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  Washington Kayak Club
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San Juan River Trip

Published on 9/12/2014
 By Mike Grijalva

The Route 


 The Trip

A group of river folks that ran the Main Salmon last year together, had so much fun, that we did another river this year. 9 teens and 8 adults headed to the San Juan River in S. Utah about the middle of August. The weather there was hot and sunny and the water was warm, but rather brown. We were afraid that the low water, in the range of 600cfs and dropping, would make the trip impossible, but we managed our way down, and even got a burst of new water from a storm the last night, which made floating the last 14 miles much better than the day before. We saw many pictographs and ancient dwellings and lots of big horn sheep. One of the teenage friends that joined this group had never been out of North Dakota before, and was very impressed at all the big rock scenery that was all around. Next year we will try for a permit for the Yampa, to do a river that most of the groups has not had a chance to see.
The trip started at one of the standard put-ins, Sand Island, Ut. We stopped two days later at the mid-point at Mexican Hat, Ut.(mile 28), to restock on water. And then went the remaining 55 miles of the trip, to Clay Hills Crossing, and took out on a dirt road, of about 12 miles back to pavement. Floating any further downstream is not recommended due to the presence of a waterfall, and then lake water for many miles after that before a take-out can be reached. This is a great scenery float with few rapids to contend with, but many good beaches and trails to explore. It is a 1300mile drive from Seattle.


San Juan River Trip
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Useful Links 

American Whitewater: San Juan 2 Mexican Hat to Clay Hills Crossing 

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