Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 09-17-2010   #1
Montrose, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 42
San Juan Goosenecks at low water...

Some buddies and I were looking to do the lower section of the San Juan in duckies in a few weeks. We usually do the upper stretch as a fall float, so this is new territory. The river is at 685 right now, and I'm not expecting a huge bump anytime soon. I know the San Juan has a nice gradient for a desert float, but I've heard it stagnates near the end as it enters Powell. Has anyone floated this stretch at this level? I'm wondering if its horribly brutal flatwater or just a little bit of paddle work at the end?


lookinathesun is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2010   #2
Cheyenne, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 32
We did a ducky trip several years ago on the lower half at 700 cfs - had seven duckies and I was raft support in my 13' Avon. That was our first run on the San Juan, and we tried to run from Slickhorn to Clay Hills in a day - BIG (nine hour) mistake. Of course it was also in late June and it was 100 degrees. I think as long you plan on two days from Slickhorn to Clay Hills, you'll be fine. Oljeto is a great camp if you can get it. Watch for the sand waves and braids, follow the channel and you'll be fine.

jamwin33 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2010   #3
Kayenta, Arizona
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 95
Duck Trip!!!

Good Morning,

My Girlfriend and I ran this stretch last fall in our Duckies in only 3 days + 2 miles the first day (put on friday night, took off Monday afternoon)...When we put on the water was at 345 if I remember correctly...under 400. We worked really hard with some looooong 20-25 mile days but got er done. In the goosenecks the current is strong and fun and any level. When we got off and I looked, the water spiked to a little over 700 (I believe I estimated 650 at the time we ran Government.) Definately scout Government.

Our final day was a pain in the ass, it always is on this strech though. As has been posted on this forum before, the last 16 miles, basically from Slickhorn down is the lake with really no current at all. If you can, try and break this stretch up into two days. At lower water the channels can actually be easier to read because they are more obvious, but we still drug our boats numerous times...even in Duckies (overloaded duckies though!)

We were fully self-support and it worked out fine. I don't think I would take a raft down there under maybe 600 or 550, but in ducks you should be ok. If you have the time I would camp at Honniker (mile 45) and do the hike to the rim. We did the hike a week before we launched from the top down last spring and it took us about 4 hours. From the bottom up I bet it would be closer to a 3 hour is 3,000 elevation change over 3 miles I believe.

Stop at John's Canyon camp if you is awesome even if the water-fall isn't running. Stay at Slickhorn and hike into the canyon, swimming pools and such. Grand-Gulch camp offers hikes up into the Anasazi realm and whatever you do DON'T camp at Trimble doesn't exist any longer (at least from what I remember last spring). If you can get a Navajo permit, try and score Oljato camp for your last night and hike up into that canyon as well....awesome!

Go for the trip, hope it is a good time for you...pack light!

bucket52 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2010   #4
rivermanryan's Avatar
Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 580
Decided to not change the Navajo release before the weekend. Flows seem to be stabilizing as of this morning just above 600 cfs at Shiprock and Four Corners gages. Downstream water use and/or higher temperatures could cause the river to fall further, but I am hopeful things will stay around 600 cfs. If flows do decline, a change in release can be made as early as Tuesday, then it takes approximately 4 days for the water to reach Bluff, so there is a chance of low flows occuring this weekend into early next week if losses in the river increase more than what is currently observed. FYI - Ryan
rivermanryan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-2010   #5
wildh2onriver's Avatar
irvine, California
Paddling Since: 1987
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 1,197
I've floated it as low as 400 cfs in a 18' Leopard with 2 passengers--no problem. The last day from Oljeto was not too bad at all--pushed maybe a half dozen times. Duckies should be much easier if they are moderately loaded.
wildh2onriver is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Topic Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
How low is too low for rafts on the San Juan? (or any Navajo Dam release info?) BLott Whitewater Kayaking 3 06-29-2010 07:21 PM
San Juan - low water questions DeeGardiner Whitewater Kayaking 22 05-06-2010 05:44 PM
San Juan Jibb Kayaking | Trip Planner 8 03-05-2009 09:50 AM
San Juan at low flow simpson2000_us Whitewater Kayaking 7 07-13-2008 08:52 PM
how low is low water on the Ark. Larry Berger Whitewater Kayaking 6 08-17-2005 12:22 PM

» Classified Ads
Kokatat Dry Suit, Sweet...

posted by condor

Kokatat GMER, XXL, excellent condition, well cared for, no...

Dagger Mamba 7.6 Red

posted by Rendezvous River Sports

Jackson Superstar

posted by Gary Rempe

Beautiful boat with awesome performance. Very lightly used...

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities

Copyright 2002-2012 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:25 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.