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This is likely a great time to hike this trail!  Check out "Prefered" months below, keep in mind this is an estimate.

Rio Salado Habitat Restoration Area, AZ

no permit
65 13 2
Guide 13 Triplogs  2 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Phoenix > Phoenix SW
2.5 of 5 by 4
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Difficulty 1 of 5
Distance Round Trip 5 miles
Trailhead Elevation 1,050 feet
Elevation Gain 100 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 2-3 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 5.5
Backpack No
Dogs not allowed
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
3  2016-07-04 david_allen_3
8  2013-02-10 burntlizard
6  2012-09-08 burntlizard
7  2012-05-26 burntlizard
6  2012-05-13 jochal
5  2012-05-12 burntlizard
11  2012-05-05 burntlizard
10  2008-01-30 david_allen_3
Page 1,  2
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Dec, Jan, Feb, Nov → 7 AM
Seasons   ALL
Sun  7:32am - 5:45pm
0 Alternative
Nearby Area Water
Japanese Friendship Garden
Japanese Friendship Garden
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Geronimo Trail - South Mountain
Geronimo Trail - South Mountain
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1,177 ft
Hidden Valley via Mormon Trail
Hidden Valley via Mormon Trail
4.6 mi away
3.9 mi
971 ft
Mormon Trail - South Mountain
4.6 mi away
1.3 mi
754 ft
Max Delta
4.8 mi away
2.4 mi
395 ft
Devastator Trail - South Mountain
Devastator Trail - South Mountain
4.8 mi away
0.9 mi
659 ft
Los Lomitas Trail - South Mountain
Los Lomitas Trail - South Mountain
4.8 mi away
2.3 mi
271 ft
Box Canyon Loop - South Mountain
Box Canyon Loop - South Mountain
5.0 mi away
0.8 mi
96 ft
Holbert Trail - South Mountain
Holbert Trail - South Mountain
5.0 mi away
2.4 mi
1,100 ft
Holbert - Hidden Valley - Mormon Shuttle
Holbert - Hidden Valley - Mormon Shuttle
5.0 mi away
6.6 mi
1,330 ft
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Fauna Nearby
A City River
by rally_toad

Likely In-Season!
Rio Salado Habitat Restoration Area is located in the heart of Phoenix. There are many ways to get to the park. I went to the parking area on Central Avenue. This park is part of the Phoenix City Preserves System.

The reason I did this hike is my brother has become very interested in the rivers that are in Arizona. I wanted to take him to see part of the Salt River and do some hiking. I researched it online and found out information about Rio Salado. It seemed like a great place for an easy, short, nearby hike along a river. It was all of those things.

The preserve is an almost 600 acre site. In 1993 the city of Phoenix began a project to restore the salt river. The site used to be home to hundreds of dumped tires and a dry riverbed. But through the project the site was cleaned up and water was restored to this area of the Salt River. In total the government has spent almost 100 million dollars on the Rio Salado Habitat Restoration Project.

The Restoration Area includes 5 miles of total trails. Some are paved and others are dirt. The elevation gain on all of the trails are minimal.

This would be a nice place to check out while you are at South Mountain as it is only a few miles down Central ave. We saw many birds while hiking along the river. The area is still a work in progress.

Not a hike that gives a wilderness feel as you will hear and see the roar of traffic most of the time. But a nice river hike in the middle of Phoenix good for if you only have a few hours. Great for birders as we did see some cool birds.

The best time to do this hike would be spring or fall in the morning. Today was an overcast summer day and it was actually very comfortable for an easy hike.

Obviously there is a river on this hike but I would definitely not drink in it.

So if you are heading to South Mountain to do some hiking next time take a few minutes and check out the Rio Salado Habitat Restoration Area!

    WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    Paved - Car Okay

    To hike
    Take the baseline exit from the I-10. Go west on baseline until you come to central avenue. Turn right on Central and go for 3 miles until you cross the Salt River on a bridge. The trailhead parking is immediately after the bridge. There is a sign.
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