San Juan in March? - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 12-15-2009   #1
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
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San Juan in March?

Anyone tried it? Any ice issues?

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Old 12-15-2009   #2
 
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Assuming you are thinking of Utah and not Colorado.

I doubt there'd be any ice and there wasn't on my March trip.

You'll likely only have base flows, something like 800 CFS.
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Old 12-15-2009   #3
 
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We did a late March trip a few years ago and day weather was perfect. A bit more water would have been more exciting. Be prepared for very cold nights.
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Old 12-15-2009   #4
 
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Thanks.

That was my second question was temperature... at that low flow how many days did it take from Sand Island to Clay Hills??

I am assuming you had the river to yourself!
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Old 12-15-2009   #5
 
Durango, Colorado
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Just FYI:
The San Juan permit for March is on a first come first serve basis, so the sooner you get your permit in, the more likely you are to get the dates you want. March is the only month they do this way.
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Old 12-15-2009   #6
 
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I haven't done the SJ in March, only April and May, but I spend a lot of time camping and hiking in that part of Utah in March. Expect low flows and weather that ranges from gorgeous to snowy.
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Old 12-15-2009   #7
 
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SE, Wyoming
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Ran on March 20th, which I think was just before the Spring Break for most universities. The water was low (600-700 cfs) and came up to about 1000 cfs just before our launch. The water was definitely cool but not grippingly cold.

Weather was good- warm days and a few brief thundershowers. I slept in a bivy sac (or half out of it, most nights). Saw one other boat the whole time, an outfitter raft daytripping from Sand Island to Mexican Hat. The following week, when the Spring Break crowds arrived, had hard rainfall and a bit of snow, with gusty winds.

Which is to say you'll be chancing it as far as water level and also weather. That worked out for me.
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Old 12-15-2009   #8
 
Pugetopolis, Washington
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800 is plenty to get down. The SJ actually has a decent gradient so there's usually some current,except when you get to Grand Gulch. I did it one time at 750 and loved it. The water is green and plenty of solitude. I'd do it....if i wasn't doing the Grand in March.

Edit: and we did SI to CH in six days,taking our time.
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Old 12-16-2009   #9
 
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There will not be any additional release out of Navajo in March this year unless we get some crazy winter storms in the next couple of months. So the 500 cfs base release will continue (and may continue all year). So depending on lower elevation snow melt, you will be looking at flows in the 700-800 cfs range.

We did a trip in February a couple years ago. It was actually very pleasant. Then nights got a little below freezing, but all and all, I would do it again. March should have even better weather, but there is always a chance of strong wind.
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Old 12-16-2009   #10
 
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Boulder, Colorado
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We only ran to Mexican Hat, and did it in 3 nights, with a layover day. We've been told that there is fantastic hiking in the lower part. Definitely a beautiful place, and I don't remember seeing anyone else, which made it more spectacular.
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