Arizona Salt River Photos
THE RIVER: Located just north of Globe in Arizona, the Salt River is unlike any other… offering beautiful views of red canyon walls, desert wildflowers, and the mighty saguaro cactus. You’ll see amazing geological sights like white rock, granite canyons, and volcanic rock formations. As you raft along the Salt River you’ll also have the opportunity to admire Indian ruins and desert canyons carpeted in vibrantly colored Sonoran Desert wildflowers. This river has something for everyone, consisting of class III-IV rapids like Eye of the Needle, Rat Trap, Quartzite Falls, and Corkscrew. We offer everything from half-day trips to five-day excursions going through the entire Upper Canyon and wilderness of the Sonoran Desert.
OUR OFFICE: Our mobile office is located in the Salt River Canyon just north of Globe off Highway 60. It is an easy drive from both of Arizona’s major metropolitan areas, Phoenix and Tucson, allowing you to head out in the morning, enjoy a full day of rafting on the Salt River, and be back home in time for dinner. Our office is active March through May varying season to season, as the accessibility for whitewater rafting is very dependent on the water levels. In addition to serving as the check in point for all of our whitewater rafting adventures, we also offer shuttle services for private boaters, and maintain a retail area selling refreshing cold drinks, shirts, and hats—all of which are desert essentials!
SAGUARO CACTUS: Exclusively found in the Sonoran Desert, the Saguaro cactus grows to reach heights as tall as 60 feet, can support over 25 arms, and live as long as 150 years. These cacti thrive in the Sonoran Desert because of the perfect combination of water and temperature—while this area experiences both winter and summer rains, scientists believe the Saguaro cactus receives most of its moisture during the summer rainy season. On our whitewater rafting trips, you’ll have the opportunity to take in these marvelous cacti on any of our full or multi-day excursions. Once you enter the Wilderness, the Saguaro cactus becomes much more prevalent along the landscape. If you join us in the late spring, usually starting in April, you’ll see beautiful white flowers blooming atop the majestic Saguaro cactus. These blossoms are the official state wildflower of Arizona.
DESSERT SCENERY: When you join us for some whitewater rafting on the Salt River, you will have the opportunity to see a plethora of flora and breathtaking desert landscape. Since the season runs spring through early summer, the desert wildflowers will be in full bloom, carpeting the hillside with their vibrant colors. The Salt River is one of the most unique rivers in the country because of its location on the southern edge of the Colorado Plateau. It is at the crossroads of mountain and desert ecosystems, creating a striking variety of plant life and scenery. As you take on your Salt River adventure, you’ll descend through oak and juniper woodlands into the stunning Lower Sonoran Desert, home of the towering saguaro cactus. On our multi-day trips, we make it a point to set aside time so you can take side canyon hikes that lead to oasis-like microhabitats found only in this part of the country.
A skull and crossbones were once painted on a boulder near this formerly Class VI rapid until 1993 when one rafting outfitter took matters into their own hands and blew up the rapids. They claimed to do this to save lives as the recirculating hydraulic effect of the water’s six-foot drop caused many deaths and required a half day portage involving difficult rope work, but many believe they were sick of waiting in line for hours to portage the rapid. The men responsible for blowing up Quartzite Falls were indicted by Federal grand jury sentenced with charges of conspiracy and the destruction of Federal property with an explosive. Today, Quartzite Falls is ironically considered one of the smaller “big drops” on the Salt River, as it is a relatively easy Class III-IV rapid.