Salt, Arizona, US
|Usual Difficulty||I (for normal flows)|
|SALT RIVER BLW STEWART MOUNTAIN DAM, AZ.|
|usgs-09502000||400 - 2500 cfs||I||01h47m||1280 cfs (running)|
This is a great run for those who are newer to river running, or looking for a quick lap before/ after work (if you live in Phoenix). While the entire stretch is 11mi long, there are a few different access points so you can pick what you want to run. There are only a few notable rapids, leaving the rest to calm moving water and scenic views.
Be advised-this strech only runs during the summer months when they release water from the Stewart Mtn Dam. This is also a VERY popular place for folks to go tubing/ drink on the river, and it gets cery crowded. To avoid this, hit the water early or go during a weekday.
In order to park in the established parking lots, you will need a Tonto Pass/ National Parks pass. These passes are available online, as well as at nearby walgreens/ gas stations.
|Mile||Rapid Name||Class||Features (Legend)|
|7.0||Coon's Bluff Wave||I|
This rapid starts about 1/4mi from the put-in at User's. The river bends to the right dropping in to small riffles, and then curves left. There is a large eddy river left, and two holes (depending on flows) river right. The current takes you right over the two holes, flipping boaters who aren't paying attention. To avoid, paddle to river left.
This is also a popular playspot for playboaters, as the second feature creates a strong eddyline that you can surf/ complete tricks on.
This is the most challenging rapid on this stretch. There is a main line along river right (avoid getting to close to the trees), but at higher flows you can run any line. This rapid has a few boulders creating fun waves and small holes, perfect for catching a wave on the fly or working on catching micro-eddies.
This wave at the Coon's Bluff access point can be a fun wave/ hole to surf on, depending on flows (500+). There are two large eddies on either side, with a nice sandy ledge in the eddy on river left. This spot is created as the river bends to the left with a large tree blocking your upstream view, so keep an eye out that you won't get run over by other tubers/ boaters.