Easy, scenic and relaxing float trip

Mesa Canyon


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mesa canyon overview

This scenic section is an easy float with some mild features and is a great late season run. A series of manmade dams at the beginning of this run will keep you on your toes, but are easily avoidable. As you enter the Mesa Canyon you will have some maneuvering to do through some of the San Juan‘s mild class III features as the Shale Cliffs tower above.

Recommended White Water Rafting Trips on Mesa Canyon – San Juan River:

Trip Name: Mesa Canyon 1/2 Day
Sections Included: Mesa Canyon
Outfitter: Pagosa Outside
Learn More: www.pagosaoutside.com ~ 970.264.4202

Wilderness Aware Rafting does not operate trips on the San Juan River. Information regarding the San Juan River on this website is strictly informational. Please click here for a complete list of trips that we offer, or use the search filter to the left. Thanks!

mesa canyon sections

San Juan River – Mesa Canyon Whitewater Rafting Details:

Difficulty: Class II-III (What does this mean?)
Elevation: 7090′ to 6633′
Average Gradient: 29.5′ per mile

Access to Access

Hwy 160 to Trujillo Road: 15.5 miles
Total Mileage: 15.5 miles



What people are saying

  • Lydia filled us with confidence. She was skilled and knowledgeable and explained each set of rapids so we knew what to expect. She was great company and we had the best experience. She was brilliant.

    Dwight W. Rafter
  • I cannot wait to come back! Also loved how funny all the guides were. It was the most I’ve seen my sister laugh in a long time! Thank you so much for this amazing experience.

    Lexi R. Rafter
  • I spent several days researching various rafting options and after speaking w/your team was sold. We were not disappointed-the trip is spectacular and our guide Sean was informative, lively professional and entertaining.

    Lauren C. Rafter


Information for San Juan Self-Guided Boaters:

The San Juan River is in the San Juan National Forest and is managed by the U.S. Forest Service.

  • Boating Permit Required: NO
  • Permit Details: No fee of any kind is required to float the river within the National Forest on public lands.
  • River Manager: US Forest Service – Columbine Ranger District 
    367 Pearl Street, Po Box 439, Bayfield, CO 81122 
    970.884.1404 ~ www.fs.usda.gov/main/sanjuan

Please contact the river manager (above) for information on shuttles.

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