San Juan Raft Trip – Kick-off to Summer

Kentucky Derby Churchill Downs This is Emily
Emily and Dave KY Derby 2015

Typically we would kick-off spring buying a new hat and fancy new dress for the Derby but this year a friend of ours asked us if we would like to go on a raft trip. As much as I love celebrating the derby I jumped at the chance to go on a river raft trip. I have loved my whitewater rafting trips in TN and a 3-day two-night camp trip sounded so exciting!

My experience with raft trips has been with commercial type tours but this is a bit different. The first thing I learned about this type of raft trip is how to pack. They pack the raft with the principle “rig to flip” which means everything is packed and secured so that if the raft flips and you go into the water you don’t lose anything. Which means everything you don’t want to get wet has to be packed in a dry bag or dry box. Dave said we had 3 bags between the two of us and that had to include our tent, sleeping bags, clothes, and snacks. He cannot be serious, THREE BAGS?? I am an over packer and need a pillow to sleep so this was not going to be easy.

By some small miracle we got everything packed and headed to Utah. It was about a 7.5-hour drive to the put-in site but driving through Utah was absolutely gorgeous! Friday morning we headed out with 5 boats and 2 paddle boarders.

Utah Raft Trip San Juan

At our first stop we went on a short hike to some Indian ruins. They were amazing! Dave had a slight headache so we decided to walk back to camp before everyone else did. We had seen a few cows that day on the side of the river and so I joked to Dave, “What if we get back and a cow is eating our tent?” “Ha, ha” he laughed and we kept walking. As we approached camp I looked to our tent and stopped in my tracks and grabbed Dave’s arm, “There’s horse!” I swear to you there was a horse licking our tent as we walked up! It was hysterical! We shooed the horse away from our tent and down by the river. Fitting it being Derby Day that a horse showed up at our camp. We named him Don Juan and he hung out with us for a while.

Wild Horse San Juan Raft Trip UtahSan Juan Raft Trip Utah Horse

It also poured shortly after we got back to camp and I got to try out my new NorthFace rain jacket. While it was a bit cold the rain brought amazing views of a natural waterfall and the sky was stunning against the red walls of the canyon!

Emily and Dave San Juan Raft Trip May 2017 Utah
Emily and Dave San Juan Raft Trip May 2017

The next day on the river I decided to try out the paddle boards. This was a lot harder than it looks but super fun! Our good friend on the trip sells the KPOD paddle boards. I hope to get one next spring to improve my skills.

KPOD Paddle Board Emily San Juan Raft Trip
Emily on right trying to paddle board

The scenery was absolutely beautiful to float the San Juan River. The pictures don’t do it justice although I kept trying and took a ton of pictures. Simply put it was breathtaking and I am in owe of Mother Nature’s beauty.

Scenery San Juan Raft Trip Utah
Scenery San Juan Raft Trip Utah – May 2017

While the scenery was beautiful the friendships made on the trip were by far the best part of the trip. I think everyone had a great time and I can’t wait for our next raft trip adventure.

San Juan Raft Trip Utah Friends
San Juan Raft Trip – May 2017 – Friends

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