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Gila Box packrafting trip
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Brett Tucker
(blister-free) - F

Locale: Puertecito ruins
Gila Box packrafting trip on 04/26/2009 22:16:26 MDT Print View

Following my Grand Enchantment Trail hike this spring I finally found the opportunity to explore a couple of the desert rivers that flow nearby.

The canyons of the San Francisco and Gila rivers are close companions of the GET for a number of miles, but in this vicinity and at this time of year, both are typically best floated rather than hiked. Show up a week or two late though, as I did, (or too early) and a packrafting trip such as this becomes a bit more, well, interesting...

Photo essay (starts at slideshow frame 1)

Video (select HQ video for best viewing)

Next time I'll try to muster a compadre or two and pass around the camera a bit (preferably a waterproof model)!

All in all, a very worthwhile trip through seldom-seen country with plenty of drifting solitude and watchable wildlife. The perfect companion adventure to an eastbound GET hike from Safford to Clifton.

Edited by blister-free on 04/26/2009 23:13:31 MDT.

Richard Nisley
(richard295) - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Gila Box packrafting trip on 04/26/2009 23:16:33 MDT Print View


A very interesting and professional presentation of your trip! Thank you very much for sharing your adventure with us.

Brett Tucker
(blister-free) - F

Locale: Puertecito ruins
Re: Re: Gila Box packrafting trip on 04/26/2009 23:38:05 MDT Print View

Thanks Richard. The camera really didn't see enough use during the trip, for the reasons stated. So the end product was somewhat lacking for raw materials, but hopefully it paints a broad brush stroke, anyway.

Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
Gila Box packrafting trip on 04/27/2009 08:08:26 MDT Print View

Nice write up. I've been on a few float trips, where it seems like you walk as much as paddle.

David Stenberg
(dstenberg1) - F

Locale: South
Re: Gila Box packrafting trip on 04/28/2009 08:07:36 MDT Print View

Thanks so much for taking the time to document and share with us. That looked like a fun couple days! Great job!

Rick Beaty
(reeock) - F

Locale: New England
Im jealous! on 09/30/2009 08:08:35 MDT Print View

The Gila is GORGEOUS! How long was the trip? How did arrnage transportation?

Jerry Cagle
(xclimber) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
Re: Gila Box packrafting trip on 02/20/2010 19:42:52 MST Print View

Great pics, and nice video too. Very professional (where'd you get the music?)...

I'm going to be floating the box in Mid-March courtesy of La Nina...!

Roman Dial
(romandial) - F - M

Locale: packrafting NZ
Re: Gila Box packrafting trip on 02/22/2010 16:41:25 MST Print View


Nice video. The birds and breeze sounds @ 3:40 were nice and the giant fish in the mud-puddle very surprising!

Looking forward to your future videos, and as you mention here, your future partners.

Amazing how a floatable river just gets sucked dry.

Edited by romandial on 02/22/2010 16:42:03 MST.

Eric Falk
(zerolimit) - F
Poor fish on 02/22/2010 18:12:16 MST Print View

Liked the video, thank you. I feel bad for the fish :)

Brian Vogt
(slickhorn) - F
thanks for sharing on 03/04/2010 14:09:37 MST Print View

There are several boatable sections on the Gila. This trip report covers the Lower Box section.

Starting near the Gila Cliff Dwellings near Gila Hot Springs, NM, the runs go in order like this:

Leopold Wilderness run 39 miles class II-III
9 miles of private land/fences/diversions
18 mile class III+ Middle Box
then the lower box, which starts above the san francisco but includes the canyon covered in this report.

Below the lower box there is still the Arizona Box and a reservoir and the mostly dewatered sections.

There isn't much beta about floating some of these sections, so I just wanted to post to make some sense of it for people looking at it down the road.

thanks for sharing the great pix!