Gila River - Winkelman to Kelvin - July, 2007

No trip report to speak of since this section is usually done as a day float. The trip can exit at Kearny for a length of 13 miles or continue to Kelvin which is just over 19 miles in distance. Typically the Kelvin exit is either the Kelvin Bridge or at other access points just above the bridge. As of 2009 it is easier to rig/unrig above the bridge since the bridge path has eroded over the last two years. There are numerous exit points in Kearny as the river parallels the city. It is advisable to park the shuttle vehicle within sight of the river as it could become confusing which site is your RAP. The shuttle is entirely over paved roads except for the actual river frontage. The Winkelman-Kearny shuttle is 11.5 miles one-way while the Winkelman-Kelvin is 19 miles.

There are no rapids on this stretch but there are numerous strainers/sweepers and tight spots. I would rate it either a 1+ or II- depending on the fences/strainers which come and go. Care must be taken at fence lines although historically they have been flagged to enhance visibility. All that has been required in the past is for one boat to raise the cable while others paddle under or to float over a low-lying section. Bird watching on this and the Kelvin section is usually excellent. In my opinion, this is not the most scenic section of the Gila River but worth doing. Next to the Christmas section, this is the easiest shuttle on the Gila.

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Trip report image
USGS flow link image