Gentle rafting amidst Colorado desert beauty

Dominguez-Escalante Canyon


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dominguez-escalante canyon overview

A relatively isolated and mild section of the Gunnison River, Dominguez-Escalante Canyon offers boaters a scenic section of gentle flowing river, side hikes to waterfalls and petroglyphs and camping under the stars.

Recommended Trips on Dominguez-Escalante Canyon – Gunnison River:

Trip Name: Dominguez to Escalante Canyon
Sections Included: Dominguez-Escalante Canyon
Outfitter: Gunnison River Expeditions
Learn More: ~ 970.874.8184

Wilderness Aware Rafting does not operate trips on the Dominguez-Escalante section of the Gunnison River. Information regarding this section on this website is strictly informational. We offer trips on the Gunnison Gorge section. Please click here for a complete list of trips that we offer, or use the search filter to the left. Thanks!

dominguez-escalante canyon sections

Gunnison River – Dominguez-Escalante Canyon Whitewater Rafting Details:

Difficulty: Class I-II (What does this mean?)
Elevation: 4826′ to 4642′
Average Gradient: 7.1′ per mile

Access to Access

Escalante Canyon Rd to Bridgeport Road: 13.0 miles
Bridgeport Road to Whitewater: 13.0 miles
Total Mileage: 26.0 miles



What people are saying

  • Lydia filled us with confidence. She was skilled and knowledgeable and explained each set of rapids so we knew what to expect. She was great company and we had the best experience. She was brilliant.

    Dwight W. Rafter
  • I cannot wait to come back! Also loved how funny all the guides were. It was the most I’ve seen my sister laugh in a long time! Thank you so much for this amazing experience.

    Lexi R. Rafter
  • I spent several days researching various rafting options and after speaking w/your team was sold. We were not disappointed-the trip is spectacular and our guide Sean was informative, lively professional and entertaining.

    Lauren C. Rafter


Information for Gunnison River Self-Guided Boaters:

The Gunnison River (Gunnison Gorge, Lower Gunnison and Dominguez-Escalante Canyon) are managed by the Bureau of Land Management out of Montrose, CO.

  • Boating Permit Required: NO
  • Permit Details: No fee of any kind is required to float the river, but you do need to buy a pass to use the BLM managed and private access sites.
  • River Manager: U.S Bureau of Land Management – Uncompahgre Field Office 
    2465 S. Townsend Ave, Montrose, CO 81401 
    970.240.5300 ~

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

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