There aren’t a tremendous amount of whitewater river expeditions available in the U.S in March. Most people are still thinking about skiing and the snow is falling throughout most of the Southwestern U.S. In New Mexico, we are starting to gear up for our season starting in April and here at New Mexico River Adventures, we are also packing for our annual Upper Salt River Canyon rafting trip in East, central Arizona.
Upper Salt River Canyon rafting is an amazing journey through one of the most pristine canyons in the Sonoran Desert. Starting half way between the towns of Globe and Show Low and ending at the Hwy 288 bridge crossing the river 56 miles downstream, this river is truly a classic.
Starting out with a steady stream of class 3 rapids and slowly working its way through three geologically distinct canyons offering a variety of class 2-3 rapids with four major class 4 rapids defining some of the most remote portions of the trip.
As you float downstream and drop in elevation the kings of the Sonoran Desert, the Saguaro Cactus, majestically look down upon the unsuspecting river explorers from the high canyon walls. These cacti are truly amazing and there is no other river in which you can see so many wonderful examples. Make sure to look out for the rare mutated Crested Saguaros hiding among their relatives. Of course, as with most great desert river trips, like the Rio Chama, this river has no shortage of incredible camps and side canyons to explore. Places like Canyon, Walnut, Hess and Cherry creeks are a must stop. However, there is also no shortage of smaller, less explored stops that deserve just as much attention. Even if hiking isn’t your priority, this trip is amazing just floating downstream and taking it all in from the boat. A clear classic of the Southwest!