APA Outing: Bears Ears: Protect and Packraft

**Sorry, this outing’s time has passed**

Honaker Trail – San Juan River – Slickhorn Canyon

Bears Ears National Monument, UT

Dates: April 7-10, 2017

Application Deadline: March 7, 2017

Difficulty: strenuous, class 2-3 whitewater and cross-country desert travel

Minimum Age: 14

Miles: 22-mile paddle, 11-miles of hiking

Duration: 4 days and 3 nights.

Leaders: Forrest McCarthy & Dan Ransom

Group Size: 8

Map: https://www.gaiagps.com/public/FvVx8y1Zf7UFRjamRTFkHc3l

This outing is designed to highlight the beauty and conservation of Bears Ears National Monument. Starting at the historic Honaker Trail we will descend 1,200 feet to the San Juan River. Twenty-two miles of mostly Class 2 paddling will lead to Slickhorn Canyon and a nine-mile hike-out to Polly Mesa and our vehicles. Expect majestic sandstone canyons, ancestral Puebloan cliff dwellings, pictographs, petroglyphs, cross–country desert travel, fun whitewater, and cool spring weather.


Friday, April 7: At 9am we meet up at the Kane Gulch Ranger Station where we will watch a 20-minute Leave-No-Trace video and be issued our Backcounty Permit. Afterward, we will travel to Polly Mesa, organize our car shuttle, and continue to the Honaker Trailhead where will descend 2.5 miles and 1,200 feet to the San Juan River and our first camp.

Saturday, April 8: We will enjoy a leisurely day paddling 14-miles to our campsite at Johns Canyon. Time permitting, we will spend the afternoon exploring Johns Canyon.

Sunday, April 9: From Johns Canyon, we will continue eight miles downriver to Slickhorn Canyon. After drying and repacking our river gear, several miles of canyon hiking will lead us to our last camp at a spring in upper Slickhorn Canyon.

Monday, April 10: Eight more miles of canyon exploration will lead us up to Polly Mesa and our vehicles.


Participants must be experienced, equipped, and skilled in cross-country desert travel and class-3 paddling. Participants should possess a positive attitude and concern for the conservation of Bears Ears National Monument. Participants must be willing to participate and possibly be featured in a short film about this outing and the conservation of Bears Ears National Monument.

Contact Us

American Packrafting Association

PO Box 13
Wilson, WY 83014