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Rio Salado Habitat Restoration Area, AZ

Guide 15 Triplogs  2 Topics
  2.4 of 5 
no permit
65 15 2
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Difficulty 1 of 5
Distance Round Trip 5 miles
Trailhead Elevation 1,072 feet
Elevation Gain 100 feet
Accumulated 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
14  2020-02-01
Rio Salado Nature Walk
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
Page 1,  2
Author rally_toad
author avatar Guides 22
Routes 4
Photos 512
Trips 446 map ( 2,872 miles )
Age 30 Male Gender
Location CA
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
Expand Map
Preferred   Dec, Jan, Feb, Nov → 7 AM
Seasons   ALL
Sun  5:19am - 7:42pm
Official Route
1 Alternative

A City River
by rally_toad

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.

I did this hike because my brother has become very interested in the rivers 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 an excellent 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 is 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, useful 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 very comfortable for an easy hike.

Obviously, there is a river on this hike, but I would definitely not drink from 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!

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

Leave No Trace and +Add a Triplog after your hike to support this local community.

2007-08-25 rally_toad
    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.
    90+° 8am - 6pm kills
    help comment issue

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