drinking/cooking water on San Juan - Mountain Buzz

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Old 1 Week Ago   #1
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Paddling Since: 2011
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 152
drinking/cooking water on San Juan

I am doing my first ever San Juan in late-May (Sand Island to Clay Hills), and I'm a little confused about the water situation. I believe I've read you simply need to carry ALL your water, either because of some sort of chemical or oil spill, or simply because the water is so silty that it's very difficult to treat it. Is this right ? If so, what's a reasonable per-person amount for a 7-night trip at this time of year ? I'm thinking maybe 10 gallons per-person. Is it possible to re-fill water jugs at Mexican Hat, that would help a lot ?

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Old 1 Week Ago   #2
Be Like Water
Rivertime, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1978
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 118
Knowing what's upstream I've never been willing to drink the water on that section of the SJ on any of my trips. So yes I'd suggest that you bring all you need and yes you can refill in Mexican Hat. Have fun!!!
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Old 1 Week Ago   #3
Fraser, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 89
Yep, what Liquido said. One of the Siltiest rivers there is, and lots of mines with spills, as well as an oil spill near by this spring. To thin to plow, to thick to drink....
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Old 1 Week Ago   #4
bighorn1478@msn.com's Avatar
lafayette or Grand Lake, CO., Colorado
Paddling Since: 1961
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 987
While refilling water jugs at Mexican Hat I park above the highway bridge and always leave one person at all times with the boats.
Time is like a river. You cannot touch the water twice, because the flow that has passed will never pass again. Enjoy every moment of life on or off the river.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #5
Woodland Park, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 161
Where in MH can you refill jugs?
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Old 1 Week Ago   #6
Buena Vista, Colorado
Paddling Since: 94
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 86
Another 2 cents... I've always planned for 1 gallon per person/per day, then you can add a few gallons depending on how much you use for cooking etc. (That obviously would not be used for dish washing) I always carry some sort of emergency water treatment as well with my first aid kit.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #7
caverdan's Avatar
C. Springs, Colorado
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 1,753
Originally Posted by JustinJam View Post
Where in MH can you refill jugs?
You park right before the highway bridge and walk up the old dirt road to the motel and restaurant that is on the river. Have you a burger and a milk shake, fill up on ice. They have always let me refill water jugs from the hose. A nice friendly stop I highly recommend for a lunch time break.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #8
Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2012
Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 123
I live on a tributary to the Juan and peed in it this weekend, so its definatly not safe now.

It will be really silty with this years runoff, I went on a trip years ago where you could splash water on the tubes of a boat and it would leave a sand/silt spot after the water ran off, its the real deal. I recommend you dont get any white or bright colored clothing in it if you want it to stay that way. There is parking at the Mexican Hat boat launch if you want to stage a vehicle with extra gear for a top off. There is a gas station/ convenience store along with some other business a few hundred yards from the Mexican Hat boat launch FYI if you need some supplies on your way through.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #9
Fraser, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 89
Whatever you do, be sure to go get ice cream in Mexican hat!
The little convenience store up the road is pretty awesome, he even has good beer if your running low, and has helped me out with shuttles before.

Have fun on the Juan! It is an awesome little river
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Old 1 Week Ago   #10
tetoncounty's Avatar
wilson, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 1967
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 55
We're doing it for the sixth time in May.
We've always brought drinking/cooking water one gallon/day/man.
We use the river water for other purposes: 5 gallon bucket with alum added settles it the silt in an hour.
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