Carl Henning

Arizona’s Other Grand Canyon

[The stay-at-home thing was getting unbearable so we finally traveled – just a day trip but a welcome escape.]

The Grand Canyon of the Salt is a rather pretentious name and it’s pretentious to compare it to the Grand Canyon of the Colorado. Which is probably why the map just says “Salt River Canyon.” In this area the river has, rarity of rarities, water. Actually the Salt River runs year around above all the dams closer to Phoenix. Through Phoenix it’s dry. It’s dry usually anyway. It still flows and floods sometimes. [Our river did catch fire once, but unlike Cleveland’s Cuyahoga River, ours didn’t have water in it. The Cuyahoga apparently had flammable fluids mixed in with the water.]

If you watched our 1912 railroad bridge burn last week you may have been surprised to see it was a bridge over water. It was not always so. In downtown Tempe where the bridge is located the city created a lake in the river bed by placing rubber stoppers in the river bed. The downstream rubber stopper failed a couple years ago killing all the lake’s fish; there’s now a metal dam that can be opened when the river flows.

Back to the Salt River Canyon: We last visited the canyon in the early 80’s. I remember driving right along the river then, but COVID-19 has forced the White Mountain Apache tribe to cut off access. But I got some good pictures anyway.

 

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