CKS Blog

Pre-season salt river trip

Living in NM, the Salt river in Arizona is an easy day drive away.
Not sure why I had never been on this river before, I was determined to get on it this year. After a hectic job working at the NM legislative session for 35 days straight, I rallied a few friends and we headed out to do a pre-permit wilderness run of the Salt. The key to doing a self support kayaking trip is to find a raft
Mike Pagel was kind enough to drive from Fort Collins (16 hr drive vs our 6 hr drive) and provide the raft support for us. It’s hard seeing your good kayaking buddies become rafters, but after loading on all the food and beer, I wish more would convert.
The wilderness run of the salt is a 60 mile (including the day run) trip through beautiful canyons and spiky spiny scenery. I would rate it 9 out of 10 stars in terms of beauty. The whitewater is not bad either. Mostly class 3 with a couple 4’s thrown in to keep you on your toes. I highly recommend this trip. Most folks do this trip in 4-6 days. We busted it out in two and a half in order to get home for work (some of us).
We had a great time, good friends and a special place.
I can’t wait to go back and spend a more lesurily pace in this amazing place.
Permits are required after March 1st.
Salt river permit Info
No permit needed before that, but all rules and regulations apply. You are on Apache land when you launch, please pay attention to the fees due there and where not to camp as long as you are on the reservation.
Enjoy the photos……

Stocked up with good premium beer and the new 2010 Burn

Pagel and Lex rigging up among the masses

Not sure who this is, but he was happy.

We let all the Pre-season crazies launch in front of us. 12 rafts in this one group. We passed them pretty quick and never saw them again

kayaking buddy turned rafter and loving it…

Are we lost?

Carter and the ray of light watch as Pagel gets us beer….

Cot = great sleep

The first tall cacti, and it is tall-up to 30 ft tall. each arm=100 yrs of living

Nothing like a good rafting buddy to start the day right…


entering a canyon

Lex at Blackrock…

Lex was commissioned by the forest service to count fish

Matt at Blackrock…


great friends and great beer….

enjoying the view


Nice camp…

Alien Pagel has landed..

Burgers-Elk- and Onax. Yummy

Carter break-dancing for whiskey

followed by bootie beer chaser…

Fire games…


River trips are lonely…

Great camp


Contemplating melting into the wilderness

Lex at Quartzite

Forest service contract renewed…

Matt at Corkscrew

notice the driftwood 15 ft above Pagels head? that was from when the salt hit 100,000cfs in February…

I’m tall, but this big boy was at least 20ft tall….

My religion!

I’ll be back again next year. Enjoy the upcoming runn-off and be safe out there. Beers, Atom….
PS, the new 2010 Burn was really nice. Review coming soon….

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