Raft the San Juan River

Join Muench Workshops pro Michael Strickland for this floating photography workshop down the San Juan River. Spend 6 nights in the canyon of the San Juan under the stars, enjoying the river at its peak flow in the spring, when it's not too hot and the river moves you through a scenic wonderland at a relaxed pace. 

Floating on oar-powered rafts, you will hear nothing but birds and the sounds of the river. This is a safe and comfortable way to travel, with plenty of room for your camera equipment, and it allows for more time to explore and photograph. Our river guides will share canyon geology, early river running history, river ecology, and many other facts and river lore. Everything needed for the entire expedition is carried on the raft. Our group size of just five guests is nice and small, allowing for everyone to spend time photographing in all the amazing locations with plenty of one-on-one time with Michael. You float the section of the river from “put in” at Sand Island to “take-out” at Clay Hills Crossing. Daily itinerary includes rafting, camping, hiking, swimming, and, of course, photography.

This workshop begins and ends in Flagstaff Arizona where we will be driven by our river outfitters and guides from Canyon REO to the put-in location near Bluff, Utah. Following our seven days on the river, Michael will conduct an image review in our private meeting groom at Goulding's Lodge near Monument Valley.

This will be a great opportunity to raft one of the most beautiful canyons in the west, and capture images of beautiful canyon walls, streams, Ancestral Puebloan sites, and so much more. We will eat like royalty at every camp, where our guides will prepare amazing meals with fresh meats, vegetables and herbs. All camping equipment will be provided.

You will come away with a much deeper knowledge of landscape photography, having spent an intense 7 days around many like-minded photographers in a spectacular location. 






May 10–17, 2019

Fitness Level:

Moderate, short hikes on uneven
ground in desert washes.

Your Pros:

Limited to 5 guests

You know it’s a great workshop when you are totally exhausted at the end, and despite the heat and the dust/sand and the winds, you just want to keep exploring and finding more fun stuff to shoot. The San Juan River workshop was an excellent mix of photography and adventure :)
— Chellie Hyre, San Juan River '17, Antarctica '17, Botswana '18 plus 10 other Muench Workshops


May 10, 2019: Meet at Little America Hotel in Flagstaff, AZ by 8:00 AM. Eat an early breakfast and board the bus to our put-in at Sand Island (3.5 hours). Our trip begins by floating just a few miles to our first camp near River House, an Ancient Puebloan dwelling.
Life at camp is simple and relaxing. On most days, camp will be set up by mid afternoon after an easy morning float. Everyone will be encouraged to pitch in where they can to help unload the rafts before finding their campsites for the evening. Chairs will be set up in a group, and everyone can have a refreshing beverage, a snack and relax for a bit. There is never a shortage of food! Our river guides have camp games available, or you can sit by the river and read a good book. Most afternoons, we’ll take an afternoon hike, stay out for sunset, or photograph near camp. After dinner, we can photograph the stars if the weather is good, or head off to to a well earned sleep. We'll photograph early the next morning and will arrive back to camp for a hot breakfast, coffee, and a bit of down time to tear down camp before heading back down the river.

May 11, 2019: Early start with sunrise before packing up camp and hitting the river. We’ll make a stop mid day for lunch and a hike up Chinle Wash to photograph pictographs and the beautiful landscape. We’ll float to our next camp near eight foot rapids.

May 12, 2019: Another early start for sunrise, photographing upstream at a formation caused by a former meander of the river. Breakfast, and then onto our next camp, which overlooks the Raplee Anticline and Monument Valley in the distance.

May 13, 2019: Float to Honaker Camp (or John's Canyon), where we will go on a hike up the 500 foot wall to photograph the river from above.

May 14, 2019: We have reserved camps at Slickhorn Canyon, one of the most beautiful side canyons on the San Juan River.

May 15, 2019: Oasis on the San Juan! We have another reserved camp at the beautiful Oljeto Wash campsite, where we’ll photograph the spectacular Oljeto wash.

May 16, 2019: Take out day. We’ll finish our float to Clay Hills Crossing, where we’ll have one final lunch and load the bus that takes us back to Monument Valley. Here, a warm shower and dinner awaits our arrival!

May 17, 2019: Eat breakfast and image review and critique, plus Lightroom tips, until noon. Then load bus and back to Flagstaff for departures.

What’s Included

  • Double occupancy lodging (Single available, just ask)
  • Transportation to and from Flagstaff to the San Juan River
  • Sleeping pad, tarp, tent, camp chair, mug, life jacket, and eating utensils
  • Fully outfitted camping, guiding and cooking from river guides
  • All permits fees
  • Photographic guiding and instruction
  • Image reviews and post-processing instruction
  • Fun, Inspiration, and a great time!

Whats Not Included?

Air transportation to/from Flagstaff, Arizona. Alcoholic beverages. Items of a personal nature. Medical Evacuation Insurance (required). Travel Medical and Trip Cancellation Insurance (optional, but recommended). Anything not listed as included.

Payment Terms

Your deposit of $3,495 will hold your space in this workshop. The balance of $4,500 is due February 1, 2019.  All payments are non-refundable which is why you should have Trip Cancellation Insurance. All of our other normal Terms and Conditions apply. All of our other standard terms and conditions apply. Need special payment arrangements for your deposit? No problem, just ask us.

Additional Information

Got questions? We're always here for you. Ready to join us? Click the ”Sign Me Up!” button below and we'll see you in on the San Juan River!