Raft the Salt River (John Carlile has the permit)

  • March 22, 2013 · 7:00 AM
  • This location is shown only to members

Raft the Salt River

Class II-IV whitewater

(John Carlile has the permit)

According to the web site American Whitewater:

There is 60 miles of bouncing whitewater in a spectacular Sonoran Desert canyon. For gear-hauling rafts, a minimum flow is 1,200. The infamous rapid Quartzite is a solid class IV at most levels, but without the class V consequences that existed at high flows before it was illegally blasted.


Scale this map up or down in size to see where it is within AZ, in realtionship to where we live and to see details of the immediate river area.

According to Google Maps it is about 550 miles from GJ and about 9-1/2 to 10 hours drive time.


(16 person party. Below are 'guidelines' and these may change):

  1. Permit holder- John + guests (permit, prior expereince on this river and bringing a raft has its priviledges)
  2. Those who applied for a Salt River permit (send us your email notification from Kinsail Corp) and have a raft. These people can bring a 2nd person as long as their raft will accomodate themselves, their +1 AND at least 1 more pasasenger plus some group gear.
  3. Hard-shell kayakers (up to 3?) who have solid rescue-boater skills.
  4. When we have enough rafts, others who applied for a permit and plan to use an inflatable kayak or whitewater canoe.
  5. Others who applied for a Salt permit (but have no raft)
  6. If there are not enough who applied for permits, have rafts and want to go, we may invite other rafters who can supply a raft but had not applied for a Salt permit.
  7. Others who did not apply for a permit and do not have a raft or other boat of their own. In your RSVP please note if you are an experienced rower who could captain a rented raft if it turns out we need one or more rentals.

Any person except the permit holder and raft captains may only RSVP for themselves; there is no +1. Each person needs to sign-up independently.


Launch on Friday, March 22nd; so drive down to northern AZ leaving Thursday night ir early Friday morning.

Plan on 4 or 5 river days, through March 25 or 26. Drive back on your own schedule.


  • For now, only John's name +1 will be on the accepted to go list. If you are interested in becoming part of this trip PLEASE CALL JOHN DIRECTLY at the phone # below.
  • For now, you can RSVP and will be placed in time-order of RSVP on a Wait List. In your RSVP please post the 'number' from the list above that describes you (1 - 7). If you are bringing a boat, please tell what that boat will be.
  • If you are not bringing a boat but you have class III-IV rowing skills and could row a rented raft or be a back-up rower for a raft already going along, please note that.
  • The way water flow looks, 450 cfs as of March 8th, this is most likely going to be a trip of small, lightly loaded rafts and inflatable kayaks carrying much or all of their paddler's own gear.


The "“Salt Season" occurs when the snow melts in the White Mountains of southeastern Arizona, usually beginning in March and ending in May. Sometimes good flows occur in February or last until June, but this only happens every 10 years or so. Adequate flows may also occur during Monsoon Season in July and August. For kayakers who just want to go downstream, 300 CFS is a minimum. For surfathon fun, 800 is a bare minimum, and 2,000-3,000 is optimal. For gear-hauling rafts, a minimum flow is 1,200. The river has been run up to 28,000 cfs in 2 days but most sane boaters make 10K a cut off.

WEATHER: Click on the word weather



John Carlisle[masked] (permit holder)

Doug Van Etten

***** Acknowledgement of Risk *****

By RSVPing YES and participating in this activity you acknowledge that you have read the statements below and agree to abide by them while participating in this or any Western Slope Adventurers activity. Only those persons who have read this information and agree to its terms shall be viewed as participants in this or any WSA activity. If you register a guest for an event, by your accepting these terms it is implied that you have informed the guest and they too accept these terms.
Hiking, backpacking, road or mountain biking, water sports, skiing, snowshoeing, climbing, rappelling, canyoneering and other adventure sports are fun, but are not without risk. You are responsible for your own safety and staying within your own comfort limits.

All Western Slope Adventurers events are unguided events. By participating in a WSA event, you acknowledge that you have a personal duty and responsibility for your own safety.

Western Slope Adventurers MeetUps are organized to provide a venue for outdoor enthusiasts to meet and have fun while sharing in experiences and adventures.

Neither the WSA MeetUp nor any event organizer assess the personal, technical and/or safety skills of participants; nor do they assess any event location to determine current conditions.

By your participation, you acknowledge that you have a personal duty and responsibility to (a) assess your own skills, honestly and accurately, to determine your suitability as a participant for each event, (b) seek adequate information to assess the difficulty of each event to determine if it is within your fitness and skill level, (c) seek adequate information about the current conditions in each area and the weather to assess potential risks to you by participating, and (d) evaluate other prospective event participants and to use your own judgment to determine their suitability for the event and how their participation may affect you.

All participants are encouraged and expected to:
• honestly assess your skills to ensure each activity is within your ability
• assess your prospective fellow event participants
• accept responsibility for your own safety and comfort
• do your share of any teamwork involved
• share your ideas for situation assessment before and during an event
• speak up if you're having a problem
• speak up if you question what's going on or something that is being done, no matter who's doing it
• have all of the clothing, equipment and any other special items needed for the activity
• inform the event organizer or other designated participant if you are using medication (prescribed or otherwise) or have any medical condition that may affect your full participation in the event
• on any biking, canyoneering event; or river event that is class II difficulty or higher, wear a helmet, no exceptions. This is an absolute WSA requirement - no helmet means no event participation as a WSA member.
• have fun


Join or login to comment.

  • Doug Van E.

    Lots of busy whitewater fun from 1st 10 minutes through first hour of final day. Got to camp by clear water side streams 2 nights;in the middle of a Forest Service launch beach (when they wanted to launch) one night. Where was the other night??? A few smimmers here and there but we have much to b grateful for that John Carlisle's friend Dan came along. He had the whole river GPSed in a device AND in his head. Dan always had great and valuable advice on how to run a rapid and what obstacles to be aware of; I hesitate to say 'watch out for' since the river went by so fast when it was dropping through rapids that i was usually only watch for specifics by looking back up stream from an eddy at the bottom of a drop or a multi-staged rapid. Food worked out very well with having only shared dinners and shared breakfast coffee, with each smaller unit (Mary & me) in charge of your own breakfast & lunch. Thanks to those who supplied group gear and to John for organizing.

    1 · April 4, 2013

  • Elizabeth B.

    wow - what a nice trip - gorgeous river and photographs. reading below gives me an idea on how and what to do for organizing trips. helpful to learn. I can't wait to I go this summer - hugs to all and thanks for sharing.

    April 4, 2013

  • Mary h.

    Fabulous trip! Water was wicked and fun and many thanks to John for being the best permit holder! Photos are from our slow couple of days back.

    March 29, 2013

  • AJ

    Thanks again to everyone for a great time on the river, especially John for organizing! Hope to see everyone again soon!

    March 28, 2013

  • marti and john c.

    Just in case this site is confusing, the people I've talked to are still on the trip and if anyone has questions contact me at[masked]-2362.


    March 9, 2013

  • marti and john c.


    4. Food costs: If this is a low water trip your responsible for you own food and some group solution will be determined to heat/cook food and drinking water needs to be fitered by personal filters or addressed by the group as a whole.

    For a higher water raft trip I prefer to split people into groups to prepare meals for dinner breakfast and make lunch ingredients available for everyone to make their own lunch to eat at their liesure during the day. Each group can decide their meal and cost and divide the cost among themselves. If you want fancy,go for it. I don't like it to be a contest and prefer food to be generally liked. For food allergies and such I'm personally not to sympathetic and etheir accomodate your issue with your own food or be involved with each meal to see if it can be altered to accomodate you simply.

    Thank You,
    John Carlile[masked]

    March 9, 2013

  • marti and john c.


    1. Reservation camping permit fees of $40 per person that can be purchased online or usually at the store by the put-in.

    2. Travel expenses: I would encourage people to carpool themselves and gear for the trip and share costs with other pasengers and be generous to your driver/vehicle owner.

    3. Shuttle costs range from $100 to $150 and to be frugal we can drive our own vehicles and carpool back with a shuttle driver to return the shuttle vehicle. Some people may not want to leave their vehicles at the take out if that is to be avoided it may cost more to have it stored and then shuttled. Whatever works out we need to consider the costs for some people who may haul more gear and less people when it comes to fuel and shuttle costs to make it fair.


    March 9, 2013

  • marti and john c.

    Hi Everyone,

    I guess its time to solicit funds to share non-refundable permit costs and some money for potential group costs such as Ice and cooking fuel and maybe some condiments for food. 25$ from each person should more than cover these costs and can be sent to:

    John Carlile
    68600 Open Field Dr.
    Montrose, CO 81401

    Other costs not covered will be:


    March 9, 2013

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