SAN JUAN RIVER HISTORY WITH ANDREW GULLIFORD
(COMING SUMMER 2019)
The San Juan River in Southeastern Utah is a visually stunning and inspiring river run! Enjoy a spectacular 6-day float along the remote 86-mile stretch between Sand Island in Bluff, Utah and Clay Hills. You will travel through deep and colorful canyons to see ancient rock art and ruins and visit historic trading posts. The use of oar rafts and paddle rafts will add variety to your float time. Floating the San Juan River in Southeastern Utah is a beautiful setting for easy fun and lasting learning about both the natural and cultural history of the area. Retire each night to your cozy tent or bed down under brilliant stars.
The San Juan River is an erosional giant, cutting a meandering course through hundreds of millions of years of exposed sandstone and limestone and carrying along an unbelievable load of silt. Our passage will be shared by a wide variety of wildlife and plant species and habitats, which will be called to our attention by our experienced guides. This trip will include plenty of hiking - up to 3 miles round-trip - with options for longer jaunts, time permitting. Along the way, we will view historic mining camps, hike dizzyingly steep and twisting canyons, and cool off in hidden swimming holes.
Along the way, we will enjoy Andrew Gulliford’s stories and insights about the area, its history, and the colorful characters who have called this place home.
Float 86 incredibly scenic miles of the San Juan River.
Explore the healing nature of silence while in community daily.
Enjoy easy Class I - III rapids, water play, and riverside overnight camping.
Learn about ancestral pueblos who lived along the river and marked their campsites and homes with petroglyphs, rock paintings, and murals. See evidence of over two thousand years of human history.
Learn about the geology of the river, river history, and early explorers.
Plenty of hiking - up to 3 miles round-trip.
Delicious and healthful meals.
COST: $1,350 + TAXES AND FEES
6 Nights/7 Days: Starting and Ending in Bluff, Utah
Activity Level: Level 3 - Requires fitness adequate for hikes of up to 3 miles round-trip, willingness to camp along the river, explore silence and readiness to participate in a group-oriented setting.
Ages: 9+ (all minors must be accompanied by a legal guardian)
INCLUDED: Includes food from lunch Day 1 through lunch Day 6, expert staff, river guides, group equipment, personal dry bag, transportation from Bluff, UT to the river and back to Bluff post-trip, and supplies.
NOT INCLUDED: Personal items, motels, alcohol/sodas.
Tents, sleeping bags and pads are available for rent. Gear rental is $15/ per person for tent only or $30 for tent and sleeping bag/pad per person.
(Itinerary subject to change based on weather, wind conditions, etc.)
Pre-trip: Arrive early? We recommend Inn at the Canyons in Monticello on your own. We will meet at the Canyon Country Discovery Center at 7:00 pm the night before launching, to provide dry bags and a pre-trip orientation.
Day 1: At 8:00 am our van will provide transportation from the Discovery Center to the put-in at Sand Island, there we will meet the guides and boats and set off downstream. We will pass petroglyph panels and spot ancient cliff dwellings from the river.
Day 2: After passing through some splashy rapids in the canyon we will continue down towards the majestic fold in the earth known as the Monument Upwarp.
Day 3: We will travel into the sheer limestone-walled canyon of the Goosenecks, with a stop to hike over the Mendenhall loop of the Goosenecks and to view the prospector's cabin. Here we will stop for an evening storytelling session and dinner before making camp in at the Honaker Trail.
Day 4: After another serene morning on river we will continue making our way further into the winding canyons.
Day 5: Wake early for a hike up the Honaker Trail and one of the best views on the San Juan, float down river through rugged and beautiful desert, stop to camp near Johns Canyon. The lower canyon holds numerous scenic amphitheaters, perfect for enjoying a summer sunset and entertaining tales.
Day 6: After enjoying a delicious breakfast, we will float downriver past legendary Government Rapid. We will stop to enjoy the seasonal plunge pool at Slickhorn Canyon and enjoy a scenic side hike before making camp in the peaceful beauty of the lower canyon.
Day 7: Wake up to the red rock serenity of the lower canyon, enjoy a delicious breakfast and float the final stretch of stunning canyon to the takeout at Clay Hills, travel back to Monticello by 7 pm. Night and dinner on your own.
Expert Staff: Andrew Gulliford
Durango - La Plata County Airport (DRO), Durango, CO is the nearest airport with a variety of flight options.
Boutique Air offers flights to Cortez, CO
We are approximately 4 1/2 hours from Salt Lake City and 6 1/2 hours from Denver via I-70 and US191.
Inn at the Canyons in Monticello. Visit their website or call (435) 587-2458 for reservations.
If you prefer to camp there are two USFS campsites just outside Monticello in the Abajo Mountains, Dalton Springs and Buckboard.
We highly recommend purchasing travel insurance for the duration of your trip. A travel protection plan can help cover your non-refundable travel payments should you cancel a trip because of a covered illness or injury.