San Juan River - Sand Island to Clay Hills


May 3, 2013
My wife and I were invited to join 9 others on a 9 day, 84 mile adventure down the San Juan. We launched March 23. This was my first time, and I have to say it didn't disappoint.
My wife and I packrafted, the others rafted and we had one canoe on the trip. We dealt with the typical canyon country spring weather...rain, snow, sleet, wind, sun...and it was perfect. Our first night was at Chinle Creek on the Navajo side. River left is permitted by the Navajo Nation.
Low flows (600-700 cfs) made the last two days fairly epic, pushing and pulling rafts off the occasional sand bar but that's probably why packrafters were invited along :lol:.

Chinle Creek

Baseball Man







Honaker Camp



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Collared Bighorn Sheep
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Grand Gulch


Government Rapid

Most unique dessert award winner


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Looks like a great trip. Where did you put in and take out? I ran this from Mexican Hat to Clay Hills many years ago when the lake was much higher. What is the permit situation? Difficult to get?
Looks like a great trip. Where did you put in and take out? I ran this from Mexican Hat to Clay Hills many years ago when the lake was much higher. What is the permit situation? Difficult to get?
Sand Island to Clay Hills. 84 miles. After April 1 permits are harder to get. I was invited on this one, a friend snagged the permit for late March
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