SAn Juan- Which Section?? - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 07-18-2008   #1
bth
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 151
SAn Juan- Which Section??

i have a permit to put on the San Juan from Bluff to Mexican Hat on Aug 4th. When i called the field office down there a month or two ago trying to extend to do that section AS WELL AS Mexican Hat to Clay Hills Crossing, they thought it'd be easy to extend the permit later due to cancellations.

The group Im going with prob can't do the whole trip, so Im wondering for advice on which section is better- Bluff to Mex Hat or Mex Hat to Clay Hills Crossing?

Any info is appreciated- thanks in advance...

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Old 07-18-2008   #2
 
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Durango, Colorado
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For hiking and scenery you can't beat the lower section. If you are really into the archy sites, River House and a lot of the petroglyths are in the upper section. I would pick the lower section, personally, but the shuttle is longer.

BTW- I am projecting 700-800 cfs for the Bluff gage on those dates. I was just working on it as part of my real job.
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Old 07-18-2008   #3
 
Chip's Avatar
 
SE, Wyoming
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The Sand Island to Mexican Hat reach can be done in one long day, or with a single camp. It's nice, with low-to-medium walls, riverside ruins, etc.

Mexican Hat to Clay Hills is about 5+ days at low water with deeper canyons and lots of great sidecanyon hikes and scrambles. Definitely the cream.

At low water, light loads are smart, since silt and braided channels can be a problem the last day or two. Having small boats to scout ahead (and enough hands to drag a stuck gear boat) is a help. Making your last camp close to the takeout (and starting early) is also a good idea.
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Old 07-19-2008   #4
 
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Flagstaff, Arizona
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each section has wonderful things to see. if you have a good river map things will be marked. i love both sections, but if you have limited time, do the uppper with a layover day. if you are a climber you can do some very cool stuff up chinle wash. watch out on the lower for low water (less than 1,000) it can be a bitch.
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Old 07-19-2008   #5
 
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oh yeh, for some reason his year at sand island campground mosquitos are insane. you might die.......
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Old 07-19-2008   #6
 
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Durango, Colorado
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Chinle Wash is VERY cool. Great petros/pictos, ruins... and Mule Ear, Comb Ridge's coolest highpoint. Miss climbing this diatreme and miss out. Big views up Comb Ridge and down to Monument Valley.



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Originally Posted by boatingbuss View Post
each section has wonderful things to see. if you have a good river map things will be marked. i love both sections, but if you have limited time, do the uppper with a layover day. if you are a climber you can do some very cool stuff up chinle wash. watch out on the lower for low water (less than 1,000) it can be a bitch.
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Old 07-25-2008   #7
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
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After a trip down the Goosenecks at 750 cfs I swore I would never ever go down there again at anything less than 2,000 cfs.

The row out on the mudflats can be a killer.

On the other hand the Monsoons are here.

And the way this year has gone I would not be surprised to see the big one hit.

Yeah know, THE BIG ONE!!

Like 1911.

125,000 cfs at Mexican Hat. Washed out the bridge.

That might be unlikely but some real water from the monsoons is possible in August.
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