August 2004. For the second time in 10 years, a waterfall spans the entire width of the San Juan River. The new waterfall is located approximately 2.5 miles downstream of Clay Hills, the take-out for the popular San Juan River segment below Mexican Hat, Utah. This waterfall is in a different location from the waterfall that formed in this general area in 1996.
The new waterfall is a result of low water in Lake Powell, formed by Glen Canyon Dam. The San Juan is down-cutting into its sediment delta as the water level in Lake Powell continues to drop. The river is traveling over a ridge of low sandstone hills, resulting in the 10 foot drop. The falls are hard to see from upriver, and all river runners who find themselves in this area should exercise utmost caution. The potential exists for serious damage to watercraft and occupants who may go over the falls unaware of the falls' existence.
There are a number of small rapids and riffles both above and below the falls. The river is very muddy from the falls on to the lake. The river has good current to roughly half way between the drainage on the southwest side of Nokai Dome and Alcove Canyon. The river looks to be very shallow with much braiding of channels where the current drops out at the headwaters of Lake Powell.
Photos of the waterfall can bee seen at http://www.vishnutemplepress.com/SanJuanwaterfall.html