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Old 08-25-2016   #1
Salt Lake City, Utah
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 337
Salt River Multiday Trip?

I do not have any idea on this river nor the logistics involved. I would like to go down in March of 2017 and do a couple days. Is this hard to get a permit? Is March a good time? Is it best to rent or bring my own stuff. I have big boats.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Salt Lake City

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Old 08-25-2016   #2
lmyers's Avatar
Buena Vista, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 4,207
If you do a couple searches on this site there are threads every year about the Salt. It's class III-IV through Apache land. Permit season begins March 1st. Permits are not super hard to get, but I have not received one out of several years applying. Historically there is a commercial rafting season in April, but the last few years the snowpack has been blown out by a rain event in late February and then what's left melts out by the beginning of April.

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Old 08-25-2016   #3
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FtC / Rancho del Rio, Colorado
Paddling Since: 8AM
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 378
The water was already too low to use my March 8th permit this year. It ran just a little too early.
We were saying 1000cfs minimum. It was already below 800 and falling fast. It's a fun section of river in a spectacular canyon.

Fairly hard permit to get your hands on tho. I think they only do 2 or 3 private launches per day, starting March 1. Keep your eyes on the gauges in February, it ran pretty good this year in the last couple weeks before permit season.
I seem to recall they start accepting permit applications in mid November. It's all on the Tonto Nat'l Forerst Website.
Good luck!!!

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Old 08-25-2016   #4
wildh2onriver's Avatar
irvine, California
Paddling Since: 1987
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 1,197
I was able to do 2 back to back trips in February, before the permit season. It kind of seems that this may be the new reality. We shall see....

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Old 08-25-2016   #5
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Fraser, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 1,042
Originally Posted by wildh2onriver View Post
I was able to do 2 back to back trips in February, before the permit season. It kind of seems that this may be the new reality. We shall see....

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I do remember crying my salty tears last spring when I was stuck working....
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Old 08-26-2016   #6
pojoaque, New Mexico
Paddling Since: 1972
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 109
agree with wild, permits hard to land, for me anyway, always put in, always skunked. salt is hard to get the runoff window right, it's a crapshoot. it's worth getting on the lottery list just for the communications you'll get from ranger don, very entertaining. used to be that end of march for a month or so was ideal window but seems rarely to run that late anymore unless it's a flood. great river, great run, though, worth the trouble. i'm sure others will disagree but 800-900 is about the lowest i'd go for a big boat unless you don't mind scraping and some dragging. eye of the needle gets super tight as well. 2,000-4,000 more fun than should be legal!
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Old 08-26-2016   #7
Apache Junction, Arizona
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 86
I am planning to schedule a trip for February and March just in case we get an early season. Last year we had 11 people submit for permits and only 1 was drawn. So that can give you rough odds. I would say for a big boat you need a 1000 CFS to make the run at a minimum. We took a 9' and 13' and did paddles and packed light and ran it at 500cfs and still had a great time. That was the second weekend in March. Did the day trip at 2200 CFS in February though and that is definitely a lot funner at that flow but very hard to catch.

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