Tonto Creek - Lower Tonto Gorge

The Gauntlet

Rapid Details

Name The Gauntlet
Class III+ to IV

This is the trickiest rapid on the river, and a scout is highly recommended.  The river drops into a narrow slot about 10 feet wide.  At 800 CFS, this slot was a sticky recirculating nightmare.  At 700 CFS, it was a straightforward drop with a little recirculation at the bottom, easily punched through.  Between these two trips, there was a huge flood, with the creek running up to 18K CFS.  So its possible the rocks got rearranged.  At any rate, this illustrates the importance of scouting the rapid.


If you do decide to run it, stick to the left side of the rapid after the drop to punch through the hole at the bottom and exit successfully.  Longer boats like kayaks will have an easier time with this rapid.  Short stubby boats like packrafts are more likely to get stuck.


You will pass under a powerline strung across the river.  Run through a little riffle, then pull to creek left.  The scout and portage are both to creek left.

Recommended Flows Minimum: 1000.0
Elevation Feet
Coordinates Lat -
Long -