San Juan River Trip: Tour the Upper San Juan
Upper San Juan River –
About the San Juan River Float Trip
The upper San Juan is all about the archaeology. Nowhere else are visitors so completely surrounded by the artifacts and stories left behind by the cultures that thrived along the river more than one thousand years ago. In between playing in the class I and II rapids and admiring the improbable uplifted rocks of Comb Ridge, walk through ruins and stare at rock art and imagine yourself as the latest in the long legacy of human visitors to this area.
Location: Four Corners Region
Length: 3 Days
Dates: May - June
Meet At: Bluff, UT 8:00 AM
Age Min: 5
- Explore slickrock and prehistoric Native American ruins
- Classic southern Utah desert environment; warm water
- Perfect rafting for children and inflatable kayaks
Trip Price & Departure Dates
3-Day - Adult - $850
Youth - $750 (18 & under)
Group - $800 (10 or more)
Senior - $800 (65 & older)
+ $22 Agency Fee
2020 Trip Dates
3 Day Trip Dates
May 7, 14, 21, 28
June 4, 11
The San Juan, the "River Flowing from the Sunrise", arcs through the southeastern corner of Utah. You'll cover 27 miles in three days from the Sand Island boat ramp near Bluff, Utah, through three distinct geological uplifts, to the takeout just outside of the town of Mexican Hat, Utah.
San Juan River trips are true wilderness adventures, and trip itineraries vary widely depending on weather, the desires of each group, campsite availability, and the need to be courteous to other groups on the river. This is a sample itinerary intended to provide one example of a three-day trip on the San Juan. Itineraries also 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: Meet your group in Bluff, Utah, at 7 a.m. Mountain Time for a short ride to the Sand Island put-in. These upper reaches of the river are simply covered with signs of the existence of over five different indigenous cultures over thousands of years; pictographs, petroglyphs, and hand-carved steps are visible along the canyon walls. Spend the night near “River House”, an incredible Ancestral Puebloan site showcasing the elegant design of their ancient civilizations.
Day 2: Push off the beach this morning and float alongside Comb Ridge, one of the longest uplifts in the region, then follow the river as its cuts into the ridge's heart. Prince’s plume and tufted yucca wave at you from talus slopes as you careen through winding canyons and Four Foot and Eight Foot rapids before resting for the evening near Limestone Draw.
Day 3: Break camp and float by the iconic “Mexican Hat” rock formation, a precarious hoodoo with a striking sombrero-like shape. Enjoy your last few hours with the wildlife before arriving at the boat ramp in Mexican Hat where we will meet our vans for the 45-minute drive back to Bluff, Utah.
Wilderness river trips are changeable by nature. Please understand that this is only a sample itinerary, intended to give an idea of how your time will be spent on the river. You may have the opportunity to do all of the above activities, or you may have a variety of other memorable and exciting experiences. Holiday's motto is "Go With the Flow", and we encourage you to arrive with an open mind, a flexible attitude, and an appetite for adventure!