A class II read and run or scout from river right.
Run right of the big rock at the start and then move back to the center to finish the rapid.
Run to the right to stay in the main current and avoid the rocks on the left but be aware of the wall on river right.
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We ran this section at around 4,500 cfs. For fully-loaded open canoes, there are class II sneak routes, but the center wave trains and holes for the larger rapids, e.g., 8 ft., would be class III.
Flows above 500 cfs are optimal but you can run the river lower. The USGS Gauge for the "San Juan Near Bluff" reflects the releases from the dam on the Navajo Reservoir, located in northwestern New Mexico near the Colorado border and the natural flow of the Animas River out of Colorado.
For up to date levels and info on releases from the Navaho Reservoir contact Pat Page of the US BLM:
Phone # (970) 385 6560
We have no additional detail on this route.
Use the map below to calculate how
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Sand Hill Access
Kids on the River
Find the Sheep
Fossils at Fossil Camp
Ledge Rapid, Upstream View
Ledge Rapid, Downstream View
Canyons of the San Juan
Eight Foot Rapid
San Juan Canyon
Entering the Canyon
Mule Ear Diatreme
Barton's Trading Post
San Juan Hill
Upper San Juan
Sand Island Access
If someone gets hurt on a river, or you read about a whitewater-related injury, please report it to
American Whitewater. Don't worry about multiple submissions from other witnesses, as our safety
editors will turn multiple witness reports into a single unified accident report.
American Whitewater sprang out of the need to rally our community around our shared love for whitewater, to protect, restore and celebrate the rivers that have given us so much. When the President of the United States, announced his intentions to reduce in size Bears Ears National Monument by 85% and Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument by nearly half, we wanted to first see how the new borders would affect the protections these Monuments afforded several spectacular whitewater resources within their current boundaries. Read on to see how the Lower San Juan and several other rivers are affected.
Take action today using our easy online form to protect National Monuments designated under the Antiquities Act! A public comment period began on May 12th and ends July 10th for an April 26th Executive Order which directed Interior Secretary Zinke to conduct a review of all Presidential designations over the past 21 years. A number of Monuments being reviewed are of significant interest to paddlers and provide protections for cherished whitewater stretches, including Bears Ears (Lower San Juan River, UT), Grand Canyon-Parashant (Colorado River, Grand Canyon, AZ), Giant Sequoia National Monument (Tule River, CA), Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument (East Branch of the Penobscot River, ME), Rio Grande del Norte National Monument (Rio Grande, Taos Boxes, NM) and many more.
American Whitewater staff traveled to Green River, UT in late March to meet with private water users and state agencies, and to participate in the official opening of the new boat passage through the Green River Diversion (Tusher Dam). Completion of the boat passage has freed the Green River from its last in-stream obstruction between the Flaming Gorge Dam and the confluence with the Colorado River – over 400 floatable river miles through iconic canyons and historic landmarks. It has a been a long process, and our work isn’t over yet! As your boating representative, American Whitewater will continue to work closely with the dam operators and Utah’s Division of State Lands (FFSL) to ensure that the boat passage meets the needs of the public during its inaugural year.
This week, President Obama declared the Bears Ears region of southeast Utah a National Monument, permanently protecting this incredible region that includes the San Juan River. American Whitewater is especially proud to announce that the National Monument Proclamation specifically acknowledges whitewater paddling as an appropriate and valued recreation activity.
Colorado River Basin - American Whitewater is asking for paddler input on flows and recreation quality for rivers across the Southwestern United States. We are gathering this information to help define recreational flow-needs, and to inform the US Bureau of Reclamations' Colorado River Basin Supply and Demand Study. Whether you live in Boston, San Francisco, or Jensen, UT, your input will help AW protect healthy rivers - TAKE OUR SURVEY TODAY!
Colorado Stewardship Director
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