Salt River Canyon Scenic Drive

Salt River Canyon Scenic Drive, Globe: Address, Phone Number, Salt River Canyon Scenic Drive Reviews: 4.5/5

Salt River Canyon Scenic Drive

Salt River Canyon Scenic Drive
Scenic Drives
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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276 reviews
Very good

Pennsylvania170 contributions
Feb 2020 • Friends
Our friends son told use to visit here. The drive from Phoenix was not spectacular but as we got around the final bend what an ah ha moment. Looked just like the Grand Canyon only smaller. You could walk around and see the water and you felt like a real part of the canyon. Not many tourists were there so it felt like we had the canyon to ourselves. A place not to be missed.
Written February 2, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Ev S
Phoenix, AZ9 contributions
May 2020 • Couples
Being afraid of heights and seeing the negative reviews, I almost didn’t make this trip, but I’m so glad we did. It was no where near as scary as some people said and well worth it. The drive into the canyon has many beautiful rock formations and scenic views. There is some down and uphill climbs but nothing drastic. There’s 3 tight turns the last 3 miles into the canyon, but if you go speed limit it’s quite doable and there’s ample guard rails (not like going up to Jerome). The canyon is beautiful with a small waterfall. I only wish we were able to walk down and get a better view. The pathways were closed for some reason, so I’d check on that before visiting again. Still a great trip.
Written May 17, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Lakeside, CA509 contributions
Mar 2020
We were traveling on our way to stay in Pinetop-Lakeside and stumbled upon the Salt River Canyon. The drive is amazing and scenic, we stopped to take a bunch of photos, and we want to go back and get permits to hike and explore the Indian reservation in the area. It all looks amazing!
Written March 24, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Page, AZ95 contributions
Jun 2018 • Business
You better pay attention. Too many clueless drivers and speed demons. Take flatlanders off their level straight freeways and throw steep grades with lots of sharp curves plus super beautiful views to distract their attention and you get trouble. Also be prepared for unexpected rocks on the road. Any size from pebbles to giant boulders.
Written February 14, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Peoria, AZ546 contributions
Sep 2020
Drove through here in Sept 2020. Rest areas closed; but portable bathrooms outside. Site roped off; but you can still get down to the water by going down a path down to the right. Good pictures of the bridge and you can go into the water.
Written September 7, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Reedsburg, WI169 contributions
Mar 2020
Some 35 miles outside of Globe, AZ is a place worth the drive. The views from the highway are breath-taking. There are a few turnouts that can be used for taking pictures. At the bottom is a nice rest area with clean bathrooms. You can take walks from there also. The river runs right next to the rest area and the canyon walls are picturesque. It really is close to being the Little Grand canyon.
Written April 3, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Phoenix, AZ1 contribution
Mar 2013 • Family
What started out as an incredibly beautiful, scenic route, turned into one of the most harrowing drives of my life. We didn't have any close calls, or any trouble like that, but I am textbook-afraid-of-heights. My fiance, myself, and my two young children were heading north from Globe to Show Low. All was fine and well in the canyon, I was even joking around about the poor truckers until we got to the Emergency Truck Pulloff.

As soon as we turned the corner, it seemed, I was instantly engulfed by not only the beauty, but the enormity of it all; it was very similar to the Grand Canyon. I felt as if it would swallow me alive, as I saw later on, it had to at least four people. Gradually, the anxiety built, then quickly, until I could take it no more, then I looked to my left, at my ever-loving fiance, imploring him to drive slower and to disregard the cars building up behind us. I could not look to my right out of the passenger side window any more, as much as I tried. The instant my eyes would register the magnitude of it, I felt as vulnerable as ever. I was starting to panic. He wanted to stop on one of the scenic pull-offs.

Up high in the canyon, on the descent, the pull-offs didn't have much, if any boundary between the parking area and the edge of the cliff it seemed, so I passed on most. He was starting to get anxious, so I settled for the next pull-out, but we were still higher than midway up the canyon. This pullout had shallow sand boundaries, and the view was still immense. I started to panic again, he backed the car up, I looked behind me and the canyon dominated my view, I thought he would go off the edge. My muscles tensed to almost solid, I was hyperventilating and crying, I thought this was it. I begged him to stop and get back on the road, he wanted to enjoy the view, but I was petrified, and the AWESOME man that he is, trudged forward down the canyon highway.

Shortly afterward, we found another pulloff further down into the canyon, and we were all so stressed, we needed to get out and stretch. The view here was amazing, and it was still making me weak in the knees, but at least I was functional again. Even seeing it firsthand couldn't do it justice until I saw an 18-wheeler drive along the highway above and across from us. It seemed so small until my perception adjusted to how vast and beautiful this canyon really was.

We got back on the road with the understanding that I would do my best to control my anxiety, if he did his best to drive slowly and safely. He drove no faster than 25mph the entire time. Coming up out of the canyon wasn't as bad, as there were two lanes and he drove in the inner-most one. I was still anxious if I looked too much, but it wasn't so bad until around the point where the caves are in the top of the mountain. I haven't looked them up yet, but they remind me of the caves I learned about in school that the Native Americans would climb down to on the face of a mountain.

I wanted to look longer, but my peripheral vision messed it up for me and sent me into another anxiety attack....and then I noticed the mangled red car up ahead in the canyon, a bit below the road, and well above the bottom. It was upside-down, and the only thing I could think of was, "I wonder if they were able to recover the bodies even though they couldn't recover the car". I looked back at my fiance, took a deep breath, looked back again, I saw a different view, and another car, then another, and another. All these cars gone off the winding mountain road. What were the circumstances? Did the passengers live or (most assuredly) die? Were the cars intentionally left there as a reminder, or were they really too hard to recover? What were their final moments like? Was it day or night? Were they drunk or sober? All these questions come to mind....even days later. I was transfixed on the sight that terrified me and sent my body into uncontrollable movements and actions.

I managed to breathe and turn away, I cautioned him once we approached that area, and we did fine. From that point on, we were moving out of the canyon and into much less dangerous driving area. We had to drive about an hour or so out of our way to return to Phoenix without going back through the night. I will never drive that route again, and am hoping to find a nice video of it online, as I will never experience it's true beauty. If you are not terrified of heights, this is probably a great drive. If you are, avoid at all costs!
Written March 24, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Tucson, AZ39 contributions
Jan 2016
An absolutely incredible drive I take at least once a week out of necessity... And every time I cherish it. The views change with variable x being the weather/season and variable y being the time of day. I could go on and on about the majestic fogs, and waterfalls during the rain showers, the shimmer of rocks of dozens of glistening colors, the breathtaking views, and must see must stop rest stop at bottom of the canyon. But from a seasoned pro I will instead give you a list of things to take seriously into consideration when you decide to take this trek:
1. When it rains, or it has rained just prior, TAKE IT SLOW!! Rocks, big rocks DO FALL from the tall canyon walls and into the middle of the road. If you hit one, you could go flying off a cliff or seriously damage your vehicle. Swerve to avoid one and you could slide off a cliff or barrel into another vehicle. These big rocks are for real. And DANGEROUS!
2. Fog likes canyons, particularly this one. If there are even the slightest conditions necessary to produce fog, I guarantee the canyon and roads leading to and from it will be thick with it. Visibility will be at best 25 feet at times so LOW BEAMS PLEASE. Actually, it's good to always have your lights on in the canyon.
3. People traveling with kids and adults who get carsick: I guarantee they will. My kids do, so if they come along for the trek to grandpa's house through the canyon I line the seats with towels and have bags, wipes, and changes of clothes handy. Empty stomachs and some Dramamine before travel are also a must. My children, now twelve years into doing this trip have never out grown the nausea of all the curves and elevation changes. There are not always quick enough places to pull over either.
4. Speaking of pulling over. If you for any reason pull over... PULL WAY OVER and not on a curve.
5. Be courteous. Don't be a burden by going way too slow or way too fast. Yes the curves are sharp. Yes they are fun to race around on to feel the intensity of both gravity and inertia spiking your adrenaline levels to ultimate highs. But no, they are not fun if you or someone because of you goes flying off a 300 ft cliff. Yes these curves often hold some of the most breathtaking views. But no, please don't go so slow as to practically crawl at 10mph holding up a miles of frustrated drivers. And if people want to pass you, let them. Some people are driving through the canyon to get from point a to point b. They are not there to sight see today. So pull a little to the right, slow down, and let them pass. But likewise, if you pass someone don't then just slow down and cause a frustrating, reckless chase of cat and mouse.
6. The rest area at the canyon bottom is the loveliest rest stop worth stopping at in Arizona. It is so incredible that it is even designed to provide beautiful windows of nature to be seen even while sitting on the loo. It is clean and full of interesting information. It's also a nice place to break for a picnic and get easy access to the river below. But it once was disgusting. Filthy. Grotesque. It even was shutdown for a period of time. So please keep it in its new lovely condition. Don't litter or drop of a weeks worth of trash from your camping trip. It's worthy of decency and respect.
7. And finally... Be sure your vehicle is in proper working order before you journey on this trek. It is 86 miles of curves and steep ups and downs between the closest gas station or business between Showlow and Globe. There is little to no cell phone coverage in that distance either. So GAS UP. Your tires must be at least a sonewhat decent (save your bald tires for the race tracks) or #1,2,4,5 mentioned above will be as real as day and night. And check your brakes especially if you have a heavy load or are hauling anything behind you. Your brakes will be tested to the limits. At night I often see brakes ahead or in my mirrors sparking from vehicles neglecting proper maintenance.

So now that the rules are laid out by a pro, just follow them and you will enjoy a very special ride. It is definitely one to remember and worth the trek especially on a crisp sunny day. But remember to always watch for rocks falling or on the road. This really is a true hazard. Maybe I'll see you there!
Written January 19, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Maricopa, AZ2 contributions
Sep 2017 • Family
I can understand why people say that this road has nice views, but I wouldn't know or care due to the EXTREME danger of being a passenger with an excellent driver and still horrified at all the severe curves and narrowness. Only a one lane road on each side with NO in between barriers and major dangerous drop offs down to nowhere with rocky cliffs to smash into on the other.

We actually were behind a car that was in my opinion going too fast and I told my husband to keep very slow holding the door handle for dear life and closing my eyes as much as I could. That car disappeared around another dangerous curve and we suddenly saw one the few guardrails on that road was torn open in with a huge obvious gap and major dust blowing around it. We knew in our hearts that car had gone over the edge. I was horrified beyond belief. There is no way to pass on this road and that car was never to be seen again in front of us. To this day, I have nightmares about witnessing that. Wondering who they were, how scared they must have been falling to their, I'm positive, certain death. Never ever would I again go or let anyone ever take me up this road. Those brave enough to go this route, be careful. To me, no scenery is nowhere near worth the fear, and around almost every unseen upcoming corner, serious potential loss of life.

I do not recall any signs posted that a motor home, especially large ones, could make it safely on this road. There is no way. If I am wrong, so be it, but even in a smaller car that road was terrifying. EVERYONE, be careful NO MATTER what you are traveling a different road. Just our opinion.
Written August 7, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Albuquerque, NM135 contributions
Jan 2014 • Couples
We were traveling between Tucson and ShowLow and after reading this we were anticipating a scenic byway or loop. We didn't check the map as we felt sure we'd see the marking for it. When nothing materialized after many miles I checked map and couldn't find anything labeled "scenic drive" and then looking at where the bulk of the canyon appeared to be we assumed we'd missed it. We then entered the area of hwy 60 that goes through the canyon and it really is an incredible road with lots of switchbacks and changes in altitude. The rock formations are very interesting and you definitely should stop at all the pull outs since going back is not really an option. Rest area is closed and doesn't show any signs of opening.
Written January 3, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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