permit Lottery for Rafting Western Rivers 2017 Guide for more info on how to get on the Salt River.

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