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Learn while floating down 26 incredibly scenic miles of the San Juan River in Southeastern Utah! Travel through one of the most inspirational and classic settings possible with a geologist, astronomy educator from Clark Planetarium, and art teacher from Monticello High School; and learn about the night sky, local geology, desert rivers, cultural history, and much, much more. 

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COST: $535 per student, $150 per Four Corners area students + TAXES AND FEES

Group Size: Minimum: 15 Maximum: 25

3 Nights/4 Days: Starting and Ending in Bluff, Utah

Co-Sponsor: Clark Planetarium

Who can attend: Utah and Four Corners area students ages 12-15

(Four Corners area: San Juan Counties in Utah and New Mexico; Montezuma County, Colorado; and Apache County, Arizona. These students are grant funded through the Bureau of Land Management.)

We strive to provide the opportunity for all youth to have access to this program barring availability, so if you think you might qualify for financial assistance please contact us at

INCLUDED: Skilled and professional guides, expert staff, all meals from dinner on Day 1 through lunch on Day 4, Sand Island group campsite, a fleet of modern rafts, personal waterproof dry bag, personal flotation device (pfd), camp chairs, permit fees, and river launch/take-out transfers.

NOT INCLUDED: Airfare, transportation to and from Bluff, pre- and post-trip accommodations, sleeping gear, trip insurance, and personal items.


Sleeping package rentals are $15/person for tent only, or $30/person for tent and sleeping bag and pad.


(Itinerary subject to change based on weather, wind conditions, etc.)

Day 1: Arrive at Sand Island Campground (3 miles west of Bluff, Utah) by 1:00 pm. River guides and expert staff will meet you and provide afternoon activities, dinner and help with campsite setup. Following camp setup instructors will lead students in fun activities to get to know the area and one another.


Day 2: Launch on the river. Float downriver visiting geologic outcrops, rock art, and ruins sites along the way. Learn about the natural and cultural history of San Juan River by participating in hands-on activities. Visit rock art and ruins during the day and study geology. Enjoy a telescopic view of the Sun and Jupiter, Saturn, nebulae, and star clusters by night.


Day 3: Travel downriver, day hike, float through rapids, and enjoy the beauty of the surrounding canyon. Evening programs will focus on stars, constellations, bugs, bats, and other river animals. Participants will learn the basics of telescope use while looking for differences in the positions of Jupiter’s moons from the previous night.


Day 4: Enjoy a final day floating on the river, study fossils in limestone outcrops, and swim. Program ends in Mexican Hat with a shuttle back to Bluff by 4:00 pm. Parents, please be at Recapture Lodge in Bluff by 4:00 pm to pick up your child.


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. 

*Note: Activities may vary based on water levels, weather, and educational opportunities that may arise.


Tamsin McCormick, Ph.D.
A professional river guide, scientist and educator, Tamsin has taught numerous field-based college courses and led middle and high school educational programs in natural resources since 1994 and conducted training in geology for the National Park Service and Colorado Plateau River Guides since 1999.  She has been Adjunct Faculty in the College of Natural Resources at Utah State University since 1996.

Jesse Warner, Clarks Planetarium
Jesse is an Education Outreach Specialist at the Clark Planetarium in Salt Lake City. With a combined total of 17 years between the old Hansen Planetarium and the new Clark Planetarium, Jesse has experience performing science demonstrations to a diverse population of Pre-school and Kindergarten to High School level students.

Shari Griffin, Monticello High School
Shari’s mission is to use a variety of creative media to engage students towards making a positive connection with the world they live in. She has worked with a variety of nonprofit organizations and is currently serving as a board member of Monticello’s Parks and Beautification Committee.


By car

We are approximately 4 1/2 hours from Salt Lake City and 6 1/2 hours from Denver via I-70 and US191.


Travel Insurance

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.

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