Dolores River Camping Trips

From alpine woodlands to Utah canyon country, the Dolores is one of the most beautiful and diverse rivers in the west.

AT A GLANCE

Season

May 1 – August 1

Participants

We welcome beginning rafters 12 years of age and older. You should be active and in normal good health and prepared for the exertion of paddling, camping and possible swimming. Guides will do the navigating in paddle boats or oar-powered rafts.

Craft

Craft varies depending on section and river level. Paddle boats, oar boats, canoes and kayaks are all possible craft options on this diverse river.

Cost

Please See Trip Tabs

Difficulty

Easy, Moderate, and Adventurous Sections Available

Cancellation Policy

Multi-Day: A cancellation more than two-weeks in advance will result in a full refund minus 10% of total trip cost; A cancellation within two weeks will result in a 50% refund of total trip cost; A cancellation within one week will result in a 25% refund of total trip cost; “no-show” on the day of the trip will void any refund.

Highlights

  • Multiple River Sections
  • Diverse Scenery and History
  • Numerous Trip Options
  • Delicious Camp Cooking
  • Whitewater and Float Trips

Overview

The Dolores River, or “River of Sorrows” carves a northwesterly bend up from the Four Corners Region through the sandstone deposits of the Colorado Plateau. Directly below McPhee Reservoir the river passes through a heavily wooded canyon with steep gradient and many rapids, notably the infamous class IV Snaggletooth section. From there the river continues downstream into a series of beautiful sandstone canyons and across large open southwest country,  past its confluence with the San Miguel river, and eventually joins with the mighty Colorado River upstream of Moab, Utah. There are many sections of the Dolores River, all of which are worth your time to explore. We are excited to guide your journey down one of the Southwest’s most iconic rivers. Choose a section that fits your desires, or combine all of them in one of the longest river trips in the continental united states!

About

Launching at the base of deep canyon walls at the confluence of the San Miguel and Dolores rivers, this trip immediately whisks us away into the heart of the middle-Dolores canyon country. Enjoy days of floating beneath steep and multi-colored sandstone cliffs, camping and beautiful side hikes. This is a great trip for families or groups looking for a fun and scenic desert river experience.

The length of these trips can vary depending on flow. 3 days is a typical minimum, while 5 days is the maximum for this stretch of river.

3-Day: $599/Adult $499/Child (11 and under)

4-Day: $725/Adult $625/Child (11 and under)

5-day: $825/Adult $725/Child (11 and under)

Itinerary

Day 1:  The day will begin by meeting in Naturita, Colorado at 9am, where we will organize any last minute gear and camping needs and then take the short 20 minute drive to the river. Once at our put-in at the confluence of the San Miguel and Dolores Rivers, we will load up the boats and launch on Mesa Canyon of the Dolores River! Note the drastic color difference between the muddy Dolores and the crystal clear San Miguel! Day one will be shorter day as well float downstream to explore the famous Hanging Flume and get to our campsite for the evening. Once at camp you will be encourage to sit back, relax, take in the scenery and let the guides do the rest of the work!

Middle Days:  Wake up to beautiful mornings next to the Dolores River and enjoy hot coffee and a delicious breakfast. Days will be punctuated by fun and challenging class II rapids, scenic river meanders, remnants of the areas mining past and the opportunity for numerous side hikes. Groups that are interested can plan for the wonderful 5 mile round trip hike up to visit Juanita Arch. Enjoy rapids such as Bull Creek and Salt Canyon while you navigate your raft, inflatable kayak or canoe down this mellow and tranquil section of southwestern river.

Last Day:  After another beautiful morning we will make our way down to our takeout at Gateway, Colorado. Once loaded up it will be about an hours drive back to Naturita and your vehicles.

Camp Scene/Gear

Camp Scene: 

Get ready to pitch a tent, sling a hammock, throw down a pad, and relax! Every day we will prepare and serve you a delicious riverside lunch, not limited to, but often including an array of home-roasted sandwich meats and homemade dips and salsas. In addition, our camp dinners and breakfasts are a classic staple of the Far Flung experience, as 40 years in business has not only taught us the principles of reading white-water…but also of cooking and camp ambiance!

***Please let us know ahead of time about any allergies or special food requirements***

Camp Gear:

Following is a list of required and recommend items for this three-day camping excursion. As part of this experience we will provide waterproof dry bags for all of your personal items, camp chairs for fireside relaxation and enjoyment, and any camping equipment that you need.

Please click here to look at a more in-depth list of required and recommended camp gear: Going Camping? Here’s what you’ll need.

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About

After leaving the alpine woodlands of the Ponderosa Gorge, the Dolores drops into a tight sandstone canyon and winds its way through beautiful stretches of river and class II-III desert whitewater. Flows are unfortunately unreliable on this section, which is a shame because of how beautiful it is. On a good snow year this is one of the highlights of the Dolores River. On a marginal water year it is important to remember that this is a great trip for rafts but can also be done in canoes and kayaks for those looking for a more active adventure!

Please inquire for more specifics about this amazing river trip!

Itinerary
Camp Scene/Gear

Camp Scene: 

Get ready to pitch a tent, sling a hammock, throw down a pad, and relax! Every day we will prepare and serve you a delicious riverside lunch, not limited to, but often including an array of home-roasted sandwich meats and homemade dips and salsas. In addition, our camp dinners and breakfasts are a classic staple of the Far Flung experience, as 40 years in business has not only taught us the principles of reading white-water…but also of cooking and camp ambiance!

***Please let us know ahead of time about any allergies or special food requirements***

Camp Gear:

Following is a list of required and recommend items for this three-day camping excursion. As part of this experience we will provide waterproof dry bags for all of your personal items, camp chairs for fireside relaxation and enjoyment, and any camping equipment that you need.

Please click here to look at a more in-depth list of required and recommended camp gear: Going Camping? Here’s what you’ll need.

Contact Us
About

Other possible river sections include:

Ponderosa Gorge – 1,2,3 and 4 Days

A wonderful wooded section that before McPhee reservoir was a staple of great western whitewater. These days releases are limited to the early spring and folks rush from across the country to catch this amazing section while it is runnable! This trip has class IV+ whitewater, great camping, and even side hikes to ancient Anasazi ruins!

Gateway Canyon – 3,4 and 5 Days

This section is downstream of the Dolores’ confluence with the San Miguel, so it is the most reliably run section of the river. Gateway Canyon is a classic Utah river section that has high cliffs and canyons, wide open desert vistas, slot canyon side hikes, and challenging class IV whitewater.

Paradox Canyon:

A nice extension and precursor to Mesa Canyon when flows allow.

Contact Us

BOOK YOUR TRIP TODAY!

Limited Space, book now!

Join us for an adventure that you will never forget!

Have any questions? Contact us!

(575) 758-2628

info@farflung.com

Monday - Friday: 8am - 5pm

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