Lower Canyon, 57 miles from Mexican Hat to Clay Hills
Select Dates April - October. Book Now to see select dates. *Additional dates available for groups - please give us a call.
6 years old (Call us if you have younger explorer)
Four Days, Three Nights.
8:30am Day 1 to 4pm Day 4
$949 - Youth (15/under)
Additional $20 River Permit Fee. Sleep Kits Available for $30/per person (+$15 for a private tent).
The Mexican Hat to Clay Hills Crossing stretch of the San Juan River is one of the prettiest canyons you might ever visit. We’ll see geological formations created over 300 million years ago and visit some historical sites along the way. The side canyons we might visit feature pools, springs, waterfalls and sculpted grottos with hanging gardens.
- Inflatable Kayaks
- Small Dry Bag for personal items needed in the day.
- Large Dry Bag for Sleeping bag and Clothing
- 3 Breakfasts – 4 Lunches – 3 Dinners
- Snacks available throughout the day
- Professional Certified Guides
- Transportation to and from the river
- Float through Goosenecks State Park
- 54 Miles 1000’ canyon walls
- Stargazing and camping along the San Juan
- Absolute Solitude from the outside world.
- Hike the Honaker Trail
- Hike in remote side canyons only accessible from the rive
Easy to Moderate float. Class I and II Rapids (one Class III Rapid). Hikes up to 2 miles round trip – all hikes are optional.
- Compact sleeping bag, sleeping pad and a small lightweight tent. Sleep kits also available to rent for $30/person. (+$15 for a private tent).
- RAINGEAR. Hooded rain jacket and pants. (hopefully it stays in the bottom of your drybag, but sometimes it does rain in the desert)
- Warm pajamas.
- Gloves & knitted hat that covers your ears. (nights in the desert may get cold)
- Shorts and short sleeved shirt or t-shirt.
- River sandals or tennis shoes that can and will get wet!
- Lightweight hiking boots
- A filled personal water bottle or canteen for hiking and night use. A one liter bottle is suggested
- Any medication you must take regularly
- Sunscreen and bug repellent
- Towel, comb/brush, biodegradable soap, toothbrush, chapstick, sunscreen and/or sunblock
- Visor or wide brimmed hat or cap
- Sunglasses with tie on strap
- Headlamp with extra batteries
- One or two carabiners (great for clipping water bottle to your PFD or boat)
- Small daypack for hiking
- Small Binoculars
- Bandannas (keep cool by dipping them in the river)
- Garbage bag for dirty clothes
*All items must fit in your two dry bags. Large Dry Bag has a 16” Diameter and is 25” Tall. Small Dry Bag has a 6.5” diameter and 19” tall.
*Remember to tip your guides. 15% gratuity is custom.
Day Before Departure:
Come by our shop anytime the day before 7pm to get your dry bags so that you can take them to your hotel and pack them for the next morning. Our front desk will answer any last minute questions you have and make sure you have everything needed for your adventure.
Below is a sample itinerary. We run small group tours and every trip is a customized for the group. Your trip leader will create the itinerary to match the physical ability and interests of the group.
We’ll all meet at Wild Expeditions at 8:30 a.m., we’ll load the vans and head for Mexican Hat. Once we get to the BLM ramp in Mexican Hat we’ll have a short safety orientation, then hit the river. Just a few hundred yards downstream from the launch ramp we’ll run one of the lower San Juan’s biggest rapids: Gypsum. We’ll float downstream and stop for a hike over the saddle at Mendenhall Loop for a visit to an old prospector’s cabin and lunch on the beach. Then we’ll float through the famous Goosenecks of the San Juan for a first night camp at Honaker Trail.
After breakfast we’ll “rim-out” on the Honaker Trail. Honaker Trail is an historic mule trail built to supply gold prospectors on the San Juan a century ago. Once we make the rim we are rewarded with a panoramic view of Utah, Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado. You’ll see Monument Valley, Cedar Mesa and the Valley of the Gods, among many other geological formations. Then we’ll hike back down for lunch and spend the afternoon floating to Ross Rapid or John’s Canyon for camp.
We hop into the boats after breakfast for a big water day running Government Rapid, the largest rapid on the Bluff to Clay Hills portion of the river. We’ll lunch along the way and camp at Slickhorn Gulch. Slickhorn is one of the largest drainages into the San Juan and features beautifully carved grottos with springs and pools and hanging gardens of desert canyon vegetation. Slickhorn is one of our favorite places.
The last day may be the most beautiful stretch of the San Juan as the Cedar Mesa Sandstone are sheer vertical cliffs. The calm float will give you time to reflect on the past few days of solitude and soak it all in. We’ll have lunch in the canyon and pull off the river about 2pm where vans will be waiting for the scenic ride back to Bluff. We’ll arrive back in Bluff between 4-5pm.