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The San Juan River offers panoramic vistas and fast-moving white water rapids. This is a great 3 or 4 day rafting trip for your youth group. With numerous warm-water rapids and polished limestone swimming pools, the San Juan River delivers an unforgettable experience.
This white water rafting trip takes us through unique Pueblo Indian dwellings wherewe’ll view ruins and petroglyphsleft by ancient civilizations. The rich waters of the San Juan spawn an abundant array of unusual flora and trout fishing is widely enjoyed here as well. From the diverse animal and plant life to the extraordinary geological features, the San Juan River is always a favorite white water vacation for youth.
Youth enjoy the fast moving San Juan River. Dropping an average of eight feet per mile, it provides exhilarating white water rapids. Its tall sandstone and limestone canyon walls provide a colorful and stunning backdrop for our 3 and 4 day whitewater rafting trip.
The San Juan River offers many thrilling small rapids, as well as “Sand Waves”. These unusual waves appear to rise from the water from nowhere and are caused by shifting sand on the bottom of this fast moving river.
At Holiday River Expeditions, the San Juan Youth Rafting Trip offers a great opportunity for diversity in our daily itinerary. Often our journey will vary from one trip to the next based upon Mother Nature, group desires, and courtesy for other groups on the river that day. Below, we outline a typical itinerary for the four-day trip on the San Juan River. We also offer a three-day trip on the San Juan that follows Day 2 through Day 4 of the four-day itinerary below.
Our group meets at Sand Island in Bluff, Utah the put-in point. We float down river and lunch near River House Ruin, one of the best-preserved ancient Pueblo dwellings in the Southwest. We camp near Comb Ridge, the 600-foot edge to the enormous Monument Upwarp.
Our white water trip takes us through the village of Mexican Hat. Next we navigate the famous Goosenecks of the San Juan, and then take an optional hike to the 1894 cabin of prospector, Walter Mendenhall. Enjoy frequent sightings of Great Blue Heron that seem to lead the way into the labyrinth. Camp in the heart of the Goosenecks.
This morning we may hike the Honaker Trail, all that remains of the 1892 gold rush. For those daring souls who make the 1200-foot vertical climb, an amazing view of Monument Valley awaits. We will also stop at one of the white sand beaches along the shore to explore 300 million year old fossils. Government Rapid awaits us next with Slickhorn Gulch nearby. Slickhorn Gulch offers superb canyons along the Colorado System with fern grottos and limestone swimming pools.
After passing through Grand Gulch Primitive Area, we’ll enjoy some exciting white water rapids before being dropped into Lake Powell. We glide across the lake to our take out spot at Clay Hills Crossing.
3-day, Mexican Hat to Clay Hills and 4-day, Sand Island to Clay Hills
1. Groups providing their own transportation can camp the night before the rafting trip at the Sand Island boat ramp/campground (about 10 minutes west of Bluff on Hwy 191). The Sand Island campground has five areas with tables and fire pits and two RV sites. The toilets are the vault type and there is no running water. Campsites are on a first come, first serve basis.
2. We will meet at the Sand Island boat ramp or Mexican Hat boat ramp at 8:00 a.m. the morning of the trip. At the end of the trip, the group will need to be picked up at Clay Hills Crossing near Lake Powell. This trip involves 60 minutes of driving on a dirt road.
3. You will be able to piggy back on to our shuttle from Sand Island or Mexican Hat and then to Clay Hills Crossing. Shuttle is about $250 per vehicle. Holiday will need to know about these arrangements before the rafting trip.
On the morning of your rafting trip, plan to arrive promptly at the predetermined time.
This rafting trip will be off the water between 2:00 and 3:00 p.m. on the final day. The take-out point is Clay Hills Crossing.
Our river guides are trained in first aid and carry first aid supplies only. REMEMBER to bring your own prescription medicines. ALERT our guides to any medical problem you might have such as diabetes or allergic reactions. Once on the river, our location is remote and a long way from any hospitals, doctors, or pain-relieving medicines. Evacuations to modern medical facilities can be long and expensive. In case of evacuation and/or medical treatment beyond first aid, expenses incurred are the responsibility of the participant.
If cancellations are made prior to 90 days before the river rafting vacation, monies will be refunded less a $50.00 service charge per person. If cancellations are made within 90 days and outside of 45 days of the rafting trip date monies will be refunded less a $100.00 service charge per person. Cancellations made within 45 days of the river rafting trip date are non-refundable. Prior to 45 days to the rafting tour date we will transfer reservations to another trip in the same year with a $25.00 service charge per person. All policies will be enforced and we strongly recommend trip cancellation insurance. Cancellation of a white water river rafting trip is very unlikely, but we reserve the right to cancel any trip due to river or weather conditions or the lack of sufficient reservations. A full refund will be made if such is the case.
Medical and cancellation insurance on a vacation plan can be obtained from numerous insurance companies. We offer plans underwritten by TRAVEL GUARD that cover accident, baggage and cancellation claims. An application should be enclosed with this information package. We encourage all to take advantage of this coverage. This is available to American and Canadian citizens as well as citizens of another country as long as you have a U.S. address. If you have questions give us a call. Also, if you are bringing expensive cameras, binoculars, or other items we suggest you have insurance coverage for them (commonly available through Homeowners Policies). In the event of a loss, our insurance will not cover those items.
Guests often want to know if tipping is appropriate after the rafting trip. If you feel the river guides have enhanced the enjoyment of your river rafting vacation, you may choose to direct a gratuity to the rafting trip leader in the form of cash or check. He/She will then distribute it evenly to the other crewmembers. The decision to tip is left completely to your discretion.
Holiday River Expeditions provides ice water, lemonade and ample cooler space. If you choose to bring additional drinks we have no problem taking whatever you bring – within reason.
In May, June and July the daytime temperatures are 80 to 100 degrees, with nighttime temperatures around 50 to 75 degrees. During this season, guests will enjoy swimming in the San Juan River. Though this may seem very warm, the humidity is low in this region and the temps will drop at night to become somewhat chilly. We will get plenty of direct sunlight during the day, so bring a hat and a good sunscreen.
Bugs, snakes, and other pests are generally no problem. In fact, the lack of pesky insects is one of the reasons wilderness camping on the beautiful Colorado and San Juan Rivers is so pleasant. Any river rafting trip, however, is subject to an occasional localized insect hatch. During these hatches (most common in June to mid-July) mosquitos can be bothersome. Be sure to bring long sleeve clothing and a generous supply of repellent. Insect repellents that contain Adeet@ are by far the most effective during heavy hatches, but are also suspected of causing various health problems. Citronella-based products (skin-so-soft) work only in light hatches. We rarely see any snakes, but if the thought of them bothers you, try sleeping on the beaches or in a tent instead of rocky or bushy areas.
Hiking is a highlight of the river rafting trip, however, it is strictly an optional activity. Please be aware that some of the hikes on this rafting trip can be more strenuous due to heat and our elevation. There are many interesting short hikes available. Hiking can be done in durable sneakers or lightweight hiking boots. Remember that our ability to go hiking, swimming, and exploring will vary widely depending upon our time, and what other plans are ahead for our day on the river.
The Edge of the Cedars Anasazi Museum & State Park, Natural Bridges National Monument, La Sal and Henry Mountains, Newspaper Rock, Hovenweep National Monument, Monument Valley, Navajo National Monument, San Juan Goosenecks State Park, Comb Ridge/Abajo Mountains (Blue Mountain), Grand Gulch Wilderness Area, and Mesa Verde National Park.
San Juan River Guide Lisa Kearsley $17.95
Life in Stone Christa Sadler $11.95
The Educated Outlaw Harvey Lay Murdock (Grandson) $10.95
These books can be ordered online at our e-store, or by sending the appropriate amount listed above plus $4.95 shipping and handling for the first book, and an additional $2.00 for each book thereafter to Holiday River Expeditions, 544 East 3900 South, SLC UT 84107. This is available within the U.S. only. If outside the U.S. additional shipping and handling charges will be added. You can call 801-266-2087 for rates.
Holiday River Expedition's Travel Agents - Mateja Harrington & Cindy Swenson with Cruise and Travel Masters are happy to assist you with your travel plans. Contact Mateja or Cindy to take the work out of "Getting Here".
Toll Free - 800-264-0557 (You must ask for Mateja Harrington or Cindy Swenson) Or, do it yourself, we can help… Air Service to Salt Lake City (SLC) or Denver (DEN) TRANSPORTATION OPTIONS FROM SALT LAKE CITY to Green River, Vernal or Blanding, Utah Once in Salt Lake City most of our guests rent-a-car and drive to our meeting points. Salt Lake City to Green River 180 miles Shuttle Service to Green River or Blanding, Utah from Salt Lake City (Vernal is on a Charter basis only) TRANSPORTATION OPTIONS FROM DENVER to Green River, Vernal or Blanding, Utah Air Service to Moab (CNY) (52 miles south of Green River), Utah from Denver, Colorado
Email Attention Mateja or Cindy: email@example.com">
Colorado and Utah Rivers
Gateway - Salt Lake City, Utah OR Denver, Colorado
All rental cars are located in both terminals of the Salt Lake City Airport.
Salt Lake City to Blanding 300 miles
Salt Lake City to Vernal 180 miles
Air Service to Vernal (VEL), Utah from Denver, Colorado
Or, do it yourself, we can help…
Air Service to Salt Lake City (SLC) or Denver (DEN)
TRANSPORTATION OPTIONS FROM SALT LAKE CITY to Green River, Vernal or Blanding, Utah
Once in Salt Lake City most of our guests rent-a-car and drive to our meeting points.
Salt Lake City to Green River 180 miles
Shuttle Service to Green River or Blanding, Utah from Salt Lake City (Vernal is on a Charter basis only)
TRANSPORTATION OPTIONS FROM DENVER to Green River, Vernal or Blanding, Utah
Air Service to Moab (CNY) (52 miles south of Green River), Utah from Denver, Colorado
PROVIDED BY HOLIDAY RIVER EXPEDITIONS
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There is a greater chance of inclement weather on these trips which otherwise offer many advantages to the well-prepared river traveler. Polypropylene, fleece, pile, bunting, capeline, etc. are a few examples of trade names for a class of synthetic materials that retain their ability to insulate when wet (please note, cotton does not.) Your comfort on the trip starts with finding the right type of synthetic under and outer-wear and quality rain gear. We recommend Backcountry.com for your additional river trip needs. Backcountry.com offers a wide variety of gear to help you dress for success the for your river trip no matter what the weather decides to do. A prepared traveler is a happy traveler.
ITEMS YOU CAN BUY AT HOLIDAY'S ONLINE STORE: www.HolidayExpeditions.com/store or at our accessories stores in Green River and Vernal; the meeting points for our Cataract, Westwater, Ranch, Desolation, Labyrinth, Fisher Towers, Lodore and Yampa trips.
ITEMS YOU CAN BUY AT BACKCOUNTRY.COM: www.backcountry.com