Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Diatremes and Anticlines, Dwellings and Petroglyphs: The Geology and Human History of the San Juan River

June 8 - June 11


This multi-day river adventure explores the rich geology and human history of the San Juan River with interpretation from geologist Dr. Flemming Mengel and humanities scholar Dr. Reuben Ellis.

This is a river trip of legendary proportions! Join us on an exclusive multi-day river adventure that explores the rich human history and geology of the Colorado Plateau while floating 27 miles on the scenic San Juan River. Few have the privilege to float down this iconic stretch of river with experienced specialists like Flemming Mengel and Reuben Ellis. This unique adventure will take you through upwarps and anticlines, pondering Ancestral Puebloan life and stories of the past. Don’t miss out on this rare opportunity, and register soon!

The river trip will begin at the Sand Island Group Campground, located near Bluff, Utah, and will end in Mexican Hat. This section of canyon country offers spectacular scenery and an abundance of pre-contact sites.

The river has varying levels of calm water and fun Class II rapids. Participants will paddle a rubber raft or have the option to ride in an oar boat. Each day will include structured and unstructured activities, such as hikes that cater to all levels of difficulty, giving you a chance to fully appreciate the human history and geology of the canyons.

Our trip package includes all the gear required for river rafting, but you need to bring your personal sleeping equipment and appropriate clothing. And the best part? You’ll get to indulge in three delicious meals per day prepared by our river guides. This educational adventure is perfect for everyone, so book your spot now and get ready for the experience of a lifetime!

Where: San Juan River – Sand Island to Mexican Hat
When: June 8, 2024 through June 11, 2024
Number of Days/Nights: Four days and three nights
Transportation: Vans depart 8 am Natural History Institute, Prescott; return 8 pm Natural History Institute or provide your own transport
Group Size: Maximum 20
Age Group: Adults and youth 16+
Cost per Person: $985


Reuben Ellis, Ph.D. is Professor Emeritus and former Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Woodbury University in Los Angeles. He is also a member of the NHI Board of Trustees. As a writer and scholar of Southwestern American and modern exploration literatures, Reuben is passionately interested in the representation of pre-contact indigenous cultures in literature. Among his publications is Stories and Stone: Writing the Ancestral Pueblo Homeland, an anthology of literature focusing on the pre-contact Southwest.

 Mengel, Ph.D., is a retired geologist who spent the first part of his research career on the evolution of Paleoproterozoic orogens in Labrador and Greenland. After many field seasons in the Arctic, he switched gears and worked as a petroleum geologist with both large and small oil companies in Midland, Houston and Denver.


Register Here


Natural History Institute


Natural History Institute
126 N Marina St
Prescott, AZ 86301
+ Google Map