Sand Island Campground's two group campsites are ideal for groups wishing to be close to the town of Bluff and the San Juan River. The area offers outdoor enthusiasts many options for river floating, scenic driving and rock art viewing. Sand Island Recreation Area has a campground, group campsites, vault toilets, drinking water, a San Juan River boat ramp, and day-use area. The group sites must be reserved in advance at www.recreation.gov. Group Site A is located near the boat ramp and features picnic tables, a fire grate, a shade structure and has water nearby. The site may be reserved in advance for groups of 10 to 20 people for a maximum of fourteen days. Group Site B can accommodate group sizes from 15 to 40 people and is located in Loop B of the campground and features picnic tables, a large fire grate, a shade structure, water on site and a single vault toilet. The group sites do not have dump stations or electric hook ups. There are dumpsters located at the campground entrance. ACTIVITIES Auto Touring Boating Camping Hiking Water Sports Wildlife Viewing Photography
I stayed in this campground once in August when the Pecos Conference was in Bluff, Utah. Compared to other campgrounds in the area, it is a little low (4300 feet), which means it can be very warm during the day. However, on that visit it was pleasant, especially at night. Great star viewing! It is spacious and can support groups. It also is flat and next to the San Juan River.
The main attraction is the wonderful Sand Island petroglyphs, one of the best panels in the Southwest. They line a cliff on the north side of the campground. The site seems to have been very popular in prehistoric times, because the petroglyphs go on for about 100 yards. There is even one wonderful visual joke involving a bunch of kokopellis, then a group of big-horn sheep, then …. (I won't give away the punch line). You will want a photo. And DON'T TOUCH any petroglyph. The pressure and the oils of your hand can be very damaging.
Photographing any petroglyph can be tricky, because they can be faded. In early morning, the sun shines directly on the cliff here, which brings out some details but washes out others. In the evening, it is in shadow, but you have more control over lighting. Experiment and good luck!