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Old 02-03-2004   #1
cosurfgod's Avatar
Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 384
Park and Play at the Salt

I just recieved my letter stateing that I did not recieve my Salt Permit. I just called to be put on the waiting list but it looks pretty grim. The Ranger said that the snow pack is looking really good and they just need one more storm to have a full season. Has anyone gone down there to park and play? I understand that there are some really great waves and holes that close to the road. If anyone has any beta please let me know. I was think of heading down in March or April.

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Old 02-03-2004   #2
El Flaco's Avatar
Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1984
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 1,879
Good times, great oldies.

Definitely worth the trip above 850, and 1500 or higher is fantastic. Above 1000 you can head down to the Ledges section, which is a 1/2 mile below the Salt Cliffs (where the road to the Flat bears away from the river). The trick is that the river right side- where the road is- is sacred land, and Whitey mush not walk upon lest he recieve a hefty fine. You'll have to bushwack up the river left, then ferry back across to your car. But, it is one ledge hole after another for about 100 yards (kind of like that one section near Stoner on the Delores). There's also a pretty nice park-n-play hole at the mouth of Cibeque Creek. The whole run is a great time, and the water will be significantly warmer than anything you'll find in Colorado during March or April.

However, the day permits were $15 per boater from the Apache tribe last time I was down there, and if you sneak on & they catch you they will take your gear and fine you heavily. Also- as amazing of a big water V run the Upper-Upper Salt looks from the road, it is also sacred land and they will arrest you if you take a shot at that one.

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Old 02-04-2004   #3
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 81
El Flaco is dead on. The only thing worth adding is that if you go play at Cibeque, keep your eye on the sky. The road home is easily washed out by rain.

The trip to the ledges isn't too bad, but don't mess with the locals. No means no there, and you will loose all of your gear - both on you and in your car - if you don't respect their property. Stay river left on the hike back - bring shoes & be prepared to paddle some flat sections upstream.

There is a downstream alternative, but it’s not easy. Get a good map of AZ. If you are traveling form the west (Phoenix), you will find a really small park / town just before you start to descend into the canyon. There is a road that branches off to the left (towards a small lake). Your map should lead you down some steep, dirt switch-backs and onto a plateau about 100 feet above the river (about one hour from pavement). There is a sketchy-little foot path that starts on the river-side of the plateau and heads downstream. It will bring you to the river, and you can then hike upstream to the ledges – less than a half-mile. I did it once & swore I would never drive my jeep back there again, but it is all you get for P&P in AZ…
Try not. Do, or do not. There is no try.
---- Yoda
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