Floating down the cold Salt River is a perfect way to cool off and relax on a hot summer day. The scenery in Tonto National park is beautiful. You can bring two cars, and your own tubes and spend the day on the river or you can rent a tube and get a ride with Salt River Tubing. Salt River Tubing is located in Mesa, just outside of Phoenix.
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The river is usually packed on the weekends and generally speaking there are not a lot of young kids here. This is usually an adult activity although we’ve seen more kids here recently than in years past.
If you decide to rent a tube you will need a driver’s license and cash to rent a tube at Salt River Tubing and board the bus to the river. The crowded bus, which reminds me of summer camp, will drop you off at Point 1 where your trip will start off.
The water is cold, the sun is very hot against the black inner tubes and the scenery includes mountains and desert trees. Last time we were here we saw a few wild horses.
There are five points for a total of about 4-hour tubing trip. You can get off at point 2 by the bridge, but then you would miss the small rapids right around the corner and really you’re already out here so you might as well go to the end.
River Tubing Suggestions
- Bring a towel to drape over the tube. The tube gets ridiculously hot to the touch.
- Put on lots of sunscreen and don’t forget to reapply
- Bring a cooler that floats. Fill with drinking water and some snacks
- Stay away from the sides of the river otherwise you may get stuck in weeds.
Hours:Season opens in May. (kids must be 8+ years)