Originally Posted by ecjohnson
Head to the San Juan. If you do the section from Mexican Hat to Clay Hills, it can be done in 4 days, but 5 allows for a little hiking and some extra play time. It's gorgeous. Despite being class 2 and only 2 rapids at that, it's an amazing trip. Definitely up there on my top 3 list. You should check now for the permit situation. I don't know it off the top of my head, but I think application is open now or will be soon.
You have to call the BLM in Monticello and request a permit application (435) 587-1544.
They send it out to you and you have to mail it back by Feb 1st, and notify lottery winners by March 1st. You can apply for cancellations starting 3/1.
I agree- the San Juan is a all-time favorite of mine and a classic. I suggested the Green below Flaming Gorge because it doesn't require a lottery permit, it has easy access points, easy camping and it's really gorgeous. You can make it a day stretch, or tack on Red and Swallow Canyons and stretch it to 4 days easily without too brutal a shuttle. And there's phenomenal fishing too; but that does make it busier. The very top section is the one that gets the most traffic, but I doubt there's too many issues with crowds that time of year....