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Rafting Arizona Rivers

Rafting Arizona Rivers What You Need to Know
Rafting Arizona Rivers What You Need to Know
Photo - Debra Burks

Whitewater rafting can be a fun and exciting time for the family. In Arizona there is a choice of rivers to raft on. You can choose from the Colorado river which flows at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. They have 14 day rafting trips as well as 5-6 day upper canyon trips. There is even a smooth water float trip for the whole family.

Another choice is the Verde river rafting experience. This wild and scenic river is surrounded by cottonwood trees sage and sycamores. The rock walls are in hues of gold, brown and red. Beautiful sandy beaches edge the banks where wildlife is seen regularly. Several black bears, javalinas, golden eagles, blue herons and otters are quite plentiful for that special photo. Sometimes a cautious deer and fawn will be seen drinking along the waters edge.

High water trips here are the most exciting and are done in Febuary and March. Fifteen foot self-bailing rafts are used on these trips. Some inflatable kayaks are available for the more adventurous in the group. This river has gradual drops of twenty feet a mile.

Another good choice for rafting is the Salt river. Experience class three rapids here with more rapids per mile than any other Arizona river. These river trips earned the highest ratings from the Forest service and Apache tribe.

* One day trip - has 12 class three rapids and a delicious grilled lunch.

* The Salt river express trip - Is a condensed version of the longer trip

* Half day trip - This contains 6-8 rapids for excitement but also some smoother water in between.

* Salt camp out trips

These include a campfire in the evening, rafting and dinner with overnights in tents. These are in 2 day, 3 day, 4 day trips. Each day you will get deeper into the wilderness and experience the thrill of exciting rapids.

Boat Options

* Regular rafts - 15 foot self- bailing rafts. If you choose an oar boat the guide will navigate from the back and you can help if you want or just sit back and enjoy the ride.

* Paddle boats - These boats require everyone to help paddle the boat. There is no chance to do nothing.

The Salt river canyon is two hours from Phoenix. There you can paddle on water that is 2,000 feet deep. This river has rapids named "Maytag" "Mescal Falls" and "Overboard". Along the way you will see beautiful high Sonoran desert landscaping such as flowering cactus and desert sage.

If you enjoy rafting plan on trying several of the Arizona rivers. Some of these are Gila river, Verde river, Colorado river and the Salt River. Its also possible to raft on the clear placid lakes here such as Lake Pleasant, Havasu Lake and many others.

The temperature in Arizona most of the year is moderate and comfortable. You may get 75 to 80 highs and 50-70 lows. It rarely rains and so your days floating down the river will be peaceful and happy. Do try this wonderful way to spend the day. And remember, there are shuttles that carry you back to your car, so no worries.

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