What To Expect On Your First Arizona Salt River Rafting Adventure

Arizona Rafting Through Rapids with Wilderness Aware

Arizona Rafting and What You Can Expect

Salt River Rafting Arizona Action Shot
At Wilderness Aware Rafting, we offer Guided Arizona Salt River Whitewater Rafting trips. Depending on how much adventure you’re seeking we provide half-day, full-day, and multi-day expeditions. We’ve been giving guided rafting tours for quite some time now, and have the testimonials as proof as to how much our trips are enjoyed by our customers.

One of the most frequently asked questions is what can people expect from scheduling a rafting trip on the Arizona Salt River? For those that have experienced it, there is little more that can be said which you wouldn’t already know. But for the virgin salt river rafter, there is a lot you may have not considered or thought of. Read on to find out all you need to know before suiting up, grabbing your paddle, and hucking that rubber!

The Arizona Salt RiverSalt River Rafting Arizona

The Arizona Salt River is located in the White Mountains of Arizona, and is a confluence of the White and Black Rivers. The mouth of the river begins in Phoenix and is called the Gila river. The Salt River flows for over 200 miles and sits at an elevation of 11,400 ft. The river is fed by a number of perennial streams which begin as springs and run along the Mongollon Rim and the White Mountains. Its had numerous names of the years, including; Assumption, Black River, Rio Salado, Blue River, and River of the Rafts.

Salt River Flora and Fauna

There are a number of fish species that inhabit the river which would make any angler excited. These include; Salt River Rafting Arizona Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass, Sunfish, Channel Catfish, Flathead Catfish, Carp, Rainbow Trout, Yellow Bass, Crappie, Blue Catfish, Yellow Perch, Walleye, Tilapia, Black Crappie, Desert Sucker, and even Bullfrogs. In total there are about 30 prime fishable miles in the Salt River which gives fishermen plenty of options for either sitting on the bank with bobbers or tossing on the waders for fly fishing. If your skilled enough, you could even do some handfishing.

For those that love to view wildlife, there is plenty for you to enjoy as well. For bird lovers, the Salt River is a haven for some of the most beautiful species in Arizona. Birds you can expect to see are Bald Eagles, Ospreys, Peregin Falcons, Harriss’s Hawks, Herons, Egrets, Waterfowls, Black-Chinned and Costa’s Hummingbirds, Vermilions, Ash-Throated Flycatchers, Bell’s Vireos, Lucy’s Warblers, Hooded Orioles, Phainopeplas, Northern Mockingbirds, Western Bluebirds, American Robins, and Cedar Wax Wings.
Salt River Rafting Arizona

If you’re looking to see larger animals, you won’t be disappointed here either. The Salt River is home to a great number of species, including; Bighorn Sheep, Deer, Javelina, Coyotes, Foxes, Raccoon, Skunks, Beavers, Gopher Snakes, Coachwhips, Western Diamond Back Rattlesnakes, Dessert Spiny Lizards, Zebra-Tailed Lizards, and many others.

For all the aspiring or actual botanists out there, let’s not let you think you’re forgotten either. While rafting on the Arizona Salt River, you are likely to see any number of beautiful plants that will line the banks and dot the hills. These include; Ocotillo, Hedgehog Cactus, Cholla, Prickly Pear Cactus, Sotol, Bufflegrass, Cheatgrass, Fountaingrass, Jointed Goatgrass, Quackgrass, Salt River Rafting Arizona Red Brome, African Mustard, African Rue, Dalmation Toadflax, Field Bindweed, Hoary Cress, Cottonwoods, Tamarisk Cedar Trees, Diffuse Knapweed, Russian Knapweed, Leafy Spurge, Onionweed, Malta Starthistle, African Sumac, Camelthorn, Russian Olive, Sweet Resinbush, Tree of Heaven, Feathered Mosquitofern, and a great number of others. There will literally be more to see than capable of, and if it’s your interest, there is plenty of time to hike around and have a closer inspection if desired.

Salt River Rapids

The length of your trip will determine exactly how far down the Salt River you will go, and which rapids exactly you can expect to conquer. For Half Day trips you can expect to rip through; The Class II Kiss & Tell Rapid, Class II Bump & Grind Rapid, Class III Grumman Rapid, Class III Mother Rock, Class III Overboard Rapid, and the Class II Camp Rapid.

For Full Day Trips, you will go through all the rapids listed for the half-day, as well as; The Class III Exhibition Rapid, Class II Cibecue Rapid, Class III Three-Way Rapid, Class II Salt River Draw Rapid, and the Class IV Mescal Falls Rapid. When you’re not hucking rubber through the knuckle whitening rapids, you’ll have the chance to take in the views, relax, and enjoy the serenity of the river. There are plenty of spots to stop to go hiking and venturing through the landscape which lines the Salt River.

For Multiple-Day trips (2-5 days) you’ll go through the same rapids, but will be at a more leisurely rate depending on how long you Salt River Rafting Arizona intend to stay. You’ll have the opportunity to take in all that this wonderful region has to offer, hiking through various canyons and over the numerous bluffs the surround the area. Not to mention, you’ll have the opportunity to camp out under an amazing Arizona Star filled night. You’ll be more than well fed and taken care of by your guides, leaving your only concern to be not wanting to return home. We call these longer vacations “river time” which is what we call the state of mind only achieved on an extended stay on the river. This gives you the time to contemplate life, stop contemplating life, spend time with friends and family, and truly receive that “into the wild” feel.

What You’ll Want To Bring

What we recommend bringing is dependent on the duration of your trip. For single day trips, you will want to bring the Salt River Rafting Arizona following:

  • Swimming suit or a pair of shorts that quickly dries
  • Tennis shoes or sandals that will remain secure on your feet. (No flip flops, you wont be happy if you lose your shoes)
  • Sunglasses with a securing strap to ensure they don’t fall into the river
  • Waterproof sunscreen
  • Hat or visor
  • A fleece jacket or warm insulating layer to wear under wet suit in case you become chilled
  • *NOTE* Do not wear anything cotton, as it will not dry and only makes you chilled if worn wet

For multiple-day trips, you will want to bring what is listed above for single days, but as well as the following: Salt River Rafting Arizona

  • Warm sleeping bag and sleeping pad
  • Personal tent
  • Another warm jacket preferably wind proof
  • Rain jacket or a poncho
  • Dry shoes to wear around camp and to hike in
  • A towel to dry yourself
  • A change of clothes to wear at camp
  • Toiletries
  • Headlamp and Flashlight
  • Plastic trash bag to store wet items
  • Insect Repellent
  • Favorite or preferable drink, whether soda or alcohol
  • Your favorite book for downtime, or camp worthy toys for your kids

Hopefully this will have given you a clear idea as to what you can expect from taking an Arizona Salt River Rafting trip. We hope you’ll join us soon, as we would love to create some very memorable moments for you, your family, and friends!

At Salt River Rafting Arizona, we love providing the best guided whitewater rafting trips on the Arizona Salt River. If you want to schedule a trip with us, such as a full-day rafting trip, or half-day rafting trip, please be sure to contact us! We’d love to provide you with one of your next greatest experiences and memories!