Sand Island or Mexican Hat to
27 or 80 river miles
Class I to III
This is one of Utah 's most exciting - and most flexible - rivers. An ideal trip can be planned for any group or individual.
Born as snow on Southern Colorado 's Continental Divide, the San Juan traverses the northwest corner of New Mexico before bending into Utah near the Four Corners Monument . Meandering through the sculpted painted canyons in southeast Utah , the San Juan eventually joins the Colorado River under what is now Lake Powell .
The San Juan River provides meandering water and lively currents. Because the river drops a gentle eight feet per mile, there are few rapids, though there are some Class II and III rapids that provide splashy good fun. However, sand waves, a relatively rare phenomenon, add surprises and fun along this otherwise calm river.
Sand waves are caused by the water's movement against the silted river bottom. They can suddenly build in the middle of a section of flat water, and then disappear just as quickly. Sand waves can form huge rippling waves up to eight feet high! They give a fun and certainly exciting ride.
Most river trips on the San Juan begin near the town of Bluff , Utah and Sand Island , and continue through an ever-changing landscape of canyons and flood plains. Rafters will pass through the famous Butler Wash petroglyph panel, which features one of the largest concentrations of rock art in the Southwest. Cliff dwellings are accessible by short hikes from the river. Modern-day explorers may find fossils, see wildlife and wildflowers on these trips. The river is perfect for swimming during the summer months.
The Navajo Reservation is located to the south of the river. The lore of the river includes stories about the Navajo people as well as explorers, prospectors and hardy Mormon pioneers.
Prices start from:
- Raft for 1 day - $140 per person
- Raft for 2 days - $275 per person
- Raft for 3 days - $675 per person
- Raft for 4 days - $755 per person
- Raft for 5 days - $1,212 per person
- Raft for 6 days - $1,077 per person
- Raft for 7 days - $1,628 per person
- Raft for 8 days - $1,650 per person
- Raft for 10 days - $2,004 per person
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