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"I never thought I would spend my free time driving around looking for dollar store items hidden on top of mountains under a bunch of rocks."
-Denny Ford of Tres Hombres
"In time, all caches will devolve and entropy will be achieved"
-Steve Gross of Team Tierra Buena
N 37° 10.804 W109° 48.751  (WGS-84)
State: Utah
Stashed on: 08/03/01
Team Members: Jason

Difficulty: 3.0    Terrain: 4.5

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Every year I volunteer at a camp "Arizona Camp Sunrise" sponsored by the American Cancer Society.  It is a camp for children who have or have had cancer and also their siblings too.  Check out their web site for more info.  Each year for the past 4 years they go on a river rafting trip down the upper San Juan river.  So this year I thought I would place a geocache there for others to visit going down the San Juan.

The caches is located just after Ledge Rapids near the area on my topo map that said Soda Springs, so that's how it got its name.  The caches is really only accessible by going down the river.  It is located in a pretty deep canyon steep on both sides.  I suppose if you were really intent on going there you could do it by foot or horse, just remember you do need to get across the river to the south side of it.  There is a very old rock road built way back when used to access this part of canyon, it follows the river most of its length.  If you can find it you could walk it or horse it, just measuring it on my map it is about 4 miles one way in and you still have to cross the river.  The river is a good 30-40 ft across in this area and is usually flowing pretty good, I think it is one of americas fastest flowing rivers.  This is why I gave it a rating of 4.5 for the terrain.  Once you get to the area finding it is pretty average cache so that gets it a rating of 3.0.  The cache is our standard ammo can with the name of the cache on top.  Its got some cool prizes making the trip worth it.  Its peeking out from under some rocks next to a nicely sized boulder, hopefully placed so sudden down pours do not wash it away from its hiding spot.  Please rehire it like you found it, or better if the rocks have fallen away from it.  Look at the pics if you want to get an idea.  Might not be a bad idea to look at the pics anyway, would be a shame to go all that way and not find it.

This is area of the San Juan is so great to visit why would you just want to hit a cache and leave.  So find a river raft company and take a trip down the river.  We use AzRA - Arizona Rafting Adventures there awesome!!!  Tell them you heard about them from Arizona Camp Sunrise.  The trip we do is a 3 day trip with camping and hiking along the way.  There are some river companies that offer day trips down the whole length also so you could do it in a day probably.  The San Juan is a great river to raft down it is also full of ancient ruins and petroglyphs (etched art) of the Anaasazi.  Quite a very historical area and its scenery is spectacular too, if you get a good rafting company they can tell you all about it. Also please respect the area if you go here, do not take any of the artifacts or touch the petroglyphs as that causes them to deteriorate and nothing would be left for others to enjoy.  Any way on to some cool stuff....

Side note... there are 3 other caches within 10 miles of this San Juan cache.  They are located in the Valley of the Gods.

Here are some great places to stop at take a look around and places to camp as well.

N37 15.769 W109 36.567 - Sand Island - Starting Point for the trip, camping area, and loading ramp for rafting trips.

N37 15.713 W109 37.149 - Sand Island Petroglyphs - check out some ancient art before you head out on your trip down the river.

N37 14.218 W109 39.823 - Stopping point at Butler Wash to check out some petroglyphs and a cool indian birthing hole.  It is about a 1.3 mile hike back to the birthing hole and the petroglyphs, just follow the creek bed back to the way point below.  A lot of bush whacking.

N37 15.211 W109 39.682 - Birthing Hole and Petroglyphs.

N37 13.961 W109 40.145 - This is something I marked my first time on the trip in 99 don't remember exactly what it is I did mark it as scenic and labeled it BLFBUT, maybe bluff butte or something check it out maybe you will be surprised.  I think it is some more petroglyphs on the wall.

N37 13.419 W109 40.373 - Stopping point for following petroglyphs.

N37 13.404 W109 40.186
N37 13.418 W109 40.064 - These are the waypoints for both ends of this long wall covered with petroglyphs.  You will notice some of the petroglyphs are etched out, this was done by the Navajo indians back in the 30's or so because they believed these old Anasazi petroglyphs on their land were causing the whooping cough plague going around.

N37 13.089 W109 41.558 - This is a great camping spot close to a bunch of great sites just across the river.
N37 13.106 W109 41.955 - We camped here as well on some previous year on same side as river makes it easier to visit great sites.

N37 13.150 W109 41.745 - This is the stopping point for all the great sites to follow below.

N37 13.733 W109 41.804 - Really awesome view up San Juan Hill.  You can hike up the old Mormon Pioneer road to the east of the stopping point and Bill's Knob.  Hard to believe they actually used to go up and down this road let alone in old wooden wagons.

N37 13.360 W109 41.741 - In front of Bill's Knob a weird looking rock formation just to the North of this spot.

N37 13.177 W109 41.688 - This is the old Barton Trading Post ruins.  The old pioneer trail used to go right by here.

N37 13.171 W109 41.590 - This was Barton's water wheel he built to help do work by using the power of the river to turn it.  He never used it much since it was destroyed first season after it was done by floods.

N37 13.340 W109 41.485 - Some ancient artifacts of pottery, jewelry and arrow heads and tools.  Please look but do not take anything live it for others to enjoy also.

N37 13.360 W109 41.494 - A few petroglyphs and some old mud and rock walls.  Probably part of the granary.

N37 13.372 W109 41.348 - The granary.  You can see mud and rock walls they used to build storage areas for the grains during the off seasons.  These are built right into the side of the rock mountain.

N37 13.371 W109 41.292 - River House Ruins.  This an ancient house cliff dwelling.  Very well in tact.  It contains pictographs (painted art) on the walls and other old artifacts around like some pottery and old corn cobs, that kind of stuff.  Remember please only look and don't touch the walls or take anything from this place.  Many of these places are still sacred so treat them as such.

N37 12.729 W109 42.866 - Another place we have camped over the years.

N37 11.594 W109 43.813 - Place to stop for some lunch or what not. Just a bit before Four Foot Rapids.

N37 12.384 W109 44.422 - Four Foot Rapids

N37 11.000 W109 47.061 - Another place we stopped for lunch at sometime.  Just before Eight Foot Rapids

N37 11.117 W109 47.105 - Eight Foot Rapids

N37 10.999 W109 48.738 - Ledge Rapids

N37 10.914 W109 48.761 - Camping and stopping point for this San Juan - Soda Springs Cache.  This is a great spot to camp you can listen to the rapids all night and swim in the circular currents next to the rapids.

N37 10.871 W109 48.767 - Some cool looking rocks. I found a weird rock here think it is some crystalized calcium or limestone.

N37 10.824 W109 48.748 - Big diamond shaped rock, if i remember right.

N37 10.804 W109 48.751 - The San Juan - Soda Springs Cache!!!  Also saw some cool mountain goats here as well about 10 of them.

N37 10.768 W109 49.812 - Stopping point for the start of the Stair Master Hike.

N37 10.707 W109 49.772 - Stair Master Hike finish point.  Awesome view of Mexican hat and Monument Valley.  Worth the hike up.

N37 10.448 W109 50.921 - Mexican Hat Rock.  Pretty cool balanced rock and you'll see why it gets its name.

N37 08.836 W109 51.235 - Take Out!!!  End of the trip. :(

If you find any other interesting things email me or note them in the log so I can add them to the site for others to enjoy.

Have fun!!!

-Team Snaptek

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