Naming “Government Rapid” on the San Juan River: How Everyone Got It Wrong …by Gene M. Stevenson

RBMV foldboat crew lining Piute Rapid

Government Rapid on the San Juan River isn’t just misnamed, it’s in the wrong place! The name is based on a supposed boat accident that occurred during the 1921 USGS Trimble Survey of the river. We know it is located somewhere downstream of the Goosenecks portion of the river canyons and upstream of Slickhorn Canyon, but where exactly remained a question in 1956 when Otis “Dock” Marston asked Kenny Ross – “where exactly is Government Rapid?”