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Salt River - arizona
20th of April
Status TOO LOW
Streamflow 6 cfs
Average 1000 cfs
Runnable Min 350 cfs
Runnable Max 2000 cfs
Gradient FPM
Length 14 Miles
Class I
Current Weather 98° Sunny


Lower Salt is currently TOO LOW to be paddled and you could find yourself bottoming out on rocks. Paddlers are advised to exercise caution with streamflow levels at 6cfs, about -99% below the average runnable rate of 1000cfs. We recommend paddling this section of the Salt River between a bare minimum of 350cfs and a high of 2000cfs.

This class I journey is accessible from 8 different boat launch points along the Salt River. Paddlers should prepare for the 3 class I whitewater rapids along this run. Streamflow levels and subsequent run conditions for Lower Salt are sourced from the nearby USGS streamflow gauge at Salt River Blw Stewart Mountain Dam, Az..

From Desert Voyagers Weather on the river today will be sunny, with a high near 98. east northeast wind around 10 mph becoming south in the afternoon.

Season Begins: January & Ends: January

Seasonal Flow Status: -98% Below Average

With a 6cfs streamflow rate, Lower Salt is currently below its 374cfs average seasonal streamflow for this time of year by -98%. Typically, this paddling destination has seen streamflow levels ranging between a low of 6cfs in 2019, and a high of 1100cfs seen in 2012. Data for this report is sourced directly from USGS streamflow gauge 09502000

Hourly Forecast: 98° Today, Sunny

Over the course of the next 5 days, weather conditions on the river are expected to range between Sunny, with a high near 86. Breezy, with a south southeast wind 10 to 15 mph becoming west southwest in the afternoon. to sunny, with a high near 98. east northeast wind around 10 mph becoming south in the afternoon. It doesn't look like there's any substantial snow forecasted this week with air temperatures ranging between 86° - 98°

Forecast Discussion

000 FXUS65 KPSR 191150 AFDPSR Area Forecast Discussion National Weather Service Phoenix AZ 450 AM MST Fri Apr 19 2019 .UPDATE...aviation discussion. && .SYNOPSIS... After fairly hot temperatures today, readings will cool somewhat over the weekend yet still remain slightly above the seasonal average. The weather system bringing these cooler temperatures will also yield breezy conditions during the afternoon hours this weekend. A warming trend will commence next week with some lower elevation communities possibly flirting with 100 degrees during the latter half of the week. && .DISCUSSION... With a ridge axis objectively analyzed directly over south-central Arizona early this morning, a more innocuous low pressure system was propagating towards the southern California coast while a deeper kicker trough was descending towards the Pacific NW. Regional 00Z H5 heights were sampled at 585dm and H8 temperatures solidly in a 20C- 25C range. While the ridge axis will be dampened and dislodged eastward by the initial southern California wave, deep mixing and excellent insolation will yield the warmest day of the year. One caveat may be a glancing blow of higher clouds spilling northeast from the subtropics, though the majority of model output suggests the bulk of this cloud cover remaining south of the forecast area. Regardless, several lower elevation areas may flirt with the 100F threshold though guidance spread is quite narrow and supportive of falling just short for most locations. While not that unusual for this time of year, several degrees short of record territory, and a far cry from temperatures the region will experience in the coming months, caution still should be taken for those working or recreating outdoors during peak heating. The initial wave will lift through the four corners as the deeper Pacific NW trough digs towards the SW Conus over the weekend and through early next week. Gradual H5 height falls and steady cooling of the boundary layer will progressively cool temperatures over the region, yet with afternoon highs only falling near or slightly above average. As is typical this time of year, this system will be quite moisture starved with the only realistic chance ...

Whitewater Rapids and Obstacles

Obstacle Summary Class Elevation
Bull Dog (Rocky Road, Pinball Alley)

Sometimes called Bull Dog for the cliff faces on river left just before the rapid, or alternitively called Rocky Road for all the large boulders the pop up at low water, this is a very simple class 2 in all but the lowest water. Also referred to as Pinball Alley by local paddling groups.  The biggest danger is the low sweeper/strainer (water level dependant) leaning out from river left at the bottom of the run. In high water (1200+) there will simply be a few rock tops to avoid and plenty of splashy waves. At low water, generally there will be three channels, with the middle bing the deepest and a large rock bar and bush complex between the right most channel and the middle channel. Again, beginner friendly being on the very bottom of class 2 but if you don't want to run anything bouncy it is optional. This rapid is located on the left side of an island. Running the right side, one will miss all but the last wave of the rapid, so about a quarter mile up, go right to avoid, left to run.

No need to scout, even at very low water with lots of rocks, it's still very easy to see all but the last wave from the last turn entering the rapid and the run barely rates a 2 anyway.
II- to II 1384.0 Feet

A small play wave formed by a pair of submerged boulders, this is a great surf practice spot with a large eddy right beside it making repeat all day play possible.

No need, channel does narrow a bit coming around the bend, but it's two rocks and several big eddies all around.
I 1392.0 Feet

Another popular play type area - when the water is up, one of the many channels that forms here has about a 1.5 foot pour through that is popular for surfing and play practice. At higher levels, might be possible to practice some in play boat moves and in-current rolls. Large eddy behind the rock the river pours past makes it very convenient to practice.

Scouting the run isn't necessary. Scouting to make sure you won't run over swimmers in the eddy behind the rock on busy days is.
I 1326.0 Feet

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Run Overview

Permitted Watercraft




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