Salt River - Mountain Buzz

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Old 11-17-2003   #1
cosurfgod's Avatar
Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 388
Salt River

I am buying a permit for the Salt River in April. I am not very familiar with this run and I was wondering if mid April was the good time to go? I was also wondering if I wanted the "White Mountain Recreation Permit" (very expensive) or the "USDA Forest Sevice Visitor Permit"? Do I need both to do the upper and lower sections? How many days for both? I am looking for the most whitewater possible with the most difficult rapids. Like I said I am not very familiar with this river just what people have told me. Any information or experiences would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you

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Old 11-17-2003   #2
Join Date: Oct 2003
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No first hand expierence, but we (School of Mines Kayak Club) have tried to run it for Spring Break several times. Our spring break is usaully early-mid April. It has proved almost impossible to get both the permit and enough water.
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Old 11-17-2003   #3
Join Date: Nov 2003
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It's definetly not impossible I've been twice in the last 4 years. It is an epic trip and April would be fine. The first year we ran it at 475 cfs. and last spring we ran it as 2000. Both trips were great and good for their own reasons. @ 2000 there was only 1 day of flat but moving water. It would be worth it to schedule in a day-off on your trip. And raft support is key. The regulations are very strict at the put in and on the reservation land. Every bit of this trip is worth it, don't let the logistics talk you out of it.
hey diddle diddle...
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Old 11-20-2003   #4
cosurfgod's Avatar
Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 388
How many days is best to spend on the upper part of the river for 32 miles. I am bringing a raft and my S6. Are there good spots to play or just river run?

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Old 11-20-2003   #5
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 28
Can you even run the upper part (above HWY 60) of the Salt River? I thought it was illegal. It looks pretty interesting from the road and I'm sure someone has ran it before, anyone know of a web site with pics?
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Old 11-21-2003   #6
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Join Date: Nov 2003
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Unless things have changed, The Salt above the 60 bridge is illegal to run so no permits needed. People actually run the white and the black above the confluence that forms the Salt but there is no way of knowing when that will run. It is also at least an overnight self support.

What most people call the upper Salt starts at the hwy 60 bridge. There is a day run that requires an Apache day use permit that was $10 a head per day as of four years ago. Good play above 800, Great play above 1000 and mind blowing above 2000. Especially right at the end. You can actually drive to the take out and play and hike back to your car if that is your game. If over 2000 it is worth the effort of paddling down to Ledges and hiking back up. To run the rest of the wilderness section you need a forest service permit which is lottery based. You can get cancellations as long as you are not trying to go on a weekend or during spring break. I would recommend a four day trip though some commercial groups do it in as little as two days with car support. At that time of year many of the rafting companies will help you with shuttle. Which is about an hour and a half one way. This is one of my favorite wilderness trips in the west and I have been on it down to 400cfs and as high as 7000. I have no real beta about section above hwy 60 except it is class 5 and though not the gnarl it is an undertaking that requires so knowledge and scheming.

friend of the fork, knife, and spoon
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