Camping San Juan arm

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Aquaholic

New Member
We are considering taking our houseboat to San Juan arm next week to see a new part of lake Powell. Wondering if there are places to anchor the houseboat?
 

PowellBride

Well-Known Member
We just came back from 5 days on the SJ. It can be a bit tough finding spots as a rule, and this water level seems even tougher. There are usually some good spots near the mouth, but if they are taken it can be a good 10 miles or more before you find anywhere to anchor. So part of the answer is how far up do you want to go? 10-12 mile in, There are usually a couple spots around Cha and the big bay leading to Cha, Wilsons Creek and Shoot the chute (Syncline) either have several or none depending water level. Another 5-6 miles and you hit the big bay between Paiute and Neshki but that's a long way and a lot gas for some folks. The plus side is a lot less boat traffic.

We parked about 13 miles in and only saw 3 speedboats and 1 houseboat (Trash Tracker) for 2 days. Altogher we saw about 10 speedboats and 5 houseboats from Friday-Wednesday morning. Of course that also means there's not a lot of traffic if you break down or run out of gas
 

apatge

Member
There are very, very few camp sites. The heavy silt starts just at the start of the Great Bend. The debris fields start here too and every nook and cranny is filled with junk and logs and trash. The debris fields block every alcove and changes constantly. Submerged logs are just below water and can ruin props. You can't see them and they are dangerous. We hit two of them. Good luck. The only fish probably will be catfish.
 

Jimbo

Well-Known Member
Is it feasible to ask who are the primary caretakers of the SJ drainage area?
Where does that much stuff come from and where are the environmentalist.
This would be a good issue for their cause and money. Just sayin.
 

John P Funk

Well-Known Member
It is feasible to ask, and relatively easy to answer. The San Juan river flows from the dam at Navajo Lake(Northeast of Aztec, NM), and travels primarily through the Navajo nation(picking up flows from the Animas River, La Plata River, Mancos River, and McElmo Creek(not a significant amount of water, but worth a mention). Historically speaking, any ravine has been used as a convenient "dump", where gravity helps do the work of unloading the truck. When high water comes up, instant cleanup. It just happens to end up in Powell.
 

birdsnest

Well-Known Member
Typically the Navajo Rez does not have garbage service. Iron Eyes Cody did not live on the Navajo Rez. Like JPR said, many washes turn into dumps which flood and then end up in the lake. Don't think you"ll see many enviromentalists welcomed on the Rez. Fairly close knit culture with a bit of history with the Bilagaana.
Is it feasible to ask who are the primary caretakers of the SJ drainage area?
Where does that much stuff come from and where are the environmentalist.
This would be a good issue for their cause and money. Just sayin.
 

Waterbaby

Moderator
Staff member
Our experience even later in the season when the water level starts to recede is the closer you get the the navigable part of the San Juan you will also be dodging floating tires.
 

Bill Sampson

Well-Known Member
When I go the San Juan around the Great Bend area, I usually come back with basketballs and soccer balls. They wash off of the reservation areas.
 

PowellBride

Well-Known Member
I thought Wayne said they headed that way a couple of weeks ago and had to turn back due to debris in the water. We were camped between Desha & Deep and they passed us heading up river. We saw them coming back a few days later
 

Tiff Mapel

Well-Known Member
Yes, Trash Trackers get up to the San Juan at least once per season. It clearly isn't enough, as it is the worst (and most) trash on the entire lake. When I did the San Juan back in '07 or '09, we brought back 24 tires plus several bags of trash. And that was because we didn't have enough room to hold more. I was so dismayed by the amount of balls of all types, tires, (some with heavy rims), propane bottles, and other trash, that I wrote a letter to all the San Juan County commissioners about the problem, to see what more could be done. I never received a reply. I've never contacted the Navajo Nation directly about this issue, but hopefully they'd be more receptive than the commissioners were.
 

birdsnest

Well-Known Member
Why would you think the Navajo Nation would be more receptive? Iron Eyes Cody was Italian. Drive through Kaibeto, Cedar Ridge, Kayenta, and on and on. Not a pretty picture when it comes to trash. So sad.
 

John P Funk

Well-Known Member
I agree with Birdsnest on the attitudes toward trash on the Navajo Nation. With an unemployment rate over 50% they have larger things to worry about than where their trash ends up. It's a sad story, but true none the less.
 
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