Friends Float the San Juan 6/11-13

Float the San Juan with Friends of Cedar Mesa

Raft in the Bears Ears National Monument with FCM Staff & experts in archaeology

June 11-13, 2017

Friends of Cedar Mesa and Wild Rivers Expeditions are teaming up with premiere experts in archaeology to bring our first ever “Friends Float the San Juan” river trip. This two night/three day guided rafting trip down the Upper San Juan River will feature archaeology hikes and talks as your float this particularly rich river corridor of Ancestral Puebloan and protohistoric occupation. The San Juan’s upper canyon is an outdoor museum of archaeology with many opportunities to see ancient dwellings, rock art panels, and hand & toe hold routes.

This is the perfect time of year to float the Upper San Juan when the refreshing flows balance out the warm summer temps. The trip is all-inclusive of meals, guides, and equipment.

This is a fundraising trip to help support the good stewardship work Friends of Cedar Mesa accomplishes.

Float Details

Guests are asked to arrive Saturday, June 10th at 5:30 pm for a BBQ and mandatory orientation at 7 pm where you will be given a waterproof bag and box to use for the trip. The trip launches from Sand Island on  Sunday, June 11 for two nights and three days on the river, with a late day return to Bluff on June 13th. Please note that dogs are not allowed on the trip.

Archaeology Experts

Lyle Balenquah

Lyle is a member of the Greasewood clan from the Hopi Village of Bacavi. He has Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Anthropology from Northern Arizona University. For over fifteen years he has worked throughout the American Southwest as an archaeologist documenting ancestral Hopi settlements and lifeways. He also works as a hiking and river guide, combining his professional training with personal insights about his ancestral history to provide a unique forum of public education.

Benjamin Bellorado

Benjamin A. Bellorado is a doctoral candidate at the University of Arizona in Tucson. He is originally from Jackson Wyoming. He received his bachelor’s degree (2002) from Fort Lewis College and his Master’s degree from Northern Arizona University (2007). Ben has conducted archaeological research in the Four Corners area of the Southwest since 1999, including extensive research and fieldwork in the Bears Ears National Monument/Cedar Mesa, Utah and Durango, Colorado areas. He has managed and directed archaeological surveys, excavations, laboratory research, and preservation efforts in the Bears Ears, San Juan River corridor, and larger Mesa Verde region for over a decade. He is currently the Principal Investigator on the Cedar Mesa Building Murals Project. Using, dendrochronology (tree-ring dating), clothing theory, and cross-media approaches, his doctoral dissertation is focused on understanding the role of building murals, rock art, and woven textiles in Ancestral Pueblo societies in the area of the Bears Ears National Monument and larger northern Southwest. In his limited free time, Ben enjoys backpacking, cooking, and white water rafting.

Cost – $890


Register for the float

Sign up today, as spots are limited and this is expected to be a popular trip.

A river adventure awaits

  • Guided archaeology hikes with Wild Rivers Expeditions
  • Rock art interpretative talks
  • Animated conversation under the dark skies of Bears Ears National Monument
  • Delicious riverside dining with new friends
  • All amenities and gear are taken care of
  • A chance to connect with FCM staff about the organization’s vision and upcoming projects.

Author: Amanda Podmore

Amanda Podmore is the Assistant Director of Friends of Cedar Mesa.

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