Advisory: San Juan River Open to Recreational Use Following Gold King Mine Incident
On Aug. 5, 2015, contaminated mine waste water unexpectedly spilled into Colorado's Animas River, which joins with the San Juan River near Farmington, N.M. River water sampling conducted by the Utah Department of Environmental Quality shows that the majority of the mine contamination passed through the BLM-permitted section of the San Juan River in Utah on Aug. 11, 2015. Based on current water sampling data, the Utah Department of Health (UDOH) finds that recreational exposures to the San Juan River are not expected to result in adverse health effects. As a result of these findings, no BLM recreation closures are currently in effect. UDOH does recommend that recreational users bring along their own drinking water while visiting the river and do not rely on personal devices for filtration or purification of river water. Visitors to the river, especially in the case of children, should refrain from ingesting the water and are also encouraged to minimize skin contact with dirt and sand along the river. People who come in contact with sediment should rinse off promptly after contact, and as always, wash hands well with soap and water before eating.
HOW TO OBTAIN A PERMIT:
A permit is required year-round to float any section of the San Juan River between Montezuma Creek and Clay Hills. Permits are only issued through a pre-season lottery and advance reservations to individuals 18 and older. Do not show up at the launch ramp without a permit expecting to launch or join another group. The maximum group size is 25 persons. No pets are allowed.
The San Juan River permit lottery and reservations are now available at www.recreation.gov. For information on the new permit process and policies; including key dates, lottery statistics, and fees, please visit the following links:
PERMIT INFORMATION PAGE
Using Recreation.gov for San Juan Permits FAQ
For trips taking out at Clay Hills, camping below Government Rapid (~ river mile 64) is allowed at nine designated sites only. These sites must be reserved online at this site immediately after booking a permit or accepting an awarded lottery reservation on Recreation.gov. For more information and to reserve campsites, please visit the following link:
CAMPSITE RESERVATION PAGE
IMPORTANT RIVER USE INFORMATION:
The following links contain essential information for planning your trip:
• River Use Stipulations
• Trip Planning Information
• Navajo Nation Camping Closures
• Is my river trip commercial?