Dolores River Rafting

White water rafting through a magical Desert Canyon on Colorado’s Dolores River

Dolores River Rafting Colorado

The Dolores is a classic western river, unspoiled, with a majestic desert backdrop. In May and early June we take advantage of the warm temperatures and early season runoff to raft this exceptional wilderness river. Enormous Ponderosa pines grow in stark contrast with a landscape of red and orange sandstone cliffs. This results in a striking kaleidoscope of color unique to the Dolores River as the scenery changes through five major western life zones, from the alpine life zone at its headwaters to Upper Sonoran desert terrain along much of its lower reaches.

Dolores River Trips:

TRIP NAME
CLASS
DIST.
SEASON
MIN. AGE
Class III-IV
50 mi.
May-June
Age 10+
Class II-III
50 mi.
May-June
Age 10+
Class II-IV
100 mi.
May-June
Age 10+
Class II-IV
168 mi.
May-June
Age 10+

 

The traverse of the Dolores takes one through an area as interesting for its history as for its rare natural beauty. It is not known who named the Rio de Nuestra Senora de las Dolores (River of our Lady of Sorrows) and when they did so, but the Spaniards knew it by that name when Dominquez and Escalante joined it near the present day town of Dolores, Colorado on August 11, 1776. They were searching for a northern route to the California missions. The unspoiled character encountered by Dominquez and Escalante remains today.

The Dolores River is located about 30 miles northwest of Cortez Colorado, home of Mesa Verde National Park. It is west of Telluride and Durango and within easy driving distance.

Dolores River Resources:

Directions

Directions to the
Dolores River

Our Dolores River trips meet in Cortez, CO, with a short shuttle to the departure point.

Packing List

Packing List and
Pre-Trip Information

Complete lists of what to bring, what we provide, where to meet, policies, rental costs and info.

Gallery

Gallery
Photos

Photos of the Dolores River as well as the other river we raft, area wildlife, our staff and many more.

Maps

Dolores River
Map

Overview Map of the Dolores River showing section names,
rapids and other features.

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What Our Guests Say:

We had an awesome time! All staff we dealt with were very personable and helpful. I can’t imagine anything you could do to improve!
Rusty B.
We feel we have found new friends in Wilderness Aware and plan on spending time in the future with you.
Susie S.
Your staff and guides were so helpful and so much fun. My kids ranked that half-day trip as the highlight of our month long trip!
Patty G.
The trip, your people, your facility never get old.
Fred P.
I loved my experience at WA and will definitely be back with more people.
Cory D.
When I made our reservation I knew we were going to have a fantastic time. Everything that happened today exceeded my expectations.
Mark E.
The entire staff from reservations to first contact to trip guide was friendly and helpful. Our Scouts had an outstanding time!
Ken T.
I started rafting at WA in 1999 and have always had a good time. I highly recommend WA to anyone who wants to raft.
Marty E.
Best time I’ve had on the river in the past 15 years!!!! Will return soon!!!
Dylan S.
This was my first rafting experience and you guys made it awesome! Thank you so much!
Jamie L.
I want to raft again and again and well you get the point…again.
Levi V.
We have rafted round the world and this is by far the best—best trained guides, best safety, best food, best fun. Thanks.
Jane H.
We had an awesome time. I would definitely recommend your company!
Leona H.
Sarah was fantastic! Very knowledgeable and very fun! Best trip ever, even the low water! We will be back again!
Barbara L.
Pete was great. Extremely friendly and he took great care of us and really put our group first. Our trip was relaxing and fun!
Erin L.
We’ve been with a lot of different rafting companies over the years and we have never used the same company twice but everyone on the trip agreed that your company is the best!
Lisa P.
Your internet advertising was great. People who answered the phone very helpful and the guides top notch. Seems like your manager has done a wonderful job. I see why you are a successful company.
Phil G.
This company is quality. Six years ago I did the same trip with Jack, Ian, and Kelly and the quality is as good today.
Chris G.
Very pleasant and enjoyable experience. Rafted four other times and this was the best.
Linda H.
It was the best first experience in rafting. Ben was awesome!! Five stars!
Kirby S.
One of the best times of my life!
Dylnn R.
This trip surpassed all of my expectations.
Amy B.
You are great to work with and your guides are fun to be around and well trained. Each experience I’ve had with you (3) has been excellent.
Dawn R.
From the enthusiastic greetings when we arrived at the office this am, all service was top notch.
John D.
I have rafted with other companies before but I found your company and Mike, our guide, to be outstanding! I will be back!
Joe M.
I would like to commend your staff on their great teamwork and enthusiasm. This was the highlight of our trip to Arizona.
Michele E.
Appreciate your professional and fun staff! Will definitely return next year!
Dana Q.
Thanks for the great time on the river. You do a super job of taking care of your crews.
Jan P.
Been rafting six times around the country. Best trip and guide so far.
James H.
I love the staff!! Very entertaining and welcoming. This was a great rafting experience. I want to come back tomorrow and do it again!
Bailey W.
I work in safety – wish I could get all our regional safety folks to present their safety meetings with the same enthusiasm and professionalism.
Karla S.
Matt was the most enthusiastic and exciting guide I have ever had… and I have done this a lot.
Carl M.
This was the highlight of our trip to Colorado!
Beth G.
Good job, as usual. Our 5th or 6th trip with WA. Big fans of WA.
Tim S.
Family friend always said Wilderness Aware Rafting was the best. I totally agree!
Angie D.
Very professional yet very informal approach—not an easy combination to sustain—nice team—office included.
Mark W.
We started rafting with you in 1988. This is our fourth trip. Will be back.
Jim L.
Frenchie was the best guide I’ve ever had! This is a great company and I will definitely be telling friends about it!
Jamin R.
Sarah, our guide, was the consummate professional.
Becky M.
We booked our trip cold off the internet and found from the very beginning a very friendly and courteous staff that helped out and answered all our questions.
Carolyn W.

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