Gila River - Kelvin Run


A nice run through very remote country, fairly close to Phoenix.  This run stretches for 12 miles from Kelvin, AZ on 177, to Cochran Road.  This is a nice alternative to the Lower Salt and Lower Verde, close to Phoenix but sees almost no traffic.  It only seems to go in the summer, when the San Carlos Reservoir is doing agricultural releases. 

There are a few splashy sections but no real rapids.  Unlike the lower salt, there is consistent good flow all the way, with no long placid sections requiring a lot of arm power.  There are some mild sweepers and strainers to dodge, and when we passed through in summer 2016 a local rancher had strung barbed wire across two sections of the river.  Fortunately, the flow was slow enough approaching the fences we were able to lift them enough to duck under.  Stringing barbed wire across public waterways like this is technically illegal, but I think few people pass through here.  The next group who wants to do a service project should consider packing a pair of wire cutters.


Chris Ramias
Class I to II-
Current Flow 293.0 CFS
10-01-2023 13:30

View River Forecast

Recommended Flow Minimum: 200.0
Average: 400.0
Maximum: 700.0
Typical Season Begins: May
Ends: August
Recommended Use Kayaking: Yes
Rafting: No
Canoeing: Yes
Packrafting: Yes
Fishing: Yes
Length 12.0 Mile(s)
Gradient FPM