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Old 08-26-2009   #1
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 25
Lower San Juan at 500 cfs?

Does anyone have first hand beta of Mexican Hat to Clay Hills at 500 cfs? I'm thinking about a trip and will probably be in a 14 footer. I hear of people doing it at this flow but haven't heard from them directly.
Thanks for any firsthand insight,

timmypayne is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-26-2009   #2
Pugetopolis, Washington
Paddling Since: 96
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 767
I dunno,that may be pushin it. Literally. I did it at 700 and told myself that was my cutoff,though i never got stuck. I'm sure there will be a few people who will say its good to go though. Just depends how much you wanna push it off sandbars...or rocks in Gov. I'd like to see Government rockpile at that level. Take pics of it if u do go. Waters usually more of a green at low-water,nicer than mocha brown.

BarryDingle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-26-2009   #3
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 39
When we launched this spring the check in ranger told us he'd gone in a raft as low as 300 cfs.
td is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-26-2009   #4
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 393
No way you could handle that run. Just because the arrogant sandbaggers say it's easy doesn't mean you're good enough for it.
doublet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-26-2009   #5
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1989
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 18
I canoed it at 5-600 years ago. We portaged Government, and remember thinking how hard it would be to get a raft through. Expect to do some lifting and heaving.
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Old 08-26-2009   #6
raftchef's Avatar
Flagstaff, Arizona
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 20
san juan

Hi Tim-
I ran Mex Hat to Clay Hills this spring at 750cfs. The last day was spent chasing channels and pushing the boats off sandbars. I ran a 14' raft that was pretty loaded down, with less weight it probably would have been better. Honestly, I think below 750cfs in a raft is not a good idea but I would still seek other opions. Maybe the channels are deeper after higher flow went through them this summer ( I was there in March).
Best Wishes.
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Old 08-26-2009   #7
Gumbydamnit's Avatar
DURANGO, 81301
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 144
Did it around 600 and bring your hiking sandels, Those sneaky little sand bars are everywhere. Gov't is super bony. We low sided and were able to get unstuck. Good luck and bring lots of BEER, you'll need it.
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Old 08-27-2009   #8
Pagosa Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1987
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 137
The SJ is eminently do-able below Mexican Hat at levels down to 400cfs so long as you're not heavily loaded and you have an eye for the channel. There are only two things of significance to worry about at levels below say 650cfs - Government Rapid and the shoals below Grand Gulch. Both can be handled pretty easily. Make sure you go left at Government rapid and be prepared to rub on rocks and probably scout it carefully - I would not go right of the rocks in midstream. Below Grand Gulch, it's a matter of meandering back and forth across the riverbed following the deeper channels - something that can't be explained. The good part is that the current is low and it's easy to drag your boat back upstream to find the channel if need be.


Any Day on the River is Better Than----
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