Upcoming Trips

Smooth Water Rafting on the San Juan River

Smooth Water Rafting on the San Juan River

June 12th-14th, 2017  Monday-Wednesday

$420 Per Person (Based Upon Double Occupancy)

The San Juan River, often described as calm and congenial, offers a relaxing rafting experience in Southeastern Utah.  This is a wonderful opportunity to explore the dramatic Goosenecks of the Lower San Juan, where rock formations can tower 1,000 feet overhead.  We’ll visit Native American ruins, view bighorn sheep grazing along the shore and truly experience a red rock labyrinth that is one of the most complex canyons in the Colorado Plateau. 

Day One:  We’ll leave the Valley and head north, with a stop for coffee & goodies, on our to enjoy lunch on self at Cameron Trading Post.  After lunch it’s back on the bus headed for Blanding, Utah, our headquarters for the next two nights.  We’ll check into our hotel, gather for our own Happy Hour, included, then head into town for dinner on self.  Later we’ll enjoy a free evening. 

Day Two:  Breakfast is included at the hotel, and by 7 a.m. we’ll be on the road headed for the Sand Island launch ramp.  After taking a few minutes to secure our cameras and sunscreen in dry bags, and a brief introduction to rafting, we’ll begin this remarkable 8 hour, 26-mile journey along the San Juan river.  We make numerous stops along the way to explore nearby archaeological sites and fossil outcroppings, as we travel through a dramatic variety of landscape and history.  Most rafters along this stretch of the San Juan see native desert bighorn sheep feeding and bedding .  Waterfowl, raptors and songbirds abound.  For the first few miles, the countryside is wide open—offering views of orange and black-streaked sandstone outcroppings.  This was once the home of the Anasazi, a desert farming culture who lived in this area eight to twenty centuries ago.  Evidence of their time here is everywhere, with remains of their dwellings and the art that they carved in the rising sandstone walls.  The Butler Wash petroglyph panel will be our first stop.  Just a few feet from the river’s edge, this broad panel is filled with mysterious images carved by early Anasazi—the Basketmakers—some 1500 years ago.  Further down the river, we’ll land again and walk an easy quarter mile to “River House,” a Pueblo III style cliff dwelling.  With a small round kiva and several adjoining rooms tucked into a rock alcove, this structure is believed to be about 800 years old.  Later we’ll continue down the river to a shady spot under a canopy of cottonwoods, to enjoy a delicious gourmet lunch.  The journey continues, as the rock formations begin to take prominence when the river enters the Monument Upwarp, a giant wrinkle in the skin of the earth.  From here the river narrows and cuts a deep canyon into 300 million year old Pennsylvanian limestone.  Watch for bighorn grazing above us on narrow rock shelves and beavers napping under ledges.  As we near the end of our trip the river leaves the canyon and we pass beneath the balanced slab of “Mexican Hat” rock.  The next landing wraps up our river trip, and vans will be waiting to shuttle us back to Bluff, offering us a spectacular drive with views of the dramatic red rock of Valley of the Gods—a very different passage through Comb Ridge than our river trip allowed.  Back in Blanding, we’ll take some time for a refresh, before heading into town for dinner on self.  Later we’ll enjoy a free evening. 

Day Three:  Breakfast is included at the hotel, and then it’s bags our and we’re off to enjoy an incredibly scenic drive through the Hopi and Navajo Nations, and then on into Winslow.   In the era of wood burning steam locomotives, Winslow was an important center for loading water and fuel onto the trains.  Passengers could disembark and enjoy a meal at La Posada, the last great railroad hotel—built in 1929 by the Santa Fe Railway for the Fred Harvey Company.  We’ll take some time to explore the La Posada and enjoy lunch on self, at the award winning Turquoise Room, considered to be the best restaurant in the Four Corners region.  After lunch it’s back on the bus and we’ll hightail it for the Valley, enjoying heart-stopping scenery along the way.  This is a remarkable tour that you will not see offered in the Travel Club everyday!  Don’t wait to call in your reservations. 




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