Pickin' on the San Juan River: A Musical Adventure with Ben Sollee (May 17-19)

Spend three days and two nights floating one of the most visually striking canyons in the Western United States and enjoying the music of critically renown musician and songwriter Ben Sollee. Along the way we will take in one of the classic rivers of the west, visit archeological wonders, and spend nights camped under one of the darkest skies in the United States. In addition to a memorable experience, a portion of each admission will go to support our efforts to bring underserved youth from Salt Lake City and the Navajo Nation out to this incredible place to learn about the Colorado Plateau and create a meaningful connection with the canyons of Southern Utah.

Departure: May 17 - 19
2 Nights/3 Days: Starting and Ending in Bluff, Utah
Group Size: Minimum: 12 Maximum: 20
Cost: $875

Call 435-587-2156 if you need to put down a deposit to secure your spot. The balance will be due four weeks before the trip's start date.


INCLUDED: Skilled and professional guides, expert staff, all meals from lunch on day 1 through lunch on day 3, a fleet of modern rafts, inflatable kayaks for group use, personal waterproof dry bag, personal flotation device (pfd), camp chairs, permit fees, and river transfers.

NOT INCLUDED: Airfare, transportation to and from Bluff, pre- and post-trip accommodation, sleeping gear, trip insurance, and personal items.

Sleeping package rentals are $15/ per person for tent only, or $30/ per person for tent and sleeping bag/pad.

About Ben Sollee:
American cellist, singer-songwriter, and composer known for his political activism. His music incorporates banjo, guitar, and mandolin along with percussion and unusual cello techniques. His songs exhibit a mix of folk, bluegrass, jazz, and R&B elements. Sollee has also composed longer instrumental pieces for dance ensembles and for film.Over the six years following the release of his debut record, Learning to Bend, Sollee and his rugged cello, Kay, told an unconventional story. Seeking a deeper connection to communities on the road, Ben packed his touring life on to his bicycle in 2009. Since then he has ridden over 4,000 miles! He has been invited to perform and speak on sustainability at a number of festivals including South by Southwest Music (2011) and TEDx San Diego (2012). Closer to home, Ben has devoted a tremendous amount of energy to raising awareness about the practice of Mountain Top Removal Strip Mining in Central Appalachia. His 2010 collaborative album Dear Companion (Sub Pop) brought together fellow Kentucky artist Daniel Martin Moore with producer Jim James (My Morning Jacket) to shed light on the issue. In teaming up with international organizations such as Patagonia Clothing and Oxfam America, Ben has come to be known as a thoughtful activist and dedicated informer at shows.

His most recent album, Infowars released on October 21st, 2016 was his first full length release in over four years. Before that Ben put out Steeples Pt. 2 which is the second of three parts in an album release of the same name. Portioning Steeples in this way, Ben is able to break the traditional album cycle and deliver a diverse array of content to his fans. Within the past year, Ben has complemented his musical releases with The Vanishing Point virtual reality app, film scores like Maidentrip, a technology infused production of Harold and the Purple Crayon, an interactive sculptural installation called Livestream, and much more. Through the innovative facets of his artistic portfolio he teaches his audience that the modern artist has no boundaries.


Tuesday, May 16: Arrive at Bluff, UT by 6:00 pm at Recapture Lodge in Bluff. River guides will provide a brief orientation and distribute dry bags for your personal items. Accommodation on your own.
Wednesday, May 17: Our van will offer a ride from Recapture Lodge at 9:30 am for those staying in town, otherwise we will meet at the Sand Island Campground and boat ramp just outside of town. Cars may be left at the boat ramp near the BLM ranger station. We will have our final pre-launch meeting at 10 a.m., your guides will go over rafting safety and then load up and launch. After a day of floating the river and enjoying the archaeological gems along the way, we will make camp and enjoy the music for the evening.
Thursday, May 18: After a hot breakfast we’ll continue making our way down the river. We will have a chance to get comfortable bouncing through small rapids and taking in the beauty of the canyon. We will camp at one of any number of sandy riverside campgrounds and enjoy a delicious meal prepared by the guides. Another evening with Ben’s music and storytelling will cap off a beautiful day on the river.
Friday, May 19: Enjoy a final day floating on the river and enjoying the relaxing canyon vibes. There will be opportunities to study ancient fossils and revel in the twisting geology of the Monument Upwarp. River section ends in Mexican Hat with a shuttle back to Bluff by 5:00 p.m.

Activity Level: Level 3 - Requires fitness adequate for hikes of up to 3 miles round-trip, willingness to camp along the river, explore silence and readiness to participate in a group-oriented setting.

Note: Activities may vary based on water levels, weather, and educational opportunities that may arise.



Canyonlands Field Airport (CNY), Moab, UT
Boutique Air has daily flights from Salt Lake City (SLC) or Denver (DEN) to the Moab airport (CNY).

Shuttle Service

$80 round-trip. Our shuttle service may be purchased at the time of booking, or call us and reserve by May 12th.

Pickup - Moab airport/Moab to Bluff, May 16th, departs 4:00 p.m.
Dropoff - Bluff to Moab, May 19th, departs 5:00 p.m. (Schedule flights for the following day - airport shuttle on your own)

Pickup - Durango airport/Durango to Bluff, May 16th, departs 3:00 p.m.
Dropoff - Bluff to Durango hotel, May 19th, departs 5:00 p.m. (Schedule flights for the following day - airport shuttle on your own)


Recapture Lodge in Bluff. Call 435-672-2281 for reservations.
Multiple hotel/motel options are available in Moab.


We highly recommend purchasing travel insurance for the duration of your trip. A travel protection plan can help cover your non-refundable travel payments should you cancel a trip because of a covered illness or injury. See the Travel Guard Travel Insurance website for more information.


Additional Info

  • Start Date: Wednesday, 17 May 2017
  • End Date: Friday, 19 May 2017