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BEGINS IN: FLAGSTAFF, ARIZONA

San Juan River Kayaking/Rafting: River Skills and Anasazi Thrills

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Road Scholar
Program #2111RJ
6 Days | 5 Nights
ACTIVITY LEVEL: Challenging
Love to learn in a small-group setting? This collection of programs has at most 10-24 participants.
See our Small Group programs.
EasyFor people looking to exercise their minds more than their bodies. There’s minimal walking and not too many stairs.
ModerateThese programs get you on your feet and include activities such as walking up to a mile in a day through a city and standing in a museum for a few hours.
ActiveFor people who enjoy walking as much as two miles a day, perhaps to explore historic neighborhoods or a nature trail.
Moderately ChallengingFor hardy explorers who enjoy a good physical challenge, spending most of their days on the go.
ChallengingGet ready to keep up with our highest-energy group. These demanding — and rewarding — programs are for seasoned outdoor enthusiasts.
Elevation Note
Above 6,000 feet. Those with respiratory or heart conditions should check with a physician before.

Itinerary for May 3 — May 8, 2014

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Type: Motel

Description: Convenient to all area attractions, restaurants and shopping.

Contact info:
2015 S Beulah Blvd
Flagstaff, AZ 86001 USA
phone: 928-556-8666
web: www.lq.com/lq/properties/propertyProfile.do?ident=LQ939&propId=939

Room amenities: 25" cable TV, desk, coffeemaker, dataport phone, clock radio, iron/board, hair dryer.

Facility amenities: Heated pool and spa, exercise room, free breakfast.

Smoking policy: Yes
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: Seasonal
Room rate varies with season. Check with hotel for rates.

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day One: Saturday, May 03 - Registration/Orientation
Afternoon: Road Scholar program registration between 4:00 - 4:30 PM. followed immediately by program orientation and introductions.

Dinner: Walk to a nearby restaurant.

Evening: River orientation. Meet your raft guides and review all the particulars of the trip. Each person will receive one large and one small dry bag to pack their things into. We will review packing suggestions and what to expect on the river. NOTE: If the San Juan River is running too high to allow safe kayaking, we will still have lots of fun on the trip with a paddle raft(s) and oar boats for gear. If the River level is in between we will have both Inflatable Kayaks and paddle rafts. We will not know river levels until just before the trip starts. For questions contact the Provider (Northern Arizona University) at (928) 523-2359; or RoadScholarprograms@nau.edu.

Lodging: La Quinta Inn & Suites

Meals Included: Dinner
Type: Tents

Description: The San Juan River cuts its way from the peaks of Colorado's western slopes through the high deserts of northwestern New Mexico and southeastern Utah and finally into Lake Powell and the Colorado River. It runs cool and silty at the launch point at Bluff, UT 26 miles downstream to Mexican Hat, UT, and offers sandy campsites below spreading cottonwoods and willows which line its banks. This trip will be a combination of oar rafts, paddle rafts, and/or inflatable kayaks. At low flows we will use a combination of oar rafts and kayaks, at high flows a combination of oar rafts and paddle rafts, and at medium flows oar rafts, paddle rafts and inflatable kayaks.

Contact info:
San Juan River
Mexican Hat, UT 84531 USA
phone: xxx-xxx-xxxx
Room amenities: Starry views, Tents available if needed.

Facility amenities: Sandy riverside campsites. Amazing views. Babbling river. Delicious meals cooked by your guides. No TVs, no phones; aaaahhhh.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Two: Sunday, May 04 - Navajo National Monument and Monument Valley Nati...
Note: Today's hike is about 1.5 miles while we visit Navajo National Monument. Trail is paved and has 200' of elevation drop/gain. We will he hiking at over 6,000' in elevation.

Breakfast: Continental breakfast at the hotel prior to departure

Morning: We start our day with a 1 hour "Geography of the Colorado Plateau" discussion to get people oriented to the places and peoples of the areas we will be traveling. Immediately following we will load up the vans and embark for the river. On our journey we will drive through the San Francisco Peaks Volcanic Field, past Sunset Crater National Monument, and onto the Navajo Reservation with a stop at historic Cameron Trading Post, a center for trading of Indian arts and crafts for over 90 years. En route, your guide will discuss the geology and history of the area. After a rest stop, we continue on through a part of the Painted Desert to Navajo National Monument.

Lunch: Picnic lunch at Navajo National Monument.

Afternoon: After lunch we watch a 20 minute video about the Betatakin Cliff Dwellings We walk down the short Sandal Trail to an overlook above Betatakin Cliff Dwelling and discuss the development and evolution of Puebloan Culture. Then back into the vans to continue the drive through Monument Valley, and a stop at the Goosenecks of the San Juan State Park for a quick peek down into this amazing example of the River's handiwork. Finally it is on to the Sand Island Put-In. We meet the rest of our river guides and set up camp next to the River. .

Dinner: Dinner will be riverside after we have set up our camp.

Evening: Begin to let the magic of the San Juan River seep into your being. It is a place of surreal vibrancy and beauty, an enormous natural museum millions of years in the making. Our recipe for a great trip starts with a river that is calm and friendly and then spiced up with some fun but easy class II and III rapids. Mix in some great hikes, a wealth of archaeological sites, stunning petroglyphs, geologic wonders, and amazing scenery. Finally toss in the companionship of your fellow Participants and your guides.

Lodging: San Juan River campsites

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Tents

Description: The San Juan River cuts its way from the peaks of Colorado's western slopes through the high deserts of northwestern New Mexico and southeastern Utah and finally into Lake Powell and the Colorado River. It runs cool and silty at the launch point at Bluff, UT 26 miles downstream to Mexican Hat, UT, and offers sandy campsites below spreading cottonwoods and willows which line its banks. This trip will be a combination of oar rafts, paddle rafts, and/or inflatable kayaks. At low flows we will use a combination of oar rafts and kayaks, at high flows a combination of oar rafts and paddle rafts, and at medium flows oar rafts, paddle rafts and inflatable kayaks.

Contact info:
San Juan River
Mexican Hat, UT 84531 USA
phone: xxx-xxx-xxxx
Room amenities: Starry views, Tents available if needed.

Facility amenities: Sandy riverside campsites. Amazing views. Babbling river. Delicious meals cooked by your guides. No TVs, no phones; aaaahhhh.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Three: Monday, May 05 - Kayak/paddling demonstration and begin river trip...
Kayak/paddling demonstration and begin river trip/Explore Anasazi Petroglyphs

Note: Today we are in the water for up to 4 hours with paddling difficulty dependent on the flow of the river. In general, today is our shortest day on the water with least amount of white water. Walking of up two miles to view Petroglyphs and Anasazi ruins

Breakfast: Breakfast will be river side as we load the boats to start our river journey.

Morning: After breakfast, break camp, walk to the Sand Island Petroglyph Panel. Petroglyphs are rock art that is pecked into the desert varnish in the sandstone cliffs along the river. The Sand Island Panel includes styles ranging from Archaic (about 2500 years old) to fairly recent Indian and Cowboy carvings. Kokopelli, the humpbacked flute player of ancient Pueblo mythology, is represented by many figures on the panel. there is a parade of bighorn sheep, deer, and snakes. This panel presents a good overview of the different styles in the surrounding area. Then listen to the Safety Talk, Watch the kayaking/paddle raft demonstration, practice kayaking/rafting, and begin paddling downstream. The trip begins at the most popular put-in for San Juan river trips, at the Sand Island Put-in. This is along a part of the river that is wide and braided, traversing open country full of rock art, archaeological sites, and other evidence of pre-historic habitation. The San Juan here cuts down into a layer of Navajo Sandstone, with magnificent sweeping cross-bedding lines, and stained with desert varnish.

Lunch: Lunch on the river.

Afternoon: After lunch next to the river, we get back on the river for more paddling and a stop, if conditions allow, to explore the Butler Wash Petroglyph panels. This spot is accessible only from the river or by a long hike. The Butler Wash Petroglyph Panel is over 200 feet long, with overlapping carvings from different ages.

Dinner: Enjoy dinner in the wilderness prepared by our guides.

Evening: After dinner, settle in to camp, trade stories and lies with your fellow paddlers, and relax under the Southwestern skies.

Lodging: San Juan River campsites

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Tents

Description: The San Juan River cuts its way from the peaks of Colorado's western slopes through the high deserts of northwestern New Mexico and southeastern Utah and finally into Lake Powell and the Colorado River. It runs cool and silty at the launch point at Bluff, UT 26 miles downstream to Mexican Hat, UT, and offers sandy campsites below spreading cottonwoods and willows which line its banks. This trip will be a combination of oar rafts, paddle rafts, and/or inflatable kayaks. At low flows we will use a combination of oar rafts and kayaks, at high flows a combination of oar rafts and paddle rafts, and at medium flows oar rafts, paddle rafts and inflatable kayaks.

Contact info:
San Juan River
Mexican Hat, UT 84531 USA
phone: xxx-xxx-xxxx
Room amenities: Starry views, Tents available if needed.

Facility amenities: Sandy riverside campsites. Amazing views. Babbling river. Delicious meals cooked by your guides. No TVs, no phones; aaaahhhh.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Four: Tuesday, May 06 - Explore Anasazi "River House" ruins and continue ...
Note: Up to two miles of hiking over sandy washes with no elevation change. Today we experience many small white water rapids and one class two level rapid. Time on water up to 5 hours in length. Participants can try different water craft to fit their strength and skill level.

Breakfast: Riverside breakfast prior to loading up the boats.

Morning: Breakfast in camp. Walk to the River House Ruin. This ruin contains 14 rectangular rooms for living and food storage, and two circular kivas for religious and other uses. It is built in a south facing alcove,under an overhang that protects if from the intense overhead summer sun but lets in the low angled winter sun. The petroglyphs here include human hands, spirals, mountain sheep, long undulating lines. pot sherds, fragments of stone tools, and corn cobs can be found in the ruin and nearby. There are visible fingerprint lines left in the mud used to mortar the rocks in place a thousand years ago. This is one of the most impressive and best preserved cliff dwellings found along any river in North America. Nearby is the route that in 1879-80 early Mormon Pioneers took around Comb Ridge to the Bluff area, and the ruins of the Baton Trading Post. Pack up and paddle downriver. Today the river cuts through Comb Ridge, which is a 90 mile long fold in the earth's layers and passes the mouth of Chinle Creek which originates in Canyon de Chelly, 75 miles to the south. Take a short hike with your guides and explore the side canyon carved by Chinle Creek.

Lunch: Lunch on a riverside beach.

Afternoon: After lunch, continue paddling and exploring. The river enters a canyon with 800 foot high walls and alternating layers of red and gray rock, and it becomes narrower, swifter, and rockier. Paddle through the canyon in the Lime Ridge Anticline, and through Eight-Foot Rapid and Ledge Rapid.

Dinner: Celebrate our big day with another scrumptious dinner.

Evening: Recount the day's activities at dinner and afterwards in camp. Sleep beneath the stars, listening to the river lull you to sleep.

Lodging: San Juan River campsites

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Motel

Description: Convenient to all area attractions, restaurants and shopping.

Contact info:
2015 S Beulah Blvd
Flagstaff, AZ 86001 USA
phone: 928-556-8666
web: www.lq.com/lq/properties/propertyProfile.do?ident=LQ939&propId=939

Room amenities: 25" cable TV, desk, coffeemaker, dataport phone, clock radio, iron/board, hair dryer.

Facility amenities: Heated pool and spa, exercise room, free breakfast.

Smoking policy: Yes
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: Seasonal
Room rate varies with season. Check with hotel for rates.

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day Five: Wednesday, May 07 - Continue river trip with take out at noon; drive ...
Continue river trip with take out at noon; drive back to Flagstaff/Celebratory Dinner

Note: While today the river turns tranquil, the slower water can mean more constant paddling and less "easy" floating as we work our way down the river. Possible hiking of one mile with 800' elevation gain, dependant on water flow.

Breakfast: Breakfast in camp by the river.

Morning: Explore fossil site along the river with crinoids and brachiopods. when the river emerges from the canyon, tie up your boats and go for a scenic hike up the "Stairmaster Trail." This 800 foot climb lives up to its name, but rewards you with a 360 degree panoramic view from the top, with the buttes of Monument Valley spread out along the southern horizon and the Mexican Hat rock formation off to the west. Here the river is once again out in the open, but it is a very different redrock country as it heads toward the town of Mexican Hat. Paddle past the Mexican Hat rock formation to the take out in early afternoon.

Lunch: Lunch on the river at the Take-Out.

Afternoon: Load the vans for return to Flagstaff. Drive through Monument Valley one more time on way to Flagstaff

Dinner: Celebratory dinner in Cameron on drive back to Flagstaff

Evening: Enjoy a peaceful night of rest back in the hotel.

Lodging: La Quinta Inn & Suites

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day Six: Thursday, May 08 - Departures
Breakfast: Continental breakfast in the hotel lobby.

Morning: Program ends after breakfast.

Meals Included: Breakfast


Free Time Opportunities


Flagstaff, AZ
Flagstaff, AZPoints of Interest w/in 2 hours of Flagstaff: Walnut Canyon NM, Wupatki NM, Sunset Crater NM, Museum of Northern Arizona, Downtown Flagstaff & old Route 66, Lowell Observatory, Oak Creek Canyon, Sedona Red Rocks and the Secret Mountain Wilderness, Montezuma’s Castle NM, Tuzigoot NM, Jerome, AZ Ghost Town, San Francisco Peaks and the Kachina Wilderness, Hopi & Navajo Reservations, La Posada Hotel / Restaurant at Winslow, AZ, Grand Canyon Railroad @ Williams, AZ and the Grand Canyon National Park.
For additional information, visit: www.flagstaffarizona.org

Important information about your itinerary:
Please know that while we do everything we can to finalize all aspects of our programs well in advance, there are logistics that occasionally must be altered. Our website will reflect the most recent information, and we are committed to providing you with final program details no later than eight weeks prior to the start of programs outside the U.S. and three weeks prior to the start of programs within the U.S. If you ever have questions about your program, please don't hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to assist you.

Our Value Promise To You

You won't find a better value.

Included
at no additional cost on this date ...
5 nights of accommodations
14 meals: 5 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 5 dinners
2 Expert-led lectures
6 Field trips
1 Hands-on experiences

Ratings

4.8
Ratings are determined by participant evaluations.

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