Experience Rafting the Lower San Juan River


Rafting the Lower San Juan River –
About This Trip


The Lower San Juan ebbs and flows back and forth through the heart of Gooseneck State Park; famous for its wandering and exquisitely cut canyons. This San Juan River trip offers countless side-hikes and points of interest that will thrill you in the subtle beauty of the alien desertscape surrounding you. Explore an abandoned mining outpost or wander up a hidden grotto to a secluded swimming hole. This primarily class I & II whitewater trip is perfect for newcomers with one class III rapid to surpass for the more adventurous of spirit.

Trip Overview


Location: San Juan
River Type: Rafting
Length: 4 Days
Dates: May - June
Meet At: Blanding, UT 7:00 AM
Rating: Beginner
Age Min: 5
Deposit: $300


  • Explore slickrock and prehistoric Indian ruins
  • Classic Southern Utah desert environment, warm water
  • Perfect rafting for children and inflatable kayaks

Trip Price & Departure Dates


4-Day - Adult - $915
Youth - $815 (18 & under)
Group - $855 (10 or more)
Senior - $855 (65 & older)

+ $20.00 Agency Fee

2019 Trip Dates

4 Day Trip Dates

May 4, 11, 18, 25
June 1, 8

Trip Slideshow

Full Gallery



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



One of the advantages of our 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, Mother Nature, and courtesy for other groups on the river. This typical itinerary illustrates a 4-day trip on the San Juan River. The 3- and 4-day itineraries vary based on the seasonal water flows in May and June. For specifics on your trip’s date and itinerary please ask your reservationist.

Day 1: Your rafting adventure at the San Juan River begins with the group meeting in Blanding, Utah at the Super 8 at 7 am MST. From there, we are off on a 1-hour scenic ride to the put-in point – Mexican Hat. Pass through the village of Mexican Hat before traversing the famed Goosenecks of the San Juan. Take an optional hike to the 1894 prospector cabin of Walter Mendenhall; one of many whose dreams were dashed by the San Juan. Enjoy frequent sightings of Great Blue Heron that seem to lead the way into the labyrinth of canyon to follow.

Day 2: This morning we can hike the Honaker Trail, a relic of the “1892 gold rush”.  The reward for those who put forth this 1200-foot vertical effort is an unforgettable view of Monument Valley. We will meander through layered canyons, play in good clean mud and experience the depths of the Goosenecks.

Day 3:  Today we encounter Government Rapid and wander to a hidden grotto and swimming hole up Slickhorn Gulch.  We will make camp at the mouth of any number of iconic side canyons in this lower drainage.

Day 4:  This final stretch could lead us to peer inside Oljeto Wash and its magical side canyon and continue across what remnants of “Lake” Powell to the take out at Clay Hills Crossing. You will transfer to a two-hour scenic van ride back to Blanding, Utah. Our expected time of arrival back at the Super 8 is 4 - 5 PM, thus ending your rafting adventure in the lower San Juan River.

As mentioned earlier, this is a sample itinerary and should not be thought of as the trip you will experience. It is intended to give an idea of what the trip will be like. It could also be exactly what you do. Keep an open mind, be flexible, go with the flow, and enjoy!


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Holiday River Expeditions
Average rating:  
 5 reviews
by Brooke & Jason Ferrara on Holiday River Expeditions

Food was terrific and they even had a cake for my husband’s birthday. Fantastic guides, scenery and a wonderful family trip. Happy to see not much has changed 20 years later. A definite must for your bucket list.

by Guy Duffner on Holiday River Expeditions

The vegan food was freakin' amazing!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you :) The guides ROCKED (knowledgeable, responsible, and fun) and transportation was excellent (clean and punctual). All in all, the trip was incredible. Thanks! Our San Juan trip was incredible. The guides took excellent care of us and attended to every one of our needs.

by Cameron & Wendy Marsden on Holiday River Expeditions

This was my very first river rafting trip. My first time camping in over 40 years. But I did it all. A member in our group told me I should win the award for "most out of her element with the most enthusiasm”! The hikes, the kayaking, and the rafting, IT WAS ALL AMAZING. Our guides TJ and Sherpa were awesome and even better cooks. We were very well taken care of. I will 100% do this again... Thank you for a trip of a lifetime and for helping me with my bucket list. :)

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