March 21-23, 2012

$550 per person

This spectacular 3 day trip gives you the opportunity to experience the excitement of mild rafting, enjoy the scenic beauty of prehistoric rock art and cliff dwellings, and explore the infamous Monument Valley.

Raft the river!
Enjoy the beautiful geology!
Explore the ruins!
Examine the rock art!
Have a BLAST!

For only
you get all of this:

Transportation to and from
Bluff, UT *

2 nights accommodations at a beautiful inn overlooking
the San Juan river.
double occupancy, single for fee)

Oar-boat ride along the San Juan

Stops along the river to examine petroglyphs and cliff dwellings.

Visit to magnificient Monument Valley

* Program originates from Casa Grande, AZ,
Other pick up / drop off  points can be arranged

Exploring the intriquing Pueblo cliff dwellings is only part of the pleasure!

Enjoying the revitalizing beauty of the sandstone peaks is also part of the delight!

The San Juan River has a few lively rapids but is mild by whitewater standards.  The canyon is famed for rock art, cliff dwellings and surface sites that together tell the story of the now-departed Ancestral Puebloan civilization.  Highlights include lower Butler Wash rock art panel and River House cliff dwelling. Equally interesting is the upper canyon's geology.   Exposed rock layers evidence the Earth's history; their warping, folding and erosion into stunning canyons makes for one of the most dramatic red rock landscapes in the world.   Highlights include comb ridge, the lime ridge anticline and abandoned entrenched meanders.  The trip almost always affords close looks at desert bighorn sheep foraging at the river's edge.
We journey down a 26-mile section of the San Juan river in about 8 hours, making stops to hike to nearby archaeological sites and fossil outcroppings.

On the way back on Friday we stop at the beautiful Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park where many westerns were filmed and take a Navajo-narrated guided tour in off-road vehicles.

We will stay at the beautiful "Desert Rose Inn" in Bluff Utah.  This Inn is less than 10 years old and boasts beautifully decorated western-themed rooms with many amenities.

We will eat our meals at a few of the local restaurants.  One of them serves great Navajo tacos.

* All trips originate from Casa Grande, AZ.  Other embarkment places can be arranged during registration process.

Desert Wildlife Presentations is an educational company which specializes in teaching the importance of flora and fauna by helping people to understand the wonders of nature through hands-on experiences.

Desert Wildlife Presentations HOME page.

Desert Wildlife Presentations

340 W. Calle Rosa

Casa Grande, AZ 85194


 Click here for HAVE A BLAST TOURS home PAGE

and more exciting trips!
Desert Wildlife Presentations takes care of every aspect of this memorable trip with experienced naturalist Wildman Phil leading the dazzling journey.

On our oar-powered rafts (we don't paddle) the river carries us past orange and black-streaked sandstone outcroppings. This was the home of the Anasazi, the ancient desert farming culture who lived in this area eight to twenty centuries ago. Evidence of their time here is all around us in the remains of their dwellings and the art they carved in the smooth sandstone walls rising around us.

The Butler Wash petroglyph panel is our first stop. Only a few feet from the river's edge, this broad panel is filled with mysterious images pecked by the early Anasazi, the Basketmakers some 1500 years ago.

Journeying a little further down river, we land again and make a quarter mile hike to "River House," a Pueblo III style cliff dwelling. This structure has a small round kiva and several adjoining rooms tucked into a rock alcove. It is estimated to be about 800 years old. After we finish exploring this site we continue down the river and find a shady spot to eat our lunch, under the canopy of cottonwoods.

When our journey continues, the rock formations begin to take prominence as the river enters the Monument Upwarp, a giant wrinkle in the skin of the earth. Then we pass through the Comb Ridge Monocline and the Lime Ridge Anticline. The river here narrows and cuts a deep canyon into Pennsylvanian limestone, and the current quickens as small rapids and riffles rock the boat. Near "8-Foot Rapid," the undulating pattern in the rock reveals the presence of "bioherms," porous mounds in an ancient shallow sea that act as reservoir rock, "capturing" oil which is found in abundance in this area.

If we're lucky, we may get a glimpse of several Desert Bighorn Sheep as they graze above us on narrow rock shelves or a beaver napping under a ledge. Mid-afternoon, we stop to look for fossils in the limestone.

As we near the end of our trip the river leaves the canyon and we pass beneath the balanced slab of "Mexican Hat" rock. Our next landing ends our river trip where Wild Rivers vans are waiting to transport us back to Bluff offering further opportunities to view the dramatic red rock of the Valley of the Gods and a very different passage through Comb ridge than our river trip allowed.

At Monument Valley we will get a guided tour from Navajo tour operators, who will take us down into the valley in jeeps for a narrated cruise through these mythical formations. We will experience a 15 mile valley drive route, with 5 - 6 photo stops in one of the most majestic - and most photographed - points on earth.  This great valley boasts sandstone masterpieces that tower at heights of 400 to 1,000 feet. framed by scenic clouds casting shadows that graciously roam the desert floor. The angle of the sun accents these graceful formations, providing scenery that is simply spellbinding.  The landscape overwhelms, not just by its beauty but also by its size.  The fragile pinnacles of rock are surrounded by miles of mesas and buttes, shrubs, trees and windblown sand, all comprising the magnificent colors of the valley.  All of this harmoniously combines to make Monument Valley a truly wondrous experience.