Lower San Juan Clay Hills to the lake? - Mountain Buzz

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Old 05-06-2017   #1
Willi..., Willimina, OR
Paddling Since: 68
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 482
Lower San Juan Clay Hills to the lake?

Any advice on running the lower San Juan Clay Hills to the Lake? I'm interested in the portage 4.5 miles below Clay Hills as well as the preferred take out.

Gary Foam
Proclaimed Lobbyist for Whitewater
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Old 05-06-2017   #2
deadlizard's Avatar
peoria, Arizona
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 174
Jack of Jack Plastic Welding used to have the only trip report I ever found on running this section. White water rafting lifestyle stories from Jack's Plastic Welding inc. However, I can no longer find that report. Seeing Jack's site evolve over the last 10-15 years, that is understandable.

I know they did not portage the falls, but ran it without issue. Seems like they also used solar to power the electric motor for crossing Lake Powell.

You could send email to Jack asking about the trip or if he still has a link to the page.
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Old 05-06-2017   #3
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Salt Lake City, Utah
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 207
The best take out is to get picked up on the water or have a motor and enough fuel to get to Bullfrog or Antelope Point/Wahweap (or at least to Dangling Rope to refuel). For a primitive takeout, depending on reservoir levels, it might be possible to use the road in Piute Canyon (west of Neskahi Wash and SW of Great Bend). I've never driven it but it appears to be well travelled until you get below the high water mark where it eventually disappears. At low lake levels it could be quite the hike from the lake to wherever you could drive to.

I came up on the reservoir to where the San Juan came in last July when the water level peaked at around 3621'. At that point, the river met the reservoir at the western edge of Zahn Bay, a few miles upstream from Great Bend (about here: 37.215566,-110.611553). This year it's probably going to peak around 3640' which could put the reservoir somewhere up to around Copper to Mike's Canyon. Lots of flat water between there and the way out.
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Old 05-06-2017   #4
Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2009
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 41
Solar powered inflatable crosses Lake Powell
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