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  • Information on the Rio Salado River

    Information on the Rio Salado River
    The Rio Salado, also known as the Salt River, is located near several of Arizona's largest cities, including Tempe and Phoenix. Restoration projects have turned areas along the river into hiking and biking trails as well as wildlife habitats.


    The Hohokam Indians used the river to build an extensive canal system from 500 to 1450 A.D. In the 1700's, a Jesuit missionary named the river Rio Salado, meaning Salt River, because of the river's salty taste. The taste comes from salt deposits carried downstream from the Nacimiento mountains.

    Restoration Projects in Phoenix

    A recently completed restoration project in Phoenix included planting of new vegetation along the river banks of the Rio Salado. More than 76,000 trees were planted, including mesquite and willow trees.

    Restoration Projects in Tempe

    After three decades of planning, Tempe's Rio Salado Project finalized development of a 220-acre lake and a 2-mile-long waterway. The waterway is surrounded by parks and wildlife habitats for native plant and animal species.

    Recreation Opportunities

    More than five miles of paths exist along the river in Tempe that will eventually join 18 miles of paths in nearby Scottsdale. In Phoenix, four trailheads for bikers and hikers provide recreation as well as bird watching opportunities.


    More than 200 species of birds use the area around the Rio Salado for habitat, nesting and food. Endangered species such as the bald eagle are returning to the area as well.

    Article Written By Nancy Wagner

    Nancy Wagner is a marketing strategist and speaker who started writing in 1998. She writes business plans for startups and established companies and teaches marketing and promotional tactics at local workshops. Wagner's business and marketing articles have appeared in "Home Business Journal," "Nation’s Business," "Emerging Business" and "The Mortgage Press," among others. She holds a B.S. from Eastern Illinois University.

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