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Salt River Canyon Arizona: Top 5 Things to See

A group of people stand next to a large cactus

If you’re looking for a weekend trip that offers a mix of rugged adventure and scenic beauty, the Upper Salt River Canyon, Arizona is the perfect destination for you. Here are the top five things to see and do on your trip.

1. Take a Scenic Drive

One of the best ways to experience the beauty of the Salt River Wilderness Area is by taking a scenic drive along the Salt River Canyon Scenic Drive. This route offers breathtaking views of the canyon, and there are plenty of overlooks and pullouts where you can stop and take in the scenery. You’ll also pass through the Salt River Canyon, Arizona which offers stunning views of the rugged landscape.

an aerieal view of the scenic salt river canyon road

2. Whitewater Rafting

If you’re looking for a more adventurous experience suitable for beginners, consider taking a half-day, full-day, or two-day whitewater rafting trip down the Salt River with Arizona Rafting. The springtime wildflower bloom with Sonoran Desert plants is especially beautiful this time of year. You’ll also get a chance to see a wide variety of wildlife, including bighorn sheep, bald eagles, and more. One of the best ways to access and experience the Salt River Canyon Wilderness Area is camping while whitewater rafting on pristine river beaches while taking in breathtaking scenery and solitude. These Wilderness trips through the designated Wilderness Area in the Tonto National Forest are limited to two groups of 12 per day!

a green raft floats down a desert canyon

3. Short Walks and Hikes

There are plenty of short walks and hikes you can take in the Salt River Canyon, ranging from easy strolls to more challenging hikes. One popular option is the Salt River Canyon Overlook Trail, which offers stunning views of the canyon and the river below.

three people hike a trail with cactus

4. Wildlife Watching

The Salt River Canyon, Arizona is home to a wide variety of wildlife, including bighorn sheep, bald eagles, coyotes, and more. Keep your eyes peeled as you explore the area. Take a guided wildlife watching tour to increase your chances of spotting these amazing creatures.

a single bighorn sheep in the desert

5. Camp in the Wilderness

For those who want to fully immerse themselves in the rugged beauty of the Salt River Canyon Wilderness, camping is a great option. There are several campgrounds in the area, ranging from primitive sites to more developed campgrounds with amenities like showers and toilets.

a grouo of people sit around a fire at night

In summary, the Upper Salt River Canyon and Salt River Wilderness Area offer a wide range of activities. Great for those seeking a rugged and remote experience, as well as those who prefer a scenic drive, stops at scenic overlooks, and short walks. From whitewater rafting and wildlife watching to camping and scenic drives, there’s something for everyone in this beautiful part of Arizona.