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Sarah Robinson: Paddling with the Salt River Horses

Salt River in Mesa, AZ

Paddling with the Salt River Horses

Instagram Handle: sunshyne.sarah

Location: Salt River in Mesa, AZ

Board: ISLE Frontier


I live about 12 minutes from the Salt River in Mesa, AZ. So it is obviously my go to place to go paddle boarding. The Salt River Horses are wild horses that occupy this area. On hot days you can almost bank that they will be down in the River cooling off and grazing the underwater grass.

The Salt River is pretty busy on the weekend with the “Tubers” from the Salt River Recreation Tubing. But if you are paddling boarding and you stay on the River past where the tubers exit, it is much less crowded. Only paddle boarders, kayaks and people hanging out swimming at the recreation areas are in the lower salt river. So of course if you are a wild horse you are going to go where there are less people. Your chances of floating past these beautiful horses are much greater. They don’t seem to be too bothered by us, I’ve been with in feet of them. They have come down to take a drink at the same beach I was sitting on having a snack. Sometimes the males get into scuffles and that can be a little scary when you are super close. Otherwise they are just a gorgeous site to see on your paddle. My last few trips we seemed to be on the same schedule. The same group came down to the water just as I was cruising by on my way back down from my morning work out.

They really add to the beauty of the Salt River and it is a little disappointing when you go and don’t see them.


  • Use the lower Salt River after where the Tubers Exit for your best chances to see them.
  • I see them mostly Mid Morning and mid after noon/ sunset.
  • You can paddle with in feet of them if you are quiet and calm. They don’t seem to mind.

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