San Miguel River Class II and some Class III at high waterThe San Miguel River winds its way through alpine terrain near Telluride, Colorado and Trout Lake in the shadows of 14,000 foot Mount Wilson in the San Juan Mountains to a desert confluence with the Dolores River, 80 miles to its north. Natural flood cycles and a history of very little development have kept many parts of this river in pristine condition. With 3 Conservancy-protected preserves along its length, the San Miguel River hosts scenic sandstone canyons and mysterious granite passages. Rare riverbank plant life thrives along with abundant birdlife including great blue herons with this river supporting some of the best riparian (streamside) habitat in the Upper Colorado Basin.
As you raft downstream toward the Dolores and lower elevations, the San Miguel’s flora and fauna change around each bend of the river. This is a terrific family trip with the Class II and III rapids along the Upper San Miguel River provide more challenging kayaking and rafting. San Miguel River trips varying in length from 2-5 days are available and trips of 6-12 days are available by combining the San Miguel with the Dolores River and the Colorado River.
The San Miguel River winds its way through alpine terrain near Telluride and Trout Lake to a desert confluence with the Dolores River 80 miles north. Sandstone canyons vie with granite passages for nature at its best. Some rare riverbank plant life thrives here and as you work your way toward the Dolores and lower elevations, the flora and fauna will change seemingly around each bend.
Class II and III rapids along the Upper San Miguel provide challenging kayaking and rafting. Trips varying in length from 1-5 days can be done on the San Miguel and trips of 6-12 days are available by combining the San Miguel with the Dolores and Colorado Rivers.
Our guides are experienced men and women skilled at handling their craft. They all have current first aid, CPR and Swiftwater Rescue training and have fulfilled all guide qualification requirements in the states of Colorado, Utah, Texas and New Mexico. Trip leaders have thousands of river miles on all classes of rivers.
All on-river meals are provided, beginning with lunch the first day and ending with lunch the last day. The food is fresh and hearty and the guides will prepare it for you while you enjoy the homey atmosphere generated around each river camp. You can set up your tent or go for an evening walk, relax, read, or join the guides in the kitchen if you so desire.
A typical five-day menu may include as a main course BBQ Steak, Baked Fish, Pork chops and dumplings, chicken enchiladas, seafood spaghetti, cashew chicken, Chinese Teriyaki Chicken, Mexican Chili, combination entrees, fresh vegetables and salads. Dutch-oven desserts or breads, hors d’oeuvres, fresh fruits, fruit juices, coffee, tea and complimentary glass of wine with dinner.
Lunches are buffet style with a wide variety of salads, sandwiches, fruit, cheeses, sliced meats, nuts and juices or sodas.
Breakfast includes fruit juice, eggs in all styles, special pancakes, French toast, melons, fruit, and cereals with milk, sausage, bacon, coffee, tea or hot chocolate. We can accommodate special diets with advance notice and almost always the menu suits the vegetarian.
You are welcome to bring alcohol as long as it is in unbreakable containers. Discretion in alcohol consumption during whitewater days is strongly advised. If you would like us to pick up a particular beer and bring it to the river, please advise and payment can be made for your purchase at the river put-in with your Trip leader.
By Plane: Arrive in Cortez, Co. the day prior to the trip. You will be picked up at your motel 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 Telluride, Co., about a one and one-half hour drive. Call to confirm times.
By Car: You will need to arrive in Placerville, Co. (the junction of Hwy 62 and 145, which is the turn off to Telluride) by 8:00 a.m. the morning your trip begins. Camping is available in the Telluride Town Park or at various Recreation sites along the San Miguel River. A map of the exact rendezvous site with your trip confirmation package.*
*Trips longer than 5 days necessitate flying out of Grand Junction, Co. at trips end if flying, or arranging a car shuttle to the trips’ end point if driving. We will work these logistics out with you when you book your trip. If driving from Grand Junction, take US 50 to US 550 and travel south to C62 and take C145 to Placerville.
TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS AT TRIPS END
After de-rigging and loading equipment late afternoon on the last day of your trip, you will either shuttled back to Cortez or Grand Junction.
Arrange to have your car shuttled to the take-out at an extra cost. (see confirmation letter)
Although you can usually make a connection flight home after 7 p.m. on the last day of the trip, we recommend you fly out the following morning in case inclement weather or other circumstances delay our arrival in Grand Junction.
Remember “River Time” in unpredictable.
Ages 5 low water and 8 highwater and Up (flow may effect ages)
|San Miguel River||Adults||Youths under 12|
|2 Days Horsefly Creek||$352.00||$318.00|
|3 Days The Ledges||$539.00||$476.00|
|4 Day The Ledges/Slickrock||$688.00||$631.00|
|5 Day All Sections||$855.00||$751.00|
*Colorado Govt. Use Fees of 3% and $2.00 per person per trip admin fee are additional. Our website will show you the total price of this raft trip before you make any commitments.
Early and late trips may need to be changed due to weather/water and trip of 8 or less people.
Our website will show you the total price of this raft trip before you make any commitments.
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.
You can search all the trips that we offer:
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San Miguel River Itinerary
Day 1: Canyon River Journey General Itinerary
General Itinerary for multi-day Expeditions
When you reserve your adventure, you will be taken care of from the time you meet us until we send you on your way at the end. We will schedule pre trip meetings to check our lists and finalize last minute details before you fly, shuttle or walk to the river launch sites. We will fit you out with your personal floatation device (PFD), issue your waterproof bag for personal gear to transfer your river gear into, confirm your camping equipment is there (tents/sleeping bags/pads/rain gear/wetsuit/boots etc.) and gather everyone to the circle for introductions and a river safety talk. Once we are a river family, we will designate the rafters and kayakers to their crafts and we will be on our way. “We are now officially on “River Time”
Right from the start, our staff does the tough stuff – the glory of adventure, without the worry! Based on your input, our consultants will help you choose a personally – suited expedition, a getaway, vacation, challenge or another river feather in your hat! From this point, we will takeover and do all the planning, make the lists and check them twice, the cooking, and the loading and detailing. Kick back and soak it all in. However, if you desire to recall the rugged, rough and tumble routes of “roughing it”, we can go there, too.
Tents or Castle?
Some like it wet and wild. Others like it quaint and calm. You have choices; sleep under the stars in your skivvies, tent on a sandy riverbank, cozy up in a bed & breakfast or luxury base camp with us on the Arkansas River Center in walled tents with the hot showers right next door! Great granite fireplace and pavilion for families, corporate groups and afternoon Bar B.Q. after a day of rafting.
Dawn is accompanied by the sweet morning chorus of the river birds singing, rustling tents opening, and nature stretching its wings and the call of “Cawfeee” hot and rich to your senses. As you make your way to the kitchen, the smell of fresh bacon, pancakes and nibbles of fresh fruit and juices entice your appetite to begin the day. Your crew leisurely shuffles about, while breaking down camp and packing up the rafts in preparation for the days adventures ahead. By the time, the sun moves into camp over the canyon walls you will have packed your dry bag and will have taken the fleece off to ready for the days rapids and hikes to come.
Now that you’re wet and wild, you have explored a side canyon or perhaps walked back in time to the ancient one’s ruins or stopped for a snack on the water’s edge on a sunny beach - your tank of adrenaline has come and gone and guess what ? There is still half the day left. Your guides will set up a banquet of lunch delicacies for your delight and relax as you take in the grand view of this wilderness canyon as you sip a cool drink on the river’s edge. After lunch we’ll pack up for a afternoon run of whitewater and not so river wild water where you can swim or play till we reach our river camp this late afternoon.
River Dance Begins
First timers will rest assured that when we arrive to camp for the night your guides will set up camp and help you or show you how to set up tents. The camp shuffle-dance will begin as the dinner crew prepare the evening meal and sets out your appetizers and cold drinks and wine for after all that fresh air - “fuel for the fires of appetite” will have taken over. We are famous for always making sure they are dinners are plentiful, delicious and to die for! Meanwhile the rest of the day is yours to relax, read, and play river games with the crew or visit with your family and new river friends. The setting will have by now doubled your distance from jobs, freeways, telephones and workday responsibility. You will have sharpened your senses to those around you and will inhabit the delights of this natural world around you.
(Make sure we know when there’s a birthday or anniversary because there will be one in the works from the kitchen crew)
A Good Nights Sleep!
Sleeping well is an essential luxury of any vacation. Our guests bed down in roomy four season tents with floors and flys, warm sleeping bags, atop self-inflating pads. Our bed & breakfast guests snooze like royalty in four-star comfortable choices; (Western, Tudor, Victorian, Eclectic, Country styles). You will find them just downright incredible. As you move away from the open fire after the recounting the day’s escapades and post dinner drinks, hot cocoa, tea or cool water you will never remember your head hitting your river pillow. Just before you close your eyes one last time - look up and see STARS like you have never seen before!
Variety is the Spice of Life
You can count on each day of your trip having some new twists and turns and a wild ride or two along with some quiet gentle moments on the river. Water will be a big part of each day as the full days run is from about 9:00 a.m. thru until 3-4:30 p.m. Some days have more hiking - others are more rafting. One thing for sure is your trip will be like no other and the friends, laughter and experiences will be a good time – every time! Please feel free to call our adventure consultants for more details and do look over the float notes for those special and unique qualities our rivers will offer you. Remember the memories never go away and it is up to all of us to protect these resources for our children and their children beyond our time. The whitewater thrills will fade but the tall tales just get taller every year!
Meeting Place & Time
Placerville City Park
Park is located on the East Side of Hwy.145 in the middle of Placerville.
From Telluride: take Hwy. 145 towards Placerville. Go 12 miles. City Park is on right (East side) in the middle of town.
From Ouray: take Hwy. 550 South and go 10 miles to Ridgeway. Then turn left on Hwy. 62 to Hwy. 145. Turn left on Hwy 145 towards Placerville. City Park is on the left.
We do not assume responsibility for injury to trip members, damage or loss of belongings or for time or expense incurred as the result of this 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 insurance.
What to Bring
Please see our packing list.
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.
We recommend 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