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Travel deep into the desert southwest on the isolated and tremendously beautiful Dolores River. Located in southwest Colorado near Durango and Cortez, raft mellow, mild rapids and take in the stunning red canyon walls that rise tall alongside the river. Suitable for all skill levels and ages 10+, raft during run-off season between late May-early June.
Adults: $549 Youth: $466.65
Slickrock Canyon can be rafted as a stand-alone 3 Day trip or as the second half of a 6 Day trip combined with 3 Day Ponderosa Gorge. If you are looking for a mild water scenic desert wilderness trip, far from the crowds, this trip is for you!
A few miles after launching from Slickrock, we enter the short and scenic “Little Glen Canyon”. The sandstone rock here is the same formation that is found in Glen Canyon, now flooded by Lake Powell. Exiting the canyon we enter the salt block formation that created the wide open spaces and breathtaking views of Big Gypsum Valley.
Below Gypsum Valley the river plunges into and divides a massive sheer rock wall over 1000 feet tall. The next 30 miles we are in the 29,000 acre Dolores River Canyon Wilderness Study Area. The river twists and turns through sandstone walls that reach skyward directly from the water’s edge. “Entrenched meanders” were created as the plateau tilted on edge, speeding the flow of the once sleepy river. In places these cliffs overhang the entire river.
You’ll camp on river beaches or sandy alluvial fans where the river passes a number of beautiful side canyons. We will explore several of these interesting serpentine grottos. Deer and bighorn sheep, are regularly spotted. We’ll also make several stops to admire Indian petroglyphs, carved into the sheer sandstone walls.
Our trip ends at an old west survivor, the Bedrock Store, where a scene from “Thelma and Louise” was filmed.
Our Dolores River trips meet at the Cozy Inn in Cortez, Colorado. The Cozy Inn is located in the southwest part of the town of Cortez, about 46 miles west of Durango, Colorado.