River Trips on Utah’s San Juan River
Utah’s southeastern corner is a wonderland of dramatic topography and archaeological treasures. Rafting trips on the San Juan River are the easiest and best way to experience it all. In its upper reaches, the “River Flowing from the Sunrise” eases into the cream-colored sandstone of Comb Ridge and past ancient dwelling sites and petroglyph panels. To the south, the river borders the present day territory of the Diné (Navajo) People. For thousands of years, the water of the San Juan River has meant life to various cultural groups; their artifacts still line the walls and side canyons of the river.
In its lower reaches, the San Juan rushes by the town of Mexican Hat, Utah, then curves around the deep canyon of Goosenecks State Park. Although the San Juan is one of the steepest, swiftest rivers in the United States, it has only a handful of rapids, making it a great option for families with young children or first-time rafters. Choose from three San Juan River rafting trip options: the upper canyon from Sand Island to Mexican Hat, the lower canyon from Mexican Hat to Clay Hills Crossing, or the entire canyon.
The first time I went down the San Juan was with a group of boatmen. It was hard to read the map because the scenery was so amazing…the water was moving so fast. It made us dizzy because our heads were busy snapping from one side of the river to the other to see the next scenic attraction.
-Dee Holladay, Holiday River’s 1975 Reconnaissance Trip