San Juan River
Utah, United States
By the late 1870's, the Mormons had colonized virtually every corner of Utah before pushing the boundaries of "Zion" southeast to the isolated canyons of the San Juan River. It was on the San Juan that Norman Nevills, a pioneer of commercial river running, began his first river trip with a new bride and a boat built from outhouse planks.
This country is a mecca for the lover of slickrock, precious Indian cultural sites, and warm-water rapids.
Your guide can lead you through side canyons to polished limestone swimming pools, or to the canyon rim for an endless vista of Monument Valley, the landscape synonymous with the "John Wayne Western".
Flowing faster than any other river in Utah, the San Juan has scores of small rapids. In addition, sand waves caused by shifting sands on the river bottom add several spontaneous roller-coaster rides to the 83-mile trip.