San Juan Section Options - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #1
 
RidgeLivin's Avatar
 
Nederland, Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2019
Posts: 24
San Juan Section Options

Hello All!

We have another minor dilemma and it's a bit time sensitive, so I'm starting a new thread. We are currently scheduled for a 5 night trip from Mexican Hat to Clay Hills in less than two weeks. Our 5th night stay is at Slickhorn C. Flow is expected to be 3,000 - 4,000 CFS. From what I've read, this should mean we'll be moving right along.

I initially planned 5 nights because I assumed the flow wouldn't be this high. We're totally fine with doing a layover day though. We picked Mexican Hat to Clay Hills because that's what I was able to obtain when the unaccepted permits became available.

Our current plan is to car camp at Sand Island the night before and then drive to Mexican Hat the morning of launch day. We're now in a situation where we have the opportunity to launch one day earlier and do the entire Sand Island to Clay Hills Section. The only rub is that we wouldn't launch until late afternoon. We would still be able to keep our Slickhorn C site, but it would now be night 6.

So the options are:

A) Arrive at Sand Island mid-afternoon, car camp, drive to Mexican Hat the next day, and do 5 nights from Mexican Hat to Clay Hills
B) Arrive at Sand Island mid-afternoon, launch late afternoon, and float Sand Island to Clay Hills in 6 nights (taking out the same day as Option A).

Normally, one night wouldn't seem like enough additional time to add that entier section... but with a flow at 3,000-4,000 CFS, it seems this should be. Any words of wisdom would be greatly appreciated.

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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #2
 
Critter70's Avatar
 
FOCO, Colorado
Paddling Since: 91
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 123
Did a 5 day 4 night Mexican hat to clay hills early May. Water level was around 2500 and we averaged about three to four hours of float time a day without rowing at all and did a layover day. After slickhorn it really started to slow down and we did have minor issues with sand bars. That said we rowed out from Ojieto to the take out in 3 hours but we were actually putting in sticktime. But before that we cruised super fast. Would have been way to fast if we didnít do a layover.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #3
 
quinoa's Avatar
 
Ute City, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 76
I would do option B. 6 nights is plenty of time. I've done it many times. We usually get past Mexican hat for night 2.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #4
 
Ridgway, Colorado
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 217
B for sure.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #5
 
RidgeLivin's Avatar
 
Nederland, Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2019
Posts: 24
Thanks all! I have been keeping an eye on permit availability hoping it would work out this way. We were able to get a one night / two day Sand Island to Mexican Hat permit launching the day before our Mexican Hat to Clay Hills permit. We'll launch from Sand Island in the afternoon, camp a few miles downstream, then make a quick stop at Mexican Hat on day 2 to check in with the ranger for our MH->CH permit and then be on our way!
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #6
 
idaho falls, Idaho
Paddling Since: 2010
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 47
We ran it at 11,000. Mexican hat to Clay hills. It took us 8 hours. I'd go with B
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #7
 
RidgeLivin's Avatar
 
Nederland, Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2019
Posts: 24
What's the driftwood situation like on the San Juan? We're planning to bring some firewood, but wondering how prevalent driftwood will be for additional firewood.
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