Tweet Location: Phoenix The name Rio Salado Habitat Restoration Area does not sound all too inviting, but being as I live in Phoenix and the the park ranger’s e-mail says it is accessible I figured I would swing by.Wow! Good job Phoenix. This is a nice little sanctuary and it’s also got some excellent wheeler […]" />

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Rio Salado Habitat Restoration Area


Rio Salado 110 header

Location: Phoenix

The name Rio Salado Habitat Restoration Area does not sound all too inviting, but being as I live in Phoenix and the the park ranger’s e-mail says it is accessible I figured I would swing by.

Wow! Good job Phoenix. This is a nice little sanctuary and it’s also got some excellent wheeler trails.

Basically the city restored a a five mile stretch of the dried up Salt River just south of downtown Phoenix. This once deteriorated dump site is now a lush “riparian” (google it if you need a refresher) environment. The trail system takes you through various habitats that include a wetland and waterfalls.

Thus far, I’ve visited twice. The upper pond is 100% accessible (shown in all 3 photos). I also traversed a fairly steep asphalt trail down into the river bottom where I came to the first wetland habitat. This is not too accessible and thats really unfortunate. There is a pond full of ducks and other various birds and the trees and vegetation are a striking change from the surrounding desert, but the main trail doesn’t get you close enough to water. Rock paths lead to the water’s edge, and with quite a bit of assistance I went around the entire pond.

If you have a power chair the terrain would be ok, but manual chairs with 4″ casters wont find this too much fun. What is really needed is one or two concrete viewing stations where a chair can get to the water and view left to right. We are in a flood zone so I know we can not build something too grand, but I suspect there something that could be done, and no doubt everyone would use it.

I’m yet too travel the paths that take you around the habitat. Thats next.


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Accessing Arizona is primarily designed for people who are looking for wheelchair accessible events, locations and activities. If you have paralysis (paraplegic or quadriplegic), Muscular Dystrophy, Spinal Bifida, or if you are an amputee, Accessing Arizona has information about an active lifestyle.
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