Springtime Rafting Near Tucson

Tucson, Arizona is a wonderful place to visit in the spring. The weather is great, exciting white water rafting is just a short drive away, and variety of other outdoor activities guarantee you’ll never be bored! No vacation is complete without experiencing a white water rafting trip in the Salt River Canyon. And you won’t find a better white water rafting outfitter than Wilderness Aware!Tucson, Arizona visitors are some of the best repeat customers we have. They continue to come back year after year to enjoy the area and the beautiful Salt River Canyon. With so many things to do, white water rafting is only one of the many activities you can experience.For help planning your Tucson, AZ vacation – check out the following informative links:

Salt River Rafting Trips

Join us on a Salt River Rafting adventure out of Tucson beginning March 1st!.

Full Day

Join us on our most popular Salt River rafting trip. Exciting class III-IV rapids at every turn, including Maytag, Grumman and Overboard. Test your skills with the hot action waves of Exhibition and the infamous Mescal Falls. Optional hike and riverside lunch included.
Trip Info

Half Day

Raft with us in the morning on this fast-paced, short and sweet Salt River Half Day section featuring exciting class III white water. Get soaked with our first exciting rapid, Kiss and Tell, and end the trip at our private beach for the shuttle back to the starting point.
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Get all the thrilling rapids of the popular Full Day trip with a later start time and on-boat snack. Offering the perfect mix of adventure, desert scenery and exciting whitewater at an exhilarating pace, enjoy 10 miles of exciting Class III and IV rapids of the Upper Salt River Canyon.
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Join us on our exhilarating full day trip with rustic riverside camping and dinner the night before or after your trip. Secret bends and intricate boulder gardens mingle with exceptional class III and IV white water. This is the perfect trip for family, friends and groups.
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2 Day

Tackle the entire Salt River Wilderness on our fast-paced 2 Day Salt River Expedition trip! Requiring intense paddling and teamwork, travel 42 miles through the extremely remote Salt River Wilderness. View giant saguaro cacti and hillsides blanketed with colorful desert wildflowers.
Trip Info

3 Day

Raft 46 miles of challenging rapids and camp on remote riverside beaches on this 3 Day adventure in the Salt River Wilderness. With no shortage of exciting whitewater, raft through some of the oldest exposed rocks in the world, and explore narrow side canyons leading to oasis-like habitats.
Trip Info

4 Day

Get away into the remote and stunning Salt River Wilderness, tackle white knuckling white water and enjoy the desert beauty on this 51 mile, 4 Day journey. Each day explore new and challenging rapids and side hikes to remote Indian ruins or lush canyons. Our most popular wilderness trip!
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5 Day

Treat yourself to a hidden gem by exploring every aspect of the Salt River Wilderness on this truly amazing 5 Day getaway. Floating at a relaxed pace over 51 miles, view scenic, ecological and geological treasures on one of the premier white water wilderness trips in the West.
Trip Info

About Tucson

Explore Ancient History

The history of Tucson, Arizona begins around 12,000 years ago, when the Paleo-Indians where said to have created a settlement alongside the Santa Cruz River. Archaeologist excavations have located village sites dating back about 4,000 years. The floodplain of the Santa Cruz River was extensively farmed for almost two-thousand years. These people constructed irrigation canals and grew corn, beans, and other crops while gathering wild plants and hunting animals. The Hohokam people, the same culture that settled in the Phoenix area, thrived along the Santa Cruz River until long periods of drought forced them to abandon the area around 1450.

In 1692, a Jesuit missionary named Eusebio Francisco Kino arrived in the Santa Cruz River Valley and Mission San Xavier del Bac in 1700. The Spanish established a fort in 1775, and the town came to be called “Tucson”, meaning “at the base of the black hill”. Tucson became a part of Mexico when they gained independence from Spain in 1821. In 1853, it became part of the United States of America as part of the New Mexico Territory. The Arizona Territory was formed in 1863, and Tucson held the title as capital from 1867-1879. The University of Arizona was founded in 1885.

By 1900, around 7500 people had taken up residence in Tucson. A Veterans Hospital was built right around the same time, and many World War I veterans who had been gassed sought treatment for their respiratory difficulties because of the clean dry air. The population of the city gradually increased and was larger than Phoenix until around 1930, when the larger state capital outgrew Tucson.

Today, Tucson still remains a thriving metropolitan area, with about 550,000 people. With the variety and availability of activities in the area, the area enjoys about 3.5 million visitors annually. The city and the surrounding area are the perfect choice for the ideal Arizona vacation – one you’ll remember forever.

  • Lodging – Find the ideal accommodations – there are a variety of choices in the area.
  • Restaurants – Tucson is known for its Mexican and southwestern cuisine – but there is so much more.
  • Activities – Make your vacation one you’ll never forget. Rafting near Tucson is just one of the activities you can spend your day enjoying – try horseback riding in the Sonoran desert, or hiking in the Coronado National Forest.

Parks, Canyons, Caves, and Culture

Tucson is a great choice for your next Arizona vacation. There are so many great things to enjoy – many of which are just a short distance away. Hike or take a white water rafting trip through the Salt River Canyon, visit Saguaro National Park, Colossal Cave Mountain Park, Kartchner Caverns State Park, or Biosphere 2. You can also venture out to Mission San Xavier del Bac – a historic Spanish Catholic mission built from 1783-1797.

Don’t forget to visit many other vacation towns and destinations on your Tucson, AZ vacation, including PhoenixGlobe, Tombstone, and Casa Grande.

  • 5 star ratingRafting the Salt I've been doing this trip annually with a middle school group and it is the highlight of the year. The scenery is incredible, the... read more

    Fred W Avatar
    Fred W

    5 star ratingAlways a good experience with these guys on the Upper Salt River, especially in banner runoff years. It ran 4400 cfs this March, well above... read more

    Stu W. Avatar
    Stu W.

    Did a Saturday trip with Wilderness Aware (WA) on the Salt River. Was absolutely amazed at the wonderful experience . From the moment... read more

    Shawnie Patterson Avatar
    Shawnie Patterson