- Activity Type:
- 3 Days
By the late 1870's, the Mormons had colonized virtually every corner of Utah before pushing the boundaries of "Zion" southeast to the isolated canyons of the San Juan River. It was on the San Juan that Norman Nevills, a pioneer of commercial river running, began his first river trip with a new bride and a boat built from outhouse planks.
This country is a mecca for the lover of slickrock, prehistoric Indian ruins, and warm-water rapids. Your guide can lead you through side canyons to polished limestone swimming pools, or to the canyon rim for an endless vista of Monument Valley, the landscape synonymous with the "John Wayne Western".
Flowing faster than any other river we run, the San Juan has scores of small rapids. In addition, sand waves caused by shifting sands on the river bottom add several spontaneous roller-coaster rides to the 83-mile trip. For those who like a lot of action, we bring inflatable kayaks which shift the San Juan's modest rapids upscale to high adventure.
One of the advantages of a river trip is the flexibility of the daily itinerary. It can vary widely from one trip to the next based on group desires, Mother Nature, and courtesy for other groups on the river. This typical itinerary illustrates a four-day trip on the San Juan River.
|Meet group in Blanding, Utah then we're of on a half-hour scenic ride to the put-in point - Sand Island. Float down to lunch near River House Ruin, one of the best preserved ancient pueblo dwellings in the Southwest. Camp near Comb Ridge, the 600 foot edge to the enormous Monument Upwarp.|
|Pass through the village of Mexican Hat before traversing the famed Goosenecks of the San Juan. Take an optional hike to the 1894 prospector cabin of Walter Mendenhall. Enjoy frequent sightings of the Great Blue Heron that seem to lead the way into the labyrinth. Camp in the heart of the Goosenecks|
|This morning we can hike the Honaker Trail, all that remains of the "1892 gold rush". The reward for those who put forth this 1200 foot vertical effort is an unforgettable view of Monument Valley. A good day to stop at a pristine beach and check out 300 million year old fossils, remnants from another eon. Government Rapid and a "siesta" at Slickhorn Gulch highlights this day. Slickhorn Gulch is one of the premier side canyons along the Colorado System with fern grottos and swimming pools.|