Despite its reputation as an arid, desert state, one of the best ways to enjoy Arizona’s natural beauty is by visiting the Lower Salt River. This Arizona river provides life to the abundance of plants and animals that inhabit the Sonoran Desert. Located just a short drive from the Phoenix/Scottsdale area, the Lower Salt River offers a variety of fun outdoor activities including opportunities to kayak, river raft, and stand up paddle board. Despite its name, the Salt River is actually a freshwater river and the largest tributary of the Gila River which also runs nearby to the Phoenix metro area. Rivers in the desert are indispensable and an unexpected relief from warm temperatures. The Lower Salt River is a popular place for Arizona residents to cool off during the hot summer months, so the best time to go kayaking or rafting is typically on a weekday in the early morning when the wildlife viewing is best and there are few visitors. Because the river is dam controlled, we are able to offer river tours year-round though the water can be chilly during the winter months.