Dolores River Rafting
Forming in the high country of the San Juan Mountains, the Dolores River starts as two forks - the Dolores and the West Dolores, joining above Stoner and then flowing into Dolores in Dolores County. The river then flows southwest into Montezuma County before turning north at the Town of Dolores. Just north of Dolores a dam has created McPhee Reservoir, so a portage is required around the lake and dam if starting above the lake. Leaving the reservoir, the Dolores River flows northwest through Dolores, San Miguel, Montrose and Mesa Counties before entering Utah and on to the confluence of the Colorado River.
Scenery is like something straight out of an "Old West" cowboy movie. The high, richly-forested region is absolutely gorgeous, setting the stage for one of Colorado's premiere river runs, though not quite as technically challenging as many other streams in the state. In all, the Dolores flows for over 200 miles. The San Miguel River flows into the Dolores a few miles below Bedrock in Montezuma County. The river drops in elevation from 8,155 to 5,000 feet MSL. Its waters are clean, clear and cold (C3) - water temperature cannot be overstated - it is COLD! The Dolores is almost completely dependent upon snow melt for its flow, so it has a short season usually beginning in late April and ending in early June in normal snowpack years. Above normal snowfall may prolong the season by 2-3 weeks, and the river may not flow at all in years of below normal snowfall.