What is there to do on a hot summer day?
When it’s 110 degrees in the summer what else can you do besides jumping in the pool again? With some embarrassment we decided to try tubing down the Salt River after having lived here for more than two decades. Isn’t that the way it goes, you don’t take advantage of the cool things that are in your own backyard. I fell into that category recently. I had never gone tubing down the Salt River, so when one of our sons who grew up here came to visit we decided we might as well give it a try.
The water that runs down the lower Salt River is released from the Stewart Mountain Dam at Saguaro Lake. The average temperature of the water is 68 degrees. Remember that’s an average, but when it’s 110 degrees outside anything will feel refreshing. If you want to avoid the crowds, stay away from the Memorial Day weekend since it is the busiest time on the river. We chose a weekday in August so it wasn’t very busy.
At times it seemed that the river moved very slowly, but the average water flow is 1,000 cubic feet per second. If you are not totally comfortable around water, please wear a life jacket! There have been fatalities on the river even though thousands float the river annually. The apparent slow flowing water can be deceiving when the river narrows. And remember to wear shoes not flipflops in case you fall out of your tube and need to walk to shore.
It was a fun family activity, just floating, talking, bonding with no cell phone/internet interruptions. We also saw wild horses at 3 – 4 locations. It was nice to see a real river near Phoenix with flowing water instead of an irrigation canal!