Gila River - Old Safford Bridge to Dry Canyon - February 19, 2004

Had a hard time doing this trip. Weather did not cooperate for quite some time followed by a shuttle fall-through. Put-in was about five miles south of Clifton, Arizona with the take-out a couple miles below the Bonita Creek campground at Dry Canyon. About 22 miles, all referenced from the bridge. BLM estimates 500 people a year float this stretch. I don't think it is anywhere near that many. Even for Arizona, this was remote country.

The local BLM agency was quite helpful as there was essentially no information to be found on the float. Outside of a couple of rangers, no one had much to say about personal float experience. BLM page has a good overview. Shuttle was provided by the only local sport/outfitter store (Gila Outdoor) in the area and ran $80.

I guess you could float this at lower water flows, but probably spend as much time dragging a boat as you would paddling it. Took the AIRE Tomcat tandem rigged as a solo to carry the gear. Canoes puzzle me but they apparently are common on this stretch. Some solid class II's here that would easily bump up with more flow.

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Trip report image
USGS flow link image