The Ultimate (Permitted) River Trip Dream List

Putting in for permits? We’ve put together the ultimate (permitted) River Trip Dream List, so you can plan alongside us for 2023. Here’s our pick of the 5 greatest permitted river trips.

1. Early Season Upper Salt River, Arizona

Runoff starts early down south! The Upper Salt is well-known for its rowdy rapids, glorious Arizona sun, beautiful beach camps, and thousands of saguaro cacti. salt river permit trip

Here's a quick writeup from our friend Betsy Shoemaker from a March 2019 trip:

"We put-in at the Upper-Salt River in Arizona on March 25th at roughly 2600 cfs. When we left the Colorado mountains it was snowing, but here in the desert California poppies and prickly pear were in full bloom across the saguaro cactus-lined canyon.

Straight after launching we hit a series of meaty and continuous class III rapids, where we had our first raft flip. Day two featured more class IIIs while we rowed swiftly through Apache Wilderness. Day three was our biggest day of class IVs including a run through The Maze and the infamous Quartzite Falls, which we scouted. We took a layover day at the Coon Creek oasis, before taking out on the fifth day.

The river peaked at 3,200 cfs and all in all we had 3 flips and 8 swimmers along the 52-mile run. "salt river rapids

2. Big Water Yampa Canyon, Colorado

The Yampa is the last truly wild tributary of the Colorado River system. Snowmelt from Steamboat contributes to this undammed section, creating peak flows between mid-May and mid-June. This permit is one of the hardest to snag, and for good reason: incredible side-canyon hikes, huge class IV rapids and wildlife viewing for days.yampa canyon

3. High-Season Middle Fork Salmon, Idaho

Clear water, hot springs, big water. Need we even say more? 

Middle Fork Salmon

4. Any Selway Permit, Idaho

The Selway has an incredibly short season so getting a permit is extremely difficult. For this reason alone, we had to include it in our ultimate dream list.selway

5. Fall Grand Canyon, Arizona

A fall spent in the Grand Canyon is a fall well-spent. Weather is prime for hiking, the flows are always good, and the colder evenings lead to better sleep.

fall grand canyon

Did we miss a river trip or get something wrong? Leave us a comment below!

1 comment



That’s it?
This link had so much potential!

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published

About Us

We're a group of whitewater kayak, raft, and stand up paddleboard enthusiasts committed to stocking the highest-quality gear and deliver it to you as quickly as possible.

Learn more about us

Don't Forget About These

What else are we up to?

View all
Down and Dirty: 9 Items You Need for Your Dry Suit Repair Kit

Down and Dirty: 9 Items You Need for Your Dry Suit Repair Kit

GearJonny Ortiz
Whitewater dry wear is the largest apparel investment any boater can make. For those who want to extend the life and use of their dry suit (or dry top), it's best to keep a dry suit repair kit on hand. Read our 9 recommendations for the best dry suit repair kit!
Whitewater Kayak Paddle Buying Guide

Whitewater Kayak Paddle Buying Guide

Jonny Ortiz
Choosing the right paddle for whitewater kayaking can be daunting with all the available paddle options to consider. We are here to help! ...
All Aboard the Love Boat!

All Aboard the Love Boat!

Benjamin Thornton

Have you ever had a tough time convincing your family that your black eye isn't that big of a deal? Or spent an hour explaining to your Tinder date the difference between "homeless" and "houseless," just so they would understand why you brought them back to a tent in the woods? 

If you answered yes to either of these things, hopefully this blog can help avoid some of those awkward conversations!