Guided San Juan River Trip
THE SAN JUAN RIVER
~The Archeological Gem of the Southwest~
This lovely river slowly makes its way out of the San Juan Mountains in southern Colorado, and crosses the Four Corners region before flowing into Lake Powell. She was the focus of settlement for the Anasazi Indians for hundreds of years. They farmed along her banks and left abundant remains of their civilization such as chips of stone and pottery, ancient homes and ceremonial rooms, and pictures carved into the walls of the canyons or painted on the roofs of overhanging rock shelters. Some of the finest rock art in the southwest can be seen just steps from the river’s edge!
Near Bluff, Utah, the San Juan River meanders lazily past groves of cottonwood trees and braids across sandbars in a wide valley bounded by low sandstone cliffs. Within a few short miles, the river begins to cut directly into the heart of a great bulge in the layers of the earth’s crust, the Monument Upwarp. As she carves into layers of rock, she forms a limestone canyon whose walls climb 1,300 feet above the river.
The San Juan is a living classroom for the region’s history, geology, and archeology, abundant with petroglyphs and sacred ancestral Puebloan ruins – here, the learning is easy and fun! Hikers can climb to the tops of the canyon walls for a spectacular view; retrace the old Mormon wagon route up “San Juan Hill”, or splash in the river on a hot summer day. The river itself flows swiftly, but does not form huge rapids. Although the river has a steeper average gradient than the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon, her Class I and II rapids are fun and bouncy and offer plenty of challenges. The San Juan River is a favorite of many river runners in the southwest, one that inspires love and loyalty and to which they eagerly return.
We offer three different San Juan River Tours:
- Sand Island to Mexican Hat (Upper San Juan: 27 river miles)
- Mexican Hat to Clay Hills (Lower San Juan: 57 river miles)
- Sand Island to Clay Hills (Full Trip: 84 river miles)
SAND ISLAND TO MEXICAN HAT ITINERARY:
FIRST DAY: We will meet you at 9:00 am MDT at the Sand Island Boat Ramp the morning of your trip. You will get dry bags to pack that morning. **For some trips, the crew will come down the afternoon before so you can meet them at the boat ramp and pick-up your dry bag.** When at the river, you will load your gear, have a safety talk, and launch on the river. We will stop on the river for lunch and a hike.
MIDDLE DAY(S): We will continue our travels down river, enjoying some hikes along the way. Each evening at camp, surrounded by the towering red cliffs, you will enjoy delicious homemade meals while sharing your day’s adventures with the rest of the group.
LAST DAY: On our final day, we will paddle to the take-out at Mexican Hat and be shuttled back to Sand Island, returning there at approximately 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm MDT.
Custom Guided San Juan River Canoe or Rafting Trip Cost Estimates:
Costs are based on group size, so please contact us to see how we can build a great river trip for you and your group.
- Overnight/2-day (Sand Island to Mexican Hat, 27 river miles): $549 per person
- 3-day (Sand Island to Mexican Hat, 27 river miles): $675 to $849 per person
- 4-day (Sand Island to Mexican Hat, 27 river miles): $875 to $949 per person
- 7-day Full Trip (Sand Island to Clay Hills, 84 river miles): $1,625 to $1,999 per person
- 8-day Full Trip (Sand Island to Clay Hills, 84 river miles): $2,100 per person
- 10-day Full Trip (Sand Island to Clay Hills, 84 river miles): $2,250 to $2,375 per person
Launch Dates Available for the San Juan 2017 Multi-Day Tours:
- March 11th, March 12th, March 18th, March 19th, & March 25th
- April 11th, April 26th, April 29th, & April 30th
- May 15th & May 20th
- June 7th, June 18th, & June 25th
- July 1st, July 16th, July 22nd, July 29th, & July 30th
- August 6th, August 10th, August 14th, August 20th, & August 27th
- September 2nd
If you are interested in a launch date not listed, please contact us with your request.
What Moab Rafting and Canoe Company brings:
• Breakfasts which may include juice and hot beverages, fresh fruit, bagels & cream cheese, hot & cold cereal, and pancakes with morning sausage. Lunches are buffet style with bread & sandwich meat, plus selections of veggies, cheese, cookies, and chips. Peanut butter and jelly is an additional option. For dinner, we present fresh salad or vegetables to go along with hearty main dishes such as Pasta Marinara, Teriyaki seafood kabobs, or chicken fajitas. Don’t forget to save room for dessert!
Also, we will bring things like…
• Drinking and cooking water (must be carried in) – 1 gallon per person per day, along with 1 gallon per day for cooking
• Camp gear, Kitchen commissary, Staples, Coolers, Stove, Ice, and Food
TRIP COST INCLUDES:
-Meals from lunch on the first day through lunch on the last day
-Group boating and camping equipment, camp chairs, and the river toilet system
-Transportation to and from the river
TRIP COST DOES NOT INCLUDE:
-Transportation to and from Bluff, Utah, or to and from Moab, Utah
-Personal camping equipment such as tents, sleeping pads, and sleeping bags (You can rent these from us.)
-Gratuities for the guide(s)
-Alcoholic beverages or soda (You are welcome to bring your own for camp.)
-Tax and government usage fees
By state law, all who go out on the river must be a minimum of 40 pounds in weight. Additionally, children 12 years and younger must always wear a PFD on all Utah State waters.
To reserve your trip date and rental gear: Feel free to call, mail, or email us to reserve your boats and trip date. At this point, we will send you a trip packet with more information and a worksheet. Everyone going on the trip must complete it and send it back to us with a $100 deposit (this is non-refundable). We will also ask for a credit card to hold the trip date and rental gear. If you have to cancel within 30 days of your trip, we will run your card for 50% of your booked reservation total. If you cancel within 14 days of trip or if you are a “no show”, we will run the card for the whole amount of the reservation. All reservation fees are due in full by the day of the trip.
Again, over the years of booking trips, we have to say that we know the river. But, every trip is different. The time of season, water levels, and much more, make the river fun all of the time! Give us a call and we will be happy to see what kind of trip we can create for you!
- It is our policy to reserve the right to cancel any trip at the last minute due to extreme and unsafe conditions such as high water (over 35,000 c.f.s.), fast-moving water, low water, cold, or high winds. Should this occur, no money will be exchanged. If conditions allow, we can/will postpone for a few hours or to the next day.