Thursday, May 01, 2014

Updated 3rd Edition of the "San Juan River Guide"

For those who love the San Juan River (and the only ones who don't are surely those who do not know its many charms), a new updated edition of Lisa Kearsley's river guide is now available for the start of the 2014 season.
The new edition contains information on an additional 19 miles of river, covering the reach between Montezuma Creek and the Sand Island put-in with maps and descriptions. As in previous editions, the river maps are constructed using USGS topographic base maps. But with the help of avid river runner Bryan Brown, Lisa reconfigured the position of the modern river channel on the maps. This will be useful for river runners in the wide valley portions of the river. The maps reflect the true position of the river based on Google Earth images taken in 2013.

A new chapter specific to the fossils of the San Juan River canyons has been added, written by long time river guide and paleontological enthusiast Christa Sadler . This new addition explains the various fossil forms seen in the Pennsylvanian age limestones. The guide also contains everything one needs to know about running the river; logistics, permit information, shuttle companies, archaeology, history and biology.

I have updated my chapter on the geology of the San Juan canyons. Inside you will find information about the rock layers, the cutting of the canyons, and the larger landscape elements upon which the river is found. My personal feeling is that the San Juan River region is one of the most spectacular parts of the Colorado Plateau. And even if you do not plan to run the river soon, you will want to add this impressive book to your Plateau collection.

One of the major improvements in this new edition is the widespread use of color in the photographs and diagrams. Here is an example of half of the two-page spread, showing the rock layers relative to the river. A color rendition of Ron Blakey's paleogeographic map of the Paradox Sea landscape for 308 million years ago will show river runners how the limestone rocks were formed.

The San Juan River Guide sells for $19.95 and you can order a copy of the new edition from Even if you have a copy of previous editions, there is enough new information and added color photographs to make a purchase worthwhile. See you on the San Juan!

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