San Juan River - Mexican Hat to Clay Hills Crossing - May 23, 2008

This was the only cancellation I could swing, and it was not easy. Monitor the river calendar at the BLM Monticello (the new 2017 BLM web page) site and if an opening came up, dial and dial only to find it already gone. But as things worked out, this trip dovetailed nicely with the May 15th Dolores trip and the May 20th Westwater. Didn't consider that the permit launched from Mexican Hat and not Sand Island a downside. The last three San Juan trips covered the upper canyon so did not feel disappointed. Weather was unusually cold and rainy, but flow was well above average. It was nice to do this with more than 1000 CFS.

The amount of time spent on the water was very minimal. Perhaps three to four hours for actual on-river days with each day averaging ~19 miles. Felt 40 mile days were not out of range and would not require an inordinate effort.

Valles Trading Post served as the shuttle provider and ran $215. I do not feel comfortable arranging for a specified pickup time and have the driver waiting for longer multi-day trips. Prefer the chase vehicle and driver option even though it is more than twice as costly. In this case, the decision was timely as I came out a day earlier than my quickest plan. It was nice to just drive away rather than spend the night at Clay Hills waiting for the shuttle.

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Trip report image
USGS flow link image