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Old 06-26-2012   #11
flagstaff, Arizona
Paddling Since: 89
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 148
San Juan 6/24/12 ELFing an 18

Just had a group ELF an 18 down the San Juan at low flows T/O 6/24. They were defintely worried but not problems.

Heads up, there's an aluminun dory stuck at government.


moetown is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2012   #12
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1983
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 2
We just took out at Clay Hills yesterday (6/27) at 650 cfs.after putting in at Sand Island on 6/20 at 350 cfs in a very lightly loaded 14 foot raft. It was an extraordinary trip. We almost bailed on the trip (as apparently most that had launch dates did) but are very glad we didn't, Above Mexican Hat we saw just 2 parties and below MH we saw just 1 other party and a ranger. This dearth of other groups meant we had our pick of campsites and saw abundant wildlife. The water right now is unusually clear, which makes it much easier to see otherwise hidden rocks and even made the sand bars below Slickhorn easier to spot. We anticipated slow going below Slickhorn but,.with water this low, most sand bars are fully exposed and the channel is very obvious. Where it wasn't obvious we started to notice patterns, for example left and right sides of straightaways almost always go, and on curves of course the outside is almost always fine. We paddled mornings only and avoided wind. We also always saw current below Slickhorn, Because of the clear water, no wind, some real current, and mostly obvious channels, we had an easy half day morning to Oljeto and then another 3 hours to Clay Hills. We had to get out and drag the boat just 4 times for just a few feet. The biggest obstacles we encountered and the only places we hung up were complex rock gardens at mile 9 just before entering the Lime Ridge anticline, the rapid just before the Mexican Hat Bridge, and 1/2 mile upstream from John's canyon. The BLM ranger we encountered just before Government mentioned that it had been over two weeks since anyone had gone through without getting stuck in Government. The aforementioned Dory was still wrapped nicely around a rock, looks like the boat endoed and pirouetted around and behind the two big rocks right center that everyone always wraps on at low water and so it's not in the way for the obvious line here. We are able to do a clean run through Government by rowing tail first and spin around those rocks holding the dory. The water in all the rapids was not big at all, but the challenge of getting the read on a line and executing it will make you a better rafter.. All in all, it was a great trip.. Don't let conjecture by others keep you from having a real adventure.

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