When I set out to raft down the Salt River in Arizona with the Wilderness Aware Rafting Company, I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. Did I think it would be exciting? Surely. Did I think it would be fun? No doubt. But all of
my expectations flew out the window as soon as I got in that raft. Salt River Rafting ended up being one of the most thrilling adventures I’ve experienced. I say this as someone who is involved in numerous outdoor activities including rock climbing, spelunking, mountaineering, skydiving, and anything else that might allow me to be outdoors. Though, while most of these interests are great, they all lack the one main element which rafting provides.. Water.
So we started the trip on a beautiful, sunny spring day. Our group met at the Wilderness Aware Rafting Company’s office, which was really nice. Our guides provided us with a life jacket and a paddle, and then gave us a safety orientation before we got in the raft. They gave us plenty of time to ask questions, and by the time they ended
their talk, I felt completely comfortable and confident about rafting. I had
been rafting in a few rivers before, but none that were moving as quickly as
it did here, and though I consider myself adventurous, I am still quite
Our guides, who had a ton of knowledge about the river and the
surrounding areas, mentioned to us that the Salt River is one of the most
unique rivers in the United States due to its location on the Colorado
Plateau. Its location puts it squarely in between mountain and desert
ecosystems, including the Lower Sonoran Desert, the most biologically
diverse desert in the U.S. This really excited me, because I knew it meant
we were in for some great views on our trip down the river. Sure enough, I
saw many beautiful and wondrous sites as we headed down the Salt River. Our
raft passed by gorgeous woodlands, interesting rock formations, as well as a
variety of cacti and other flora and fauna. I was so glad that the rafting
company had a small store for me to buy a waterproof camera at the beginning
of our trip! I got some fantastic shots, and it was great to have
photographic proof of some of the things I saw while Arizona River
Rafting in order to show friends and family back home.
Another memorable part of my trip was the lunch we had. We stopped
alongside the river, where our guides prepared hors d’oeuvres for us to
snack on along with a very filling meal on the grill. To add pleasure to
perfection, we were offered a tasty dessert, which is something usually lost
while camping. We all sat around chatting, getting to know each other and
our guides better, and after the whole thing I really felt like I had made
some new friends. But after chatting, I was ready to get back in the river.
We continued down, hitting a number of exciting rapids and seeing breathtaking views all the while. We also stopped and did some hiking before heading back to the grand finale of our trip, Mescal Falls. Our guides told us that it was the most vertical drop we would experience, and they weren’t kidding! This was definitely the highlight of my trip, and one of the most exciting portions of the river. There’s nothing I can compare to the awesome power of a raging river.
Afterwards, our guides took us back to our cars, where we all said goodbye and promised to meet up again for another trip. Wilderness Aware Rafting Company offers a variety of different rafting trips, including a 2-Day Expedition, and 3-Day and 5-Day options. I think next time I’ll try out one of the other trips, since I enjoyed my full day trip so much. It was the perfect introduction to the world of whitewater rafting
while in the Arizona Salt River, and a great way to add some excitement to
my life and make a few new friends.