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Old 04-08-2016   #1
north little rock, Arkansas
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 340
San Juan Long Row Out; Doable?

Assuming there's water we'll launch at Mexican Hat July 8th. We're down to camp at Slickhorn D on the 12th and Steer Gulch on the 13th. Due to time constraints (I know, I know) and the potential for losing a pint of blood to the skeeters at Steer Gulch we're considering making the seventeen mile run from Slickhorn D to Clay Hills in one day. Is this a really bad idea? My main concern is the sandbar dodging the last five or six miles and whether we'd miss any must see sights. Thoughts?

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Old 04-08-2016   #2
Paddling Since: 96
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 1,373
Grand Gulch and Oljeto are 2 of the best stops on all of the Juan IMO. (Both below Slick) An early start and no wind would make the effort possible but a good attitude might be the biggest variable.

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Old 04-08-2016   #3
St. George, Utah
Paddling Since: 1974
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 20
Left at first light 6:30am last May on pretty low water from Slickhorn, off the river around 2 pm. With all the sandbar dodging the total distance traveled by GPS was 21 miles. You will be moving back and forth across the river a lot. Add some wind and it gets to be a very long day. It will be very hot and buggy that time of year.

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Old 04-11-2016   #4
north little rock, Arkansas
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 340
Thanks for the advice. Much appreciated.
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Old 04-11-2016   #5
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Paddling Since: 2011
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 46
It's doable but not so fun. I broke my humerus at slickhorn and we rowed out the next morning. Lots of pulling the boat off sandbars. I think we took nearly 7 hours and the water was around 800-900 cfs.
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Old 04-12-2016   #6
Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 6
+1 on it being doable, you just need to be mentally prepared for that last day. Our group considered the last day to be a different trip, so that we could more easily block it from our minds later . We spent the night at slickhorn E and shoved off at 7:45 (I'd leave earlier next time!). After a lunch at Oljeto, we ultimately took off at clay hills a little after 530, with flows around 400cfs. Paddleboards are really helpful on the last day to lighten the load on the rafts. We also ended up rigging straps to the front of the boat to make dragging easier and more ergonomic, because it was such a prevalent part of that day.

As far as steer gulch camp, I would avoid it at all costs. It sucks, the canyon isn't accessible from the camp and the bugs are a nightmare. I have heard no positive stories from there.

Good Luck, Have fun!!
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Old 04-16-2016   #7
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peoria, Arizona
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 125
Know a ton of people who have done it.

Done it several times myself. But as everyone has said, it can be a tough one.

Catch wind like we've had the last couple days, it will be a real long day.... maybe two of them.

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Old 04-17-2016   #8
Vanderwagen, New Mexico
Paddling Since: 12
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 22
Just did it at 850cfs. Passed on reserved campsite at Steer Gulch since it didn't look so good. Trimble is not an option either. With de-rig it was a 12 hour day. I would recommend getting to your Slickhorn camp early so you can enjoy that as much as possible. And of course, lose as much excess weight as you can. Enjoy.
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Old 04-17-2016   #9
Paddling Since: 96
Join Date: Feb 2009
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What did Trimble look like?
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Old 04-17-2016   #10
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New Castle, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 1,105
Mtnbuzzer, what didn't look so good about Steer Gulch? I have a site reserved there next week. I've stayed there before and know about the mosquitos. Hoping it is a little early for those buggers.

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