Kayaking in Arizona? - Mountain Buzz

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Old 12-05-2005   #1
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 19
Kayaking in Arizona?

Where can I go in Arizona to find some good water? I've got the next week off and gas to burn. I heard the Salt River is still running but I can't get in touch with anyone in AZ who knows what the hell I'm talking about. Any suggestions? What about year-round guides in the area? Thanks!

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Old 12-06-2005   #2
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 60

choose Arizona.

Salt Verde and Gila come to mind for potential winter paddling.

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Old 12-06-2005   #3
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 393
AZ creeking is very good, but extremely difficult to catch. If they are getting huge rainstorms the boating can be good. There isn't really much of a run-off to speak of, but flows are generally most consistent late february early march. Last year everything went in December due to unusual rain storms. Watch the forecast and PM me if there are flood warnings. I have a little beta I'd be glad to share.

Never done the Salt, but from what I know it usually has water in it but isn't worth the drive unless it is high.
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Old 12-06-2005   #4
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Eagle County, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 969
What is the Salt like, and does it require permits?
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Old 12-07-2005   #5
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 60
The Salt is a nice class 3-4 run, mostly 3. Permits are required from both the forrest service and the indians.


You can do anything from a half-day trip to a 5+ day trip. Full length is like 56 miles.

What I like about the Salt is it is one of the last free-flowing rivers. It, and its side creeks, drain a huge area. The salt has hit 220,000cfs. A side creek called Canyon Creek has hit over 50,000cfs.
The downside to this is that once the run-off is gone the water drops to almost nothing.

Because of its free-flowing nature, the Salt has huge pristine white sand beaches. Just watch out for camping on one of these in a windstorm.

Since that asshole Taz Stoner dynamited Quartzite (presumably under orders from Pat Blum) rapid (used to be a 5+) the run has seen an influx of "Arizona Geek Boaters". That portage used to keep all but the highly adventurous out of the canyon.

The run is extremely scenic and offers numerous indian ruins to explore. Cherry Creek is one of my favorite places to lay over. The Maze and Blackrock are fun rapids. And there is nice surfing everywhere depending on water level.

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Old 12-07-2005   #6
Mesa, Arizona
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 11
You won't find much down here right now. Last December was great with some good rains, but we have been dry for awhile. The only place even somewhat boatable right now is the Verde, but it is only around 200cfs. Definetely not worth the drive.
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