East and West Forks - San Juan River

East Fork of the San Juan River

The lower road-side section of the East Fork used to be a great early season kayak run.  As of 2010 the mudslide that buried the crux rapid has pushed so many trees into the river, it might not be a viable run any time in the near future.  High water will continue to move these large trees down the river and strainers will be a huge hazard for years to come.  

There are some expert only waterfalls high in the drainage that have been run more frequently in recent years.   

A seasonal gauge to monitor the flow below the mudslide has been active for the last few years.

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West Fork of the San Juan River 

A three mile stretch above the Rainbow Hot Springs trail head has been seeing some boaters lately, but the long carry-in deters all but the heartiest kayakers.

Private land and the lack of access keep the lower stretches of the West Fork from seeing much boater traffic.

To get to the Rainbow Hot Springs Trailhead drive east out of town until you are near the base of Wolf Creek Pass.  Turn left on CR 648 and drive to the end of the road.

Note:  You should be able to manipulate the Google map, below, to zoom in, click and drag, and see different terrain, Google Earth or satellite images.

Rainbow Hot Springs Trailhead

Information courtesy of Pagosa Outside