Packrafting the San Juan River at 500cfs

They say if you fall out of your boat while paddling on the San Juan River, all you have to do is stand up, dust yourself off, and get back in your boat.

At 500 cfs, that’s basically a perfect description. This is not a river known for it’s whitewater, especially in the midst of a historic drought. But what it does have is incredible scenery, world class hiking, one of the healthiest herds of Desert Bighorn in Utah, and of course a rich history of Native American history and sites.

We took six days to paddle from Sand Island to Clay Hills, and aside from the dreaded San Juan winds that roared to life on the final day, it was an absolutely wonderful time. The San Juan just might be the perfect introduction to multi-day paddling on the Colorado Plateau.