Dolores River II-IV
The Dolores River flows 230 miles north from the
Bear Mountains in Colorado lying deep within the San Juan National
Forest. Hosting Arches National Park and petroglyphs and ruins of
the Anasazi peoples, the Dolores River also has a rich history of
gold, silver and carnotite (used to produce uranium) mining.
A raft trip on the Dolores River offers more unbroken miles of
wilderness river scenery and white water rafting thrills than any
river trip in the lower forty eight states, one of America’s
best rafting runs and ranking only behind the “Grand Canyon”
of the Colorado and Middle Fork of the Salmon as a classic paddling
experience. The Dolores River is at its most runnable state in early
spring run (mid-April thru mid-June) for white water rafting trips.
Low water requires the use of canoes for fishing trips which can
sometimes be run summer and fall as well. Minimum age of 10.
47 miles | Class III-IV | 1, 2 or 3 days
Here the river flows down through the high country, clear green
and cold, teeming with trout. Camping under the branches of ancient
100' Ponderosa pines, you can listen to the roar of the legendary
Class IV Snaggletooth Rapid, the beginning of one of the most challenging
stretches of whitewater in the West, culminating in the fury of
the Narrows ten miles downstream.
50 miles | Class II-III | 2-3 days
Slowing its flow as it enters the grottos and side canyons of
Slickrock, float past towering walls streaked with desert varnish
and forming the most enchanting and beautiful desert canyon in the
American Southwest. Hidden in the mysterious corners of the canyons
are prehistoric Anasazi pictographs and ruins. More moderate rapids
in this section of the river provide a good stretch for instructional
kayak, canoe or inflatable kayaking. Camp beneath overhangs where
the “Ancient Ones” camped thousands of years ago.
Hanging Flume Canyon
45 miles | Class II-III | 2-3 days
After leaving Slickrock Canyon, the Dolores River meanders across
Paradox Valley beneath giant cottonwoods where rookeries of Great
Blue Heron and other bird life thrive. Below Paradox Canyon the
river reaches its confluence with the San Miguel River (doubling
its volume) and enters Hanging Flume Canyon. The tattered remains
of the flume built in the 1800’s to transport water to the
“high bar” of Lone Tree Placer Mine can still be seen
suspended hundreds of feet above the river.
Lower Gateway Canyon
38 miles | Class III-IV | 2-3 days
The last section of the Dolores River before its confluence
with the Colorado River brings you Gateway Canyon and offers again
the challenge of technical whitewater thrills. Abundant birds and
wildlife surround you along with Indian rock art, both petroglyphs
and pictographs, found on the canyon walls. We float beyond the
“Rio Nuestra Senora de los Dolores” and mingle with
the Colorado River under the historic Deway Bridge in Castle Valley.
Each of these trips run consectively, starting at the put-in of
Ponderosa Gorge, followed by Slickrock Canyon, then Hanging Flume
Canyon, with the last canyon being Gateway Canyon.
|Ponderosa Gorge 1 day
|Ponderosa Gorge 2 day
| Ponderosa Gorge 3 day
| Ponderosa Gorge & Slickrock Canyons 4 day
| Ponderosa Gorge & Slickrock Canyons 5 day
| Ponderosa to Hanging Flume 8 day
| Ponderosa to Gateway 10 day
*Colorado Govt. Use Fees of 3% will be added to these fees.
To see dates for any of these trips, choose a trip
from the option box and press the submit button above. Once you are
registered, you will get a confirmation email from Dvorak Expeditions
for your trip.
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Alternate launch dates available for groups
of 10+ April 4-June 15, water level permitting. Water levels and
the number of people on a trip may effect the trips being offered.
San Miguel raft trips may be offered as a back up plan to rafting
the Dolores River.
Dvorak Expeditions will assume no responsibility for injury to trip
members, damage or loss of belongings or for time or expense incurred
as the result of a Dvorak Expeditions trip. We require you to read
and sign a liability release form prior to your trip as well as
a health questionnaire.
Because of the risk associated with river trips, including possible
personal injury, property loss and financial loss in the event of
cancellation, we strongly urge all trip participants to obtain vacation
Forms We Need:
Please return the following forms to us via mail as soon as you
have booked your trip:
Questionnaire - Passenger List - Rental Request
Vacation Insurance Form - use the below information for online viewing.
Please see our packing
list and answers to common questions.
Meeting Place & Time:
There are several airlines with flights into Walker Field, Grand
Junction, CO. airport from a variety of connecting cities. Cortez
is serviced by Continental Express from Denver with three flights
daily Sun. - Fri. and two flights Saturday. It is best to book your
air round trip from your home city rather than booking from Denver.
Arrive in Cortez the day prior to the trip. (Note: Please try to book your aire fare 30 days prior to your trip for a lower costing ticket or rent a car out of Grand Junction.) Dvorak Expeditions will pick you up at the TURQUOISE MOTOR INN at 7:30 a.m. on the morning
of the first day of your trip and transport you to the river put-in
point near Cahone.
All trips over 5 days will leave out of Grand Junction: At trip's
end Dvorak Expeditions will take you to your lodging in Grand Junction,
Co., the afternoon of the last day of your trip. You can fly out
of Grand Junction the following morning.
Meet at Bradford Bridge by 8:30 a.m. on the first day of your trip.
Dvorak Expeditions will rendezvous with you at the river put-in
parking lot or you will see their van & trailer, etc. Shuttle
of your vehicle will need to be arranged prior to the trip. Call
for cost and details. You will have your vehicle at the Bedrock
take-out around 3:00 p.m. on the last day of your trip. NOTE SHUTTLES:
On trips longer than 5 days, you will need to arrange to have your
vehicle shuttled to the appropriate take-out point. Cost will vary
according to length of shuttle ($50 - $125 estimate).
TRANSFER COST (Pick Up / Drop off) : 3 to 12 day trips, pick up
and drop off by Dvoraks $25 per person.
TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS AT TRIPS END
After derigging and loading equipment late afternoon on the last
day of your trip, Dvorak Expeditions will either:
• Shuttle you back to either Cortez or Grand Junction. .
• Arrange to have your car shuttled to the take-out at an
extra cost. (See your confirmation letter) .
Although you can usually make a connecting flight home after 7:00
p.m. on the last day of the trip, we recommend you fly out the following
morning in case inclement weather or other circumstances delays
our arrival in Grand Junction.
Remember, "River Time" is unpredictable.
It is sometimes necessary for us to cancel or modify a trip because of unusual circumstances. We reserve the right to cancel or modify any trip due to weather or water conditions or other circumstances beyond our control. In such cases, we cannot be responsible for paying any expenses you may have incurred other than to refund monies due to you for trip costs per the policies below.
Dvorak Expeditions recommends that you obtain trip vacation insurance in order to protect yourself from any losses you might incur if you suddenly need to cancel your reservation. If you have to cancel your trip and have not obtained trip insurance, we recommend you try to find someone to take your place.
Please read carefully our cancellation policy, below, as it applies in every instance:
When cancellation is made 2 days or more prior to departure, all monies are refunded less a 50% (of total trip price) cancellation fee, or the total deposit if it is less than 50% of the trip price.
With less than 2 days notice, no monies are refunded (this includes credit card charges).
When cancellation is made 30 days or more prior to departure, all monies are refunded less a 15% (of total trip price) cancellation fee.
With less than 30 days notice, but more than 14 days notice, a 25% (of total trip price) cancellation fee is non refundable.
With 14 days or less notice, no monies are refunded ( this includes credit card charges).
We recommend that you purchase trip cancellation insurance through Travelex Insurance (please reference locator account # 06-0520 – product # A0105102) in the event you need to cancel your trip with us.
Product No. TR01 05/00
Location No. 06-0520