Dolores River – Ponderosa Gorge White Water Rafting Description:
In Ponderosa Canyon, the Dolores is a river in transition from a mountain stream to a desert river. It flows through a red sandstone canyon covered in brilliant green scrub oak. The shore is lined with willows and ponderosa pines, and the river is charged with exciting, rocky rapids. The biggest and most famous rapid on this section is Snaggletooth, which should be scouted before running.
Recommended For: Boaters comfortable in the wilderness and experienced at class III-IV whitewater.
Recommended Trips on Ponderosa Gorge – Dolores River:
Dolores River – Ponderosa Gorge Whitewater Rafting Details:
Difficulty: Class III-IV (What does this mean?)
Elevation: 6457′ to 5472′
Average Gradient: 20.8′ per mile
Access to Access
Bradfield Bridge to Mountain Sheep Point: 19 miles
Mountain Sheep Point to Slickrock: 28.3 miles
Total Mileage: 47.3 miles
GPS Coordinates to Ponderosa Gorge Access Points – Dolores River:
- Bradfield Bridge Access: 37.656577,-108.737955
- Mountain Sheep Point Access: 37.795046,-108.826672
- Slickrock Access: 38.030583,-108.884575
Cities Near the Ponderosa Gorge Section:
- Cortez and Durango
Information for Dolores Self-Guided Boaters:
The Dolores River (Ponderosa Gorge and Slickrock Canyons) are managed by the Bureau of Land Management out of Dolores, CO.
- Boating Permit Required: NO
- Permit Details: No fee of any kind is required to float the river, although there are group size limits.
- River Manager: U.S Bureau of Land Management – Tres Rios Field Office
29211 Hwy 184, Dolores, CO 81323
970.882.7296 ~ www.blm.gov/co/st/en/fo/sjplc.html
Please contact the river manager (above) for information on shuttles.