Mountain Buzz banner

1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
139 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Finally got a May 28th launch date for the San Juan. YES!!!!!

Never been before. The info I am reading says to bring all your drinking water that filtering is really hard because of silt. Is this the group opinion?

How many days are best from Sand Island to Clay hills? What other great advice can I gather from the buzzards?

Any and all suggestions are greatly appreciated. It also talks about reserving certain campsites really need some good advice here please.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
4,836 Posts
Bring your own water and do a layover at Chinle with the Indian permit. Take your time, explore and enjoy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
109 Posts
In May with water between 1-2k probably 8-10days lots of hiking, bring all of the water you'll need, no filter.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,453 Posts
There is good water at the putin (Sand Island). I like Logan's idea of a layover at Chinle. That, and almost all of rio left, requires a permit(s) from the Navajo. Worth it IMO. River House ruins are above Chinle on the right and very worthwhile. There are no Cottonwoods below Chinle and the Tamies are all dead now so bring camp shade. If you are bringing kids on the trip there are some camps that are ledge dropping into deep water and hard to keep kids safe at. In the lower section you have to have assigned campsites from I think Grand Gulch out. Grand Gulch is not a very good campsite, especially with kids. I hesitate to put this on the WWW but we always look to camp at Slickhorn on the next to the last night and Oljeto on the last night. Oljeto is not a good option if there is the possibility of big rain although there is some high ground to escape to in the worst case (flash). John's Canyon is also wonderful. As you have probably heard, if you have low water the last day can be difficult because of Lake Foul sediments. The trick is to remember that the channel is always on the outside of the bend and you just need to find the crossover channel between the bends. Its really not as bad as people say IMHO. Get both guidebooks. PM me if you want more camp info. Love that rio...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
525 Posts
The permit for the Indian land is worth the effort. Start your application now, they take a very long time to respond.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,254 Posts
You lucky dog, you should have decent water to float. Indian permit is a must have . You can get the water to settle for dishes with some alum if you start it as soon as you get to camp (takes a while). I put in myself and of course did not win :(
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
38 Posts
Congrats! Navajo permit greatly expands camping choices and I also second Oljeto and Slickhorn choices; at 2k plus, many of the lower reserved camps flood, but based on snow pack and unless something drastic happens, I wouldn't worry about that. We launch the 21st from MH to Clay Hills and I'm thinking travel light at this point. 4Corners Riversports in Durango has a flockulant solution that works better than alum for settling water; put in right amount of drops, stir for 10 minutes while drinking a beer, then wait another 5-10 and you have 3-5 gallons of settled water. Also safe for drinking as it is manufactured for the store by a water quality/sanitation specialist. Have a great trip!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
65 Posts
Have an April 24th Mexican hat to Clay hills. Haven't ever ran this river or researched the flows. Any knowledge of typical conditions that time of year would be appreciated!


Sent from my iPhone using Mountain Buzz
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
4,836 Posts
I won a june 17th permit but have never done the SJ. Is this going to be drag the boat type flows?
I would certainly hope not, especially in mid June. The run is controlled by dam releases from Navajo Reservoir and they try their best to maintain a minimum flow (which is boatable) through the permit stretch for fish habitat.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,261 Posts
Water at Mexican Hat and Sand island as others have said. You will want to bring a fair amount for anything after June 1st as it can get bloody hot down there. You can also refill with ice in Mexican Hat.

Navajo Permit is key. Plan and submit application early and know they changed the process and fees late last year.

6-8 days for Sand Island to Clay Hills is a great range, the more time the more layovers and hiking can be done. You are limited to 2 nights below Government and only one can be at Slickhorn so plan accordingly.

Take your time on those first ten miles and maybe plan on a short first day as there are a ton of rock art sites and ruins.

You can also extend the trip from Montezuma and there are some phenomenal ruins BUT camping is limited for more than small groups and the boat ramp logistics are less than ideal. That said it does get you away from shared boat ramp space at Sand Island.

Have a great trip.

Phillip
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
486 Posts
Like Phillip said - Take your time and have a great trip :)

We spent 5 days last April from Bluff to Mexican Hat. Tons of stuff to see and do. If you have a permit to hike/camp on the left bank there's even more to see and do. I recommend the hike up to the Mules Ear if you have time.
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top