Women’s Watercolor Workshop on the San Juan River

A Float with Heart: San Juan River Lower Canyon FUNdraiser with the Great Old Broads, May 15–19, 2021

A float of a lifetime! Treat yourself to a women’s watercolor workshop with acclaimed artist Suze Woolf while you explore the amazing Utah landscape via the beautiful San Juan River. 

The Great Old Broads for Wilderness has partnered with Holiday River Expeditions and special guests to create an experience of a lifetime—a float with heart. 

Suze Woolf FacilitatorArtist Suze Woolf will guide you on this women’s watercolor workshop as you create memories of this stunning landscape. With informal outdoor sessions, you’ll be introduced to foundational watercolor methods with daily demonstrations and frequent opportunities to practice them. Watercolor is one of the most rapid and portable of all painting media, so it’s perfect for a raft trip.

Utah’s southeastern corner is a wonderland of dramatic topography and archaeological treasures. This five-day trip through the lower canyon of the San Juan River is the easiest and best way to see this region. The river forms the northern limit of 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, and then curves around the deep canyon of Goosenecks State Park. Further on, you’ll skirt the original boundaries of Bears Ears National Monument, as it was established in 2016.

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 sketching while floating; it’s also a nice, gentle introduction for people new to rafting.

Express your deepened appreciation for this gorgeous canyon through your paintings, learn new watercolor techniques, and practice while workshopping with a professional. Learn the history behind Bears Ears National Monument and stories of the ongoing efforts to protect this iconic landscape.

Holiday will provide all food and river-specific gear, such as waterproof bags and life jackets. You can bring your own camping gear or rent a kit from Holiday. You’ll receive a shopping list for your required watercolor supplies. All that’s left to pack is your sense of adventure and love of wild places!

$1470 per person + a tip for the guides

Holiday River Expeditions will donate a portion of your registration fees to the Great Old Broads for Wilderness. Suze Woolf has graciously donated her time and expertise for this adventure.

Book This Trip

Trip Overview

  • Type:

    Rafting

  • Location:

    Four Corners Region

  • Length:

    5 Days

  • Dates:

    May 15–19, 2021

  • Meet at:

    Super 8; Blanding, Utah @ 8:00 pm (night before the trip)

  • Difficulty:

    Beginner

  • Min. Age:

    12

  • Deposit:

    300

Highlights

  • Learn the art of open-air painting with Suze Woolf
  • Float the famous Goosenecks of the San Juan
  • Treat yourself to a river spa experience with the San Juan's famous mud
  • Fun but gentle introduction to whitewater rafting
Getting Here Before You Go Packing List FAQs

Rates & Dates

5 Day

  • Adult:
  • $1470
  • Youth:
    18 and under
  • $1470
  • Senior:
    65 and older
  • $1470
  • Group:
    10 or more
  • $1470
Book This Trip
Check Availability
2021
  • May 15-19

Itinerary

The San Juan River flows from east to west through the Four Corners Region, and through some of Utah’s most dramatic desert scenery. This five-day lower San Juan trip will launch at the foot of Comb Ridge, in the town of Mexican Hat, Utah. The canyon of the famous Goosenecks State Park quickly swallows us up; walls tower over us for the majority of the trip. After 55 miles of swift currents and scenery, we’ll take out at Clay Hills, in Lake Powell’s easternmost arm.

Sample Itinerary

The night before your trip:

Please plan to meet your guides at the Super 8 in Blanding, Utah. They’ll conduct a pre-trip meeting at 8:00 p.m. (Mountain Time). This is when you’ll collect your dry bags and meet your fellow passengers. Pre-trip meetings helps us sort out all the final details, making our launch the following morning more efficient.

Day 1:

Begin your adventure back at the Super 8 the following morning, where we’ll hop into our vans and travel for one hour to the Mexican Hat put-in. Spend the day encountering one wonder after another, from Gypsum Creek Rapid, right off the bat, and historic Mendenhall’s Cabin. We’ll pass under the Mexican Hat Bridge and into the Goosenecks. Try to keep track of how many times the river doubles back on itself.

Day 2:

Today we may hike the Honaker Trail, a precarious but spectacular route traveled by gold miners during the 1892 gold rush. Later, meditate on the thousands of shades of gold, red, and purple that the sunset paints across the canyon walls, and maybe try to paint them!

Day 3:

Small rapids and soaring walls are on tap this morning. Choose to float silently as a group, letting all of your senses come to life and open to the sensations of the canyon. Take a ride through Ross Rapid and roll into camp in time for lasagna dinner at our very own riverfront restaurant.

Day 4:

The biggest rapid of the trip, Government Rapid, will splash off our morning. We’ll lunch at Slickhorn Gulch, one of the most celebrated side canyons along the lower San Juan. Be sure to scrub off in the river before hiking to the secluded, lush swimming hole—sunscreen and other oils disrupt the fragile ecosystem of the freshwater pool.

Day 5:

The canyon walls begin to descend around us until we are surrounded by smooth, golden Cedar Mesa sandstone. We may explore Oljeto Wash and play in the mud at its mouth before pushing on through the sandbars and riffles of the lower canyon. Our vans await at Clay Hills, our take-out, and we’ll wave farewell to the river as we climb out of the drainage and across the rugged topography of the Monument Upwarp, back to Blanding, Utah, between 4:00–5:00 p.m.

Please note that this sample itinerary is only meant to give you an idea of what your trip will be like. Your trip may include different hikes and attractions than those mentioned above. Flexibility is the key to enjoying a river trip in the wilderness!

One of the advantages of our lower San Juan River trip is the flexibility of the daily itinerary. It can vary widely from one trip to the next based on group desires, seasonal water flows, weather, campsite availability, and courtesy for other groups on the river. This sample itinerary illustrates a 5-day lower San Juan River trip. For specifics about your trip, please ask your reservationist.

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