Enchanting, majestic and noble are just a few of the words used to describe the wild horses of the Lower Salt River...

 

Before sunrise and after sunset, along the waters of the Tonto National Forest and into the adjacent Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Reservation, visitors have a pretty good chance at catching a glimpse of Arizona’s wild horse population.

Salt River kayaker Wild Horses sunset crowdriff marketing rights approved cayventures

There are as many as 500 of these magnificent animals roaming the water’s edge on the lower Salt River and the shoreline around Saguaro Lake. Their enigmatic presence is a common sight when visitors are kayaking, paddle boarding, or tubing down the river, as the horses emerge from the surrounding desert forest to cool off in the water and graze on the underwater foliage.

Wild Horses Salt River photo credit visit mesa

According to historical records, the horses have been living on the Salt River reservation before the National Forest was created in the early 1900s. The wild horses are watched over by the tireless efforts of the Salt River Wild Horse Management Group. This non-profit is dedicated to the freedom of the wild horses, which has allowed them to live and wander peacefully over the years.

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If you are lucky enough to spot a horse or herd when you #VisitMesa, remember to be respectful of their space and natural habitat.