Salt River - is it worth the drive from Seattle? - Page 4 - Mountain Buzz

Go Back   Mountain Buzz > Whitewater Boating > Whitewater Rafting

Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 2 Weeks Ago   #31
GeoRon's Avatar
Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1974
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 1,221
Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
Someday I'll get around to that TR.

You don't have to paddle anything harder than class III.
Thanks for the pics. They give me an instant feeling of the Jarbidge-Bruneau/Deepcreek area, an intimate river between towering walls.

"You don't have to paddle anything harder than class III" is a lot like a river in your backyard, the Black Canyon. The portages are Class VI though.

Back on topic, below is a pixel hydrograph of the Salt. In this one graph is the entire history of the Chrysotile gauge. It illustrates why to plan to go until it is obviously a no go. Green is good to go. Above 1k most boats can make it. Small boats can consider it down to .5k. Beware that if it is dropping fast at low flow it can get pretty boney in there as you will end up with more rocks than river.

USGS raster hydrographs for western rivers can be viewed by clicking on symbol "4" in the daily flow report posted here on MB. It is always in column 35. If you click on symbol "5" you will download the file used to make the raster hydrograph. That file contains the average daily flow for everyday that the gauge has been in operation. That file is good to use to refresh you memory. For example, "I launch on April 5th last year(or anyday) but I can't remember the flow." The file will provide that info.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Salt rastergraph.png
Views:	34
Size:	66.4 KB
ID:	42659  

GeoRon is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old 2 Weeks Ago   #32
kayakingphotog's Avatar
Austin, Texas
Paddling Since: 1983
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 115
This from Steve last year at this time. If I am not mistaken the snow pack this year is running at about the same as then. However we had two fantastic late spring snow events that pushed the Salt to better then ever. Plan plan plan....and hope hope hope.....and just go go go.....

Greetings Waterborne People:

I am sending you this email because you applied for a permit to boat through the Salt River Canyon this season. If you wish to be removed from my email list please feel free to be creative in the subject line telling me. Let’s either go with sugary sweet, or downright rude.

Somebody asked me if I was going to send out another email blast, which I didn’t know I had been doing, but was really glad to hear that I could still blast.

This is a quick note to tell everybody that today is the last day to pay for the permit if you were selected. You pretty much have to do all that stuff to accept and pay on your profile. I don’t have much control over their servers, so if you have payment issues you have to contact their help desk.

At this point, if it was me I would pay, and then watch the snow pack and weather and make the call, three weeks or more out, when you still have time to get the permit fee back. If your permit is in early March, and you don’t have three weeks or more, it’s a dice roll; I would roll the dice (but maybe that’s because I don’t live in my truck anymore, and, like many boaters, I have high risk tolerance).

If you want to transfer a permit to someone else:
First, have whoever got drawn pay for it.
Please wait until after February, 22nd to contact me about it.
Write me an email from the premittee’s email address, used in the application, requesting the transfer, and including all of the relevant information on the front of the permit for the new permittee (Name, address, and stuff).
Modify your copy of the permit to reflect the change, and I will do the same on our end so our rangers stopping by to visit you will know what’s up.
Then give me a call on my cell if you have questions: (92 595-1647
You do not need to do this if you are going to be on the trip. You need not be the trip leader to be the permittee.

I recommend buying you permit form the White Mountain Apache Tribe (2-days, $25 a day) online before the trip. It also allows you to camp at the put-in the night before your trip:

It has been cold here and it looks like we are going to have some water this year. We are showing 8.6 inches of snow water equivalent (swe) at the Hannigan Meadows gauge so not too bad, and I think that this may be reading low (it may be more like 10 in swe). Tomorrow we are supposed to get hit with a large cold snow storm with the snow level down low enough to snow here in Globe at 4,000 feet. It has the potential to add a foot or two of snow to our basin; very exciting.

As I write it is 1,660 at the put-in and dropping. Here is the graph for the put-in from the Colorado River Basin Forecast Center (CBRFC), which looks pretty accurate to me:

With the low elevation snow that is here now, and about to be added to, I think it will come up to runnable levels pretty quickly in March. It should be noted, however, that I am frequently wrong.

Here are some websites you may wish to visit if you want to follow along that many of you have seen in my previous emails:

The website for SNOTEL data is:
For the Salt River, under Snow (SNOTEL and Snow Course) click on “Data”. Click on “Daily SWE Report-Current Water Year: By SNOTEL Site”. Click on the drop-down list of states for Arizona and then scroll down to the “Hannigan Meadows” site. Simple, no? Sometimes I also look at “Baldy” which is also in the Salt River Basin. The historic values are also on this site if you want to compare to other years.

For website for current streamflow data in Arizona is:
Scroll down to the Salt River Basin. The put-in is “Salt River Near Chrysotile” and the take-out is “Salt River Near Roosevelt”.

If you want someone smarter than me to predict the river level, this is the website for the Colorado Basin River Forecast Center: Click on the blue dot for “SLC: Salt, Chrysotile, NR” and view the forecast. Click on the forecast if you wish to change the parameters of the prediction.

I usually look at the weather forecast for the coming week on this webpage right before I leave town:

And this one:; I search for Globe and then hit the 10 day forecast tab. I look at Alpine AZ for close to the snow pack.

Or there is this colorful one from NOAA:

And here is a link to the free map on our website
You can use it to start the fire when you are done with a page.

And one more thing, I stand corrected; I guess I was kind of winging’ it. Anyway, please see Larry’s slightly edited response to my previous email, which I found to be very informative:


Larry here, I’m the retired NOAA/NWS boater that you interacted with in 2017 about the CBRFC’s forecast for the Salt, and I did run the Salt in late March that year.

Just reading your email. Although there has been a pretty good southern storm track this year and it looks like it’s going to continue, technically the El Nino has not formed yet and the tell-tale coupling of the atmospheric pattern to the warm ocean has not yet been observed. NOAA/NWS Climate Prediction Center issues a monthly bulletin on El Nino ( and they are still expecting it to happen, but most of the winter will have passed by then. A forecast of El Nino gets a lot of media coverage, but sometimes the media forgets to follow up.


I love this job. Thanks Larry.

Thanks for stopping by. Now let’s go boating.

Forest Service Shield

Don R. Sullivan
Wilderness River Manager
"Your not on an adventure until shit goes south" -Yvon Chouinard
kayakingphotog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2 Weeks Ago   #33
Ever_Cat's Avatar
Evergreen, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 117
That is an awesome plot. I don't often download your reports (a bit more than I usually need when just wondering about a flow), but I am going to start poking around these to see what other gems are embedded. Good stuff and thanks.
Ever_Cat is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old 2 Weeks Ago   #34
Seattle, Washington
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 122
Originally Posted by GeoRon View Post
That was Infidien. I'd loved to have had his life and retirement. I was with him as far as Corn Ck that year in hard shell shelf support where he(picking up his dory) and Patty continued on. He is on the Grand now doing me the favor of ground truthing my Sunrise/Sunset graphs. I got a text from him yesterday(Garmin Inreach) from Bass saying that all is well. I'll text him your regards.
Thanks GeoRon, and sorry for the confusion. Please pass on my comments to Infidien. What a life!
davbaker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 6 Days Ago   #35
Gary F
Philipsburg, Montana
Paddling Since: 1984
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 46
Hey Dave, like many here I've done most of the major trips from the rogue to the tuolumne, hell's canyon, all the salmons, the grand, yampa, etc. I Love the salt. Done it multi times. Something real cool about rafting among the seguaros. April can be real "iffy " but I have been down it many times in the early part. Though I haven't done it on the salt, if it is real low I would take a tandem ik with backpack gear. Done that on north Platte many times and, others. Last time I went down, my wife and I took the narrow 14ft nrs. Didn't load huge but we were loaded. Kitchen box for 10, 120 qt cooler, dish wash kit, and dry bags/wammo cans, 1st aid kit, etc.
You won't be sorry. I like it way better than the San Juan.
kokoroltd is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:34 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2020 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.