Project Description

Dolores River

The Dolores River, or “River of Sorrows” makes a northwesterly cut up from the Four Corners Region and 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 to its confluence with the San Miguel river and enters a series of Utah style sandstone canyons, crosses large open southwest country, 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!

Ponderosa Gorge:

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

One-Day: $150/person

Two-Day: $399/person

Three-Day: $550/person

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Slickrock and Paradox Canyons:

After leaving the alpine woodlands the Dolores drops into a tight sandstone canyon and winds its way through beautiful stretches of river and class II-III desert whitewater. This is a great trip for rafts but can also be done in canoes and kayaks for those looking for a more active adventure!

Four-Day: $799/person

Five-Day: $899/person

7-Day: $1200/person

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Gateway Canyon:

This section is downstream of the confluence of the San Miguel river and the Dolores, 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 fantastic Class IV whitewater.

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2021 Dolores Season: Custom Dates available from Late-March thru August. The prime time for the upper stretches is April and May, while the lower sections are often runnable until mid-August. Please give us a call or email with questions: 575-758-2628, 

Scheduled Group Dates:

As the Runoff season comes into swing we will be publishing group dates. Please check back, call or email for the latest info.

The Ponderosa Gorge section of the Dolores River has been a fickle sort of adventure ever since the completion of McPhee reservoir. With that said, there are releases every spring and when they happen river runners from across the country jump to get their chance on this legendary western gem. Join our Dolores mailing list and be the first to know when the release will happen and get your spot on the trip of a lifetime!

Join our Dolores mailing list by simply emailing with “dolores” in the subject line!