Dolores Whitewater Rafting – Ponderosa Gorge

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Dolores River – Ponderosa Gorge White Water Rafting Description:

Find the Dolores River in Colorado

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:

Click Here – Ponderosa Gorge
3 Day Trip Info

Trip Name:
Ponderosa Gorge 3 Day
Sections Included:
Ponderosa Gorge
Wilderness Aware Rafting

Click Here – Gateway Canyon
10 Day Trip Info

Trip Name:
Gateway Canyon 10 Day
Sections Included:
Ponderosa Gorge, Slickrock Canyon, Paradox & Mesa Canyons, Gateway Canyon
Wilderness Aware Rafting

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

Click Here for Current Water Flows

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 ~

Please contact the river manager (above) for information on shuttles.

Colorado Rafting River Guide:

Colorado Rafting River Guide
Check out our detailed information about the rivers you can raft across Colorado.

What Our Guests Say:

We started rafting with you in 1988. This is our fourth trip. Will be back.
Jim L.
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.
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.
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 would like to commend your staff on their great teamwork and enthusiasm. This was the highlight of our trip to Arizona.
Michele E.
Sarah, our guide, was the consummate professional.
Becky M.
Family friend always said Wilderness Aware Rafting was the best. I totally agree!
Angie 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.
Sarah was fantastic! Very knowledgeable and very fun! Best trip ever, even the low water! We will be back again!
Barbara L.
Good job, as usual. Our 5th or 6th trip with WA. Big fans of WA.
Tim S.
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.
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.
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.
From the enthusiastic greetings when we arrived at the office this am, all service was top notch.
John D.
It was the best first experience in rafting. Ben was awesome!! Five stars!
Kirby S.
Been rafting six times around the country. Best trip and guide so far.
James H.
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.
Thanks for the great time on the river. You do a super job of taking care of your crews.
Jan P.
Appreciate your professional and fun staff! Will definitely return next year!
Dana Q.
The trip, your people, your facility never get old.
Fred P.
One of the best times of my life!
Dylnn R.
We had an awesome time. I would definitely recommend your company!
Leona H.
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.
This trip surpassed all of my expectations.
Amy B.
Matt was the most enthusiastic and exciting guide I have ever had… and I have done this a lot.
Carl M.
The entire staff from reservations to first contact to trip guide was friendly and helpful. Our Scouts had an outstanding time!
Ken T.
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.
This was the highlight of our trip to Colorado!
Beth G.
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.
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.
I want to raft again and again and well you get the point…again.
Levi V.
This was my first rafting experience and you guys made it awesome! Thank you so much!
Jamie L.
I loved my experience at WA and will definitely be back with more people.
Cory D.
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.
Very professional yet very informal approach—not an easy combination to sustain—nice team—office included.
Mark W.
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.
We feel we have found new friends in Wilderness Aware and plan on spending time in the future with you.
Susie S.
Very pleasant and enjoyable experience. Rafted four other times and this was the best.
Linda H.
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.
Best time I’ve had on the river in the past 15 years!!!! Will return soon!!!
Dylan S.

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