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San Juan River, Colorado
Report by Marc W. McCord

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SOAR Inflatable Canoes - Somewhere On A River

The San Juan River forms in the San Juan Mountains of south central Colorado, on the Mineral-Rio Grande county line, then flows down into Archuleta County, across US Highway 160 to Navajo Reservoir on the New Mexico border down through Farmington, New Mexico, then northwest into Utah near the juntion of borders between Utah, Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico (the only point in the United States common to 4 states. About 58 miles of the river flows through Colorado. The San Juan River itself, for the most part, is a Class III whitewater river with occasional Class IV- rapids. By contrast, almost all tributary creeks and rivers feeding the San Juan River are much more technical, with ratings in the Class IV to V+ range.

The whole basin is absolutely beautiful scenery with tall trees lining the sloping canyon walls. The mainstream begins immediately below East Fork Campground near US Highway 160, at the confluence with the West and East Forks. As a rule, the San Juan River is not really hazardous, but downed trees in the channel can definitely pose risks to boats and boaters. The San Juan basin sits in a geologically unstable area that contributes to strainers in the channel and constricts the canyon along the river.

Click the links below for information regarding the section of the San Juan River and its tributaries where you want to paddle.

[ Sand Creek to Trujillo Road ] [ Piedra River ] [ Lime Creek ] [ Hermosa Creek ] [ Upper Animas River ] [ Lower Animas River ]

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© March 4, 2003. All rights reserved.
Last updated December 30, 2014

Copyright © 1997-2015, Marc W. McCord dba CobraGraphics. All rights reserved. Southwest Paddler, CobraGraphics and Canoeman River Guide Services are trademarks of Marc W. McCord dba CobraGraphics. The textual, graphic, audio, and audio/visual material in this site is protected by United States copyright law and international treaties. You may not copy, distribute, or use these materials except for your personal, non-commercial use. Any trademarks are the property of their respective owners. All original photographs on this web site are the exclusive property of Marc W. McCord or other designated photographers and may not be copied, duplicated, reproduced, distributed or used in any manner without prior written permission under penalty of US and International laws and treaties.