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SRC- Upper Gorge, AZ
mini location map2016-10-19
6 by photographer avatarMountainMatt
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SRC- Upper Gorge, AZ 
SRC- Upper Gorge, AZ
Canyoneering avatar Oct 19 2016
Canyoneering5.79 Miles 1,856 AEG
Canyoneering5.79 Miles   7 Hrs   19 Mns   1.24 mph
1,856 ft AEG   2 Hrs   39 Mns Break20 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
I finally had the honor to make a visit to this unique area of the SRC that has been on my radar for quite some time now and it certainly was incredible!
Upon the descent into the canyon I was immediately in awe of the sheer size and power of what was around me. I had no idea just how grand and regal the SRC was, throughout the whole day I constantly had to remind myself I was in Arizona...
This was one of those humbling trips that once again reminded me just how diverse, wild and amazing this state truly is!

It was unbelievably hot out during the day for it being late October, the thermometer said 82° but in direct sunlight with no shade it felt more like 100° but I shouldn't complain since some people around the country are already dealing with snow.
With that being said it felt amazing to hit the canyon floor and splash cool refreshing river water in my face and take a rest in the shade of one of the nicest beachside camps I've ever seen.
So for some reason I always thought the whole Salt River being salty was just a myth/wives tale, I mean forgive me but I just really did not know it was named the Salt because of It's high salt content, I've just never really looked into it or asked anyone...
Well I probably should have because I basically relied on my days drinking water to come from the river and I quickly found out that was a mistake! :sweat:
I eagerly filled up my waterbottles with crystal clear river water and took a big fresh sip before I attempted to do my filtering because that's my ritual whenever I visit an Arizona watershed for the first time but boy was I surprised with salty ass water that immediately left me spitting out the contents! :--:
I learned the hard but rather funny way that it's truly named the Salt River for that reason!
Luckily I brought enough 8.5% Double IPA's to keep me hydrated for the rest of the day 8).

The wide open views almost made my head spin, I'm not used to hiking alongside a river of that magnitude so everything was such a treat! The power and sound of the water in that section is such a rush and looking up at the near vertical cliff walls I spotted the remains of three different vehicles that at one point in time drove off US 60 and into the abyss of this massive canyon. :scared:
It's kind of crazy to imagine those horrific scenes playing out and realizing there were real people in those vehicles when it occurred, it's the kind of stuff you see in every typical action movies but very surreal to see in reality.

My friend, her two dogs and I took rest alongside the river while I dropped my pack and ventured on further to scope out the area I initially came for.
As always I was greeted with a few unexpected surprises that literally made me grin from ear to ear! :D
There were a few amazing sections of large powerful cascades that made me feel tiny as the ripped and roared past me.
Just before the heart of the gorge is a beautiful shelf like patio section that remind me of a few areas I've seen photos of inside the Grand Canyon, it felt like I was walking back in time on these ancient carved rocks.
Hititng the my long sought after "Honey-Hole" was a satisfying treat that left me astounded of what I was viewing.
It required a little bit of care moving around inside that area of the gorge as the terrain becomes more rugged and the canyon more narrow a.k.a. "The Good Stuff"!
I stayed snapping photos until 6pm which of course at that time was moments before darkness was going to occur so I made a swift and quick return to my patient group that was awaiting my presence.
My friends dog sliced open his rear paw at some point during the day and he was crying and stopping on our way out of the canyon floor so I gave him the express ride on my shoulder out of the rough stuff.
Luckily once we hit more manageable terrain he toughed it up and walked on his own without whining, which I was thankful for because it would have taken me a long time to carry that pit bull mix out of that steep canyon.
The rest of the hike out was just perfect, surprising amounts of stars loomed above as we all enjoyed the cool crisp weather along with a unique light show of the far away vehicles headlights as they appeared and disappeared out of the dark abyss while they drove on the Highway 60's switchbacks.

This trip was quick and only covered a short distance but it definitely goes down in one of the more memorable places I've had the pleasure of visting. The roaring rapids, enormous canyon, countless scenic vistas and unique alcoves made this such a treat that fulfilled my constant craving of exploring the unknown.

Great day, everlasting memories and a place I'm already day dreaming of going back to! : rambo :
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