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Old 03-22-2009   #1
Northern Colorado, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1993
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 115
Mesa Canyon camping?

Does anyone know anything about overnight camping in Mesa Canyon on the San Juan river near Pagosa? I know quite a bit of the land is private, but I also have seen on a map that there is some BLM and Ute land. Has anyone camped in there and where abouts?

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Old 03-22-2009   #2
DurangoSteve's Avatar
Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 1,907
The is some Forest Service land in the Pagosa-Trujillo section, and I suppose you could camp on it. Below the Trujillo take-out the river flows thru a mixture of Southern Ute and honky land. No camping is allowed on the Ute portions. It wouldn't be legal to camp until you get down to Navajo Reservoir... and the lower section isn't a particularly interesting float.

The upper section is only 14 miles and is done as a day trip.

You might check with these folks for more details...

Pagosa Springs whitewater rafting - rafting and kayak rentals along the San Juan River in downtown Pagosa Springs Colorado

You can never step into the same river; for new waters are always flowing on to you. - Heraclitus of Ephesus
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Old 03-22-2009   #3
Longmont, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1984
Join Date: Jun 2006
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When we do Mesa Canyon the best camping is above Pagosa towards Wolf Creek Pass. It has been a few years now but I think we stayed at the East Fork campground. Quiet, wild, right above the confluence that gives rise to the young San Juan. Probably not more than 7 miles from the hot springs.
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Old 03-23-2009   #4
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Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 580
I have heard of groups going from Pagosa all the way to near Navajo as a 2-3 day trip. They told me there are a few spots of Forest Service land that they camped on. I have thought about doing an overnighter on it before, but it hasn't happened yet.
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