Ride the Rapids: Rafting Arizona's Scenic Salt River

Looking for a unique outdoor adventure in Phoenix this spring? Look no further! Salt River Rafting offers single and multi-day, wilderness and camping whitewater rafting trips for groups, families and people of all experience levels along the scenic Salt River.

Located just outside of Phoenix between Globe and Show Low at the bottom of the Salt River Canyon, Salt River Rafting offers whitewater rafting trips along all 52 miles of the Upper Salt River. Their guided trips range from one to five days long and are ideal for families, friends and groups of all experience levels. Read on to learn more about the different experiences available from Salt River Rafting.

Wilderness trips

Ride the Rapids: Rafting Arizona's Scenic Salt River
Credit: Braden Peterson Photography

Join an experienced guide for a three, four or five day wilderness rafting excursion where you can take in all the beauty the Salt River Canyon Wilderness area has to offer. With over 200 species of birds in the area, as well as other desert dwelling creatures including Coati, Javelina, Big Horn Sheep and Gila Monsters, there's no shortage of wildlife to see.

As you make your way through the Class IV rapids, you'll be among towering saguaros and vibrant wildflowers nestled within 1.4 billion year old granite and 800 year old Salado ruins.

Wilderness trips include cooked meals, necessary equipment including a life jacket, helmet, waterproof shoes and a personal dry bag. Prices vary depending on the length of the trip.

Camping trips

Ride the Rapids: Rafting Arizona's Scenic Salt River
Credit: Braden Peterson Photography

If you're interested in taking your time, stargazing, enjoying a scenic hike in the Salt River Canyon Wilderness area or going fishing, Salt River Rafting also offers an overnight camping trip.

You can bring your own camping gear, or rent some. After a morning of rafting five miles through Class II-III rapids, guides will cook lunch before you embark on five more miles of fun rapids.

Once you arrive at the campground, guides will build a campfire and prepare dinner under the stars for all to enjoy. The following day, guides will cook breakfast before you take your choice of hiking or fishing.

Day trips

Ride the Rapids: Rafting Arizona's Scenic Salt River
Credit: Braden Peterson Photography

If you have less time but still want to experience rafting on the Salt River, single or half day trips are the perfect and some of the most popular options.

During “The Classic” single day trip, guides will take you through 12 miles of rapids as well as the serene volcanic cliffs. Half way through the day, you’ll make a pit stop at the riverside base camp for a prepared hot lunch before you tackle more challenging rapids and Mescal Falls.

If you don’t have time for the full day trip, you can still get your thrills in with the half day trip, where you’ll make your way down five miles of scenic river with several fun Class II-III rapids.

Like the wilderness trips, these trips also include necessary equipment like a life jacket, helmet and waterproof shoes.

Know Before you Go

Trips are restricted to a maximum of 11 guests, ages 10 and up. Rental camping gear is available and dietary concerns met upon request. Group rates are available and there are various specials and discounts available throughout the year.

The season runs from March through May so it is recommended to make your plans in advance. Prices do not include $30 per person Apache Day Use Fee and River and Land Use and Access Fee. Visit Salt River Rafting's FAQ page for more information.

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