San Juan - River Right Camps - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 04-17-2016   #1
 
Denver, Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2016
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San Juan - River Right Camps

I was fortunate enough to draw a permit for the SJ in early June & I'm trying to decide among all the various options for a leisurely 4 day / 3 night trip from Sand Island to Mexican Hat. I noticed in my guidebook that there aren't any marked campsites between mile 13 & mile 20, which leads me to believe paying for a (rather pricey) night of camping on the Navajo side might be worth the peace of mind: there's 6 marked campsites on river left in this section. Has anybody found any good unmarked campsites on river right between mile 13 & 20? Thanks!

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Old 04-17-2016   #2
 
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peoria, Arizona
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Did an upper SJ 2 weeks ago.

Small trip, 2 boats/2 person. We decided for a change to try and only camp at non-named locations. That is with one exception which was Midway at mile 13. However, someone was already camped there. So for the first time in forever, seriously looked at river right campsites from mile 13 down to 8-Foot.

There was not much, even for such a small group as we were.

You didn't say for how many boats/people. Lots of places worked river left, essentially none on the right. If it looked like a big enough opening and flat enough, no place to park or the other way around.

If you do find one, I think likely it will not end up as one of your favorites.

Gene
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Old 04-17-2016   #3
 
Denver, Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2016
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Thanks for the info. Seems like it'll be better to plan for no camping river right in that section. Especially as we'll have 3 boats, a ducky, and 11 people. And probably high water.


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Old 04-18-2016   #4
 
Tuba City, Arizona
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San Juan Camps

Pull the Navajo nation permits and camp at Chinle river left before Big Stick. Go for a hike in the morning. One of the best days in the canyon. Flow was 14-- last weekend. We made the last 19 miles in under five hours with a short lunch stop. Strong down river wind, cold enough we didn't want to get wet. I really like listening to the river at the Ledge camp river left when I'm falling asleep.
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Old 04-19-2016   #5
 
Denver, Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2016
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Thanks for the advice. Based on the feedback here, I'm definitely going to get the Navajo permit, just need to choose which nights. There are lots of options for a three night trip... layover at Chinle, or Chinle then ledge then river right....choices, choices!


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Old 04-19-2016   #6
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Tabernash, Colorado
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From what I've herd, chinle will be awesome if you can get it, for the hiking options. In general, I wouldn't worry to much about not even camping at all between mile 13 and 20, the river moves really well through that section, you could even do a double layover day with that 4 days, if you wanted. G.F. and I stayed at the small camp at prospector loop last spring, and spent a quality afternoon floating laps in the river in front of camp. ( River right mile 11.2)
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Old 04-19-2016   #7
 
Tuba City, Arizona
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Did you see the flow rate expected from Navajo dam?

They are projecting flow rates between 5000 and 10000cfs starting mid May. At that flow you will really need to be prepared to land and get a rope on something. Have fun!
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Old 04-20-2016   #8
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Tabernash, Colorado
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That sounds like a day trip at that level! ( or all the hiking and chillin you want, provided you can stop!) Might want to forgo swimin in the river. Kinda Jealous, never seen the Juan with more then 2000 cfs.
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Old 04-20-2016   #9
 
Albuquerque, New Mexico
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Quote:
Originally Posted by catayak View Post
I was fortunate enough to draw a permit for the SJ in early June & I'm trying to decide among all the various options for a leisurely 4 day / 3 night trip from Sand Island to Mexican Hat. I noticed in my guidebook that there aren't any marked campsites between mile 13 & mile 20, which leads me to believe paying for a (rather pricey) night of camping on the Navajo side might be worth the peace of mind: there's 6 marked campsites on river left in this section. Has anybody found any good unmarked campsites on river right between mile 13 & 20? Thanks!
You probably got the permit I gave up since we're doing the Chama instead. Probably your best bet for camping on river right would be to check out the small drainage near the drill hole at mile 18.5 or so between the Narrows and Ledge Rapid to see if that works. Don't expect any campsites in the Narrows. We usually do this section as an overnighter and stayed at the camp near mile 12 last time which was nice. Wish I hadn't given up my permit now, but can't do two trips that close together......
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