The San Juan River
Originating in the San Juan Mountains in Colorado, the San Juan River is a major tributary of the Colorado River providing the chief drainage for the Four Corners region. The river flows 383 miles through northwest New Mexico and southeast Utah before joining the Colorado River at Glen Canyon.
The river carved its way through ancient sandstone, creating spectacular red-rock canyons rich in scenery, archaeology, history, remarkable geographic features, and desert wildlife. Sandstone and limestone walls frame the narrow canyon as the river snakes through the countless goosenecks for which it is famous.
Scores of ancestral sites and petroglyphs line the canyon walls. The archeological record along the San Juan River between Bluff and Mexican Hat is unsurpassed. At the confluence of Butler Wash and the San Juan River is the famous Butler Wash Petroglyph Panel, which features one of the largest concentrations of rock imagery in the Southwest. Many dwellings are accessible all along the banks.