Dolores - 02. Bradfield Launch (McPhee Reservoir) to Dove Creek Pump Station


Dolores, Colorado, US

Disclaimer

02. Bradfield Launch (McPhee Reservoir) to Dove Creek Pump Station

Usual Difficulty II-III(IV) (for normal flows)
Length 19 Miles

41147.jpeg


41147.jpeg
Photo of Andrew Farmer @ 1600 cfs

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
DOLORES RIVER BELOW MCPHEE RESERVOIR
codwr-DOLBMCCO0 800 - 5000 cfs II-III(IV) 00h57m 39.5 cfs (too low)


River Description

FUN FACT: The start of one of the lesser-known multi-day trips in the country

SEASON: April to early June depending on snowpack and release from McPhee Dam.

ISSUES: Recreational users have traditionally been the last to be considered in the management plan for McPhee Dam. A proposal to construct additional diversions designed to capture even more of the spring melt will only make the situation worse. Check with the San Juan Citizen's Alliance for the latest information on this issue.

LOGISTICS: The Bradfield Launch site is reached via Highway 666 and County Road R16 near the town of Cahone. There is camping at the launch site. The take-out for this section is at the Mountain Sheep Point Recreation site, otherwise known as Pump Station, which can be accessed via County Road J.

DESCRIPTION: The Dolores has been a source of irrigation water for over a century. Unfortunately the completion of McPhee dam, one of the last big water projects in the Colorado basin, has resulted in less than dependable flows for boaters and in some years none at all. While the Dolores does not have the intense rapids of some of it's more popular neighboring runs, the camping is superb and one can plan a multiday trip that starts out in the high elevation Ponderosa forests and ends in the desert canyons of the Colorado River. The Dolores is managed by the BLM and they maintain a web page with information on the river. Although permits are not currently required, you will still need your firepan, portable toilet, and dishwater strainer. You will also find a place to sign in at the launch site.

The typical trip starts at the Bradfield Launch and this is considered mile 0. There is an additional 10 miles of river upstream of the bridge before reaching McPhee Dam. This reach is parralleled by FR 504 and is popular with fishermen, but not often boated.

From the Bradfield Launch, the first several miles consists of swift water and semi-continuous class II+ rapids. For those looking to canoe this stretch, whitewater boat handling skills are required along with float bags. Once you leave the road at Bradfield Launch there is no access to the canyon until you reach the Dove Creek Pumping Station 19 miles downstream. There are several excellent camp sites in this forested upper canyon where you can bed down among the pines. The first real class III rapid is at Glade Canyon at river mile 15. The next point of interest is some Anasazi cliff dwellings just past river mile 18. A short distance downstream you will round the bend at Mountain Sheep Point and come to Big Canyon Rapid, another class III. Once you round the point you will be at Dove Creek Pump Station which is the end of this section.

Boaters can continue their trip downstream by taking advantage of boating opportunities on the following sections of the Dolores and Colorado:

 


StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2009-06-02 01:17:21

Editors

Stream team editor

Rapid Descriptions

icon of message No rapids entered. If you know names, and locations of the rapids please contact and advise the StreamTeam member for this run.

No Comments

Users can submit comments.


Do more than just check gauges; join over 5,000 AW members today.


Or, consider donating


Events

Calendar Control Date:
Calendar by Date by Title

June 2008

S M T W T F S
1
Dolores River Releases

As the time approaches where irrigation and municipal demand are equal to or exceed inflow to the Reservoir, the spill will be brought to a close. The goal is to ramp down flows at an average rate of about 100 cfs per day, but the tail end500-2000 cfs

2
Dolores River Releases

As the time approaches where irrigation and municipal demand are equal to or exceed inflow to the Reservoir, the spill will be brought to a close. The goal is to ramp down flows at an average rate of about 100 cfs per day, but the tail end500-2000 cfs

3
Dolores River Releases

As the time approaches where irrigation and municipal demand are equal to or exceed inflow to the Reservoir, the spill will be brought to a close. The goal is to ramp down flows at an average rate of about 100 cfs per day, but the tail end500-2000 cfs

4
Dolores River Releases

As the time approaches where irrigation and municipal demand are equal to or exceed inflow to the Reservoir, the spill will be brought to a close. The goal is to ramp down flows at an average rate of about 100 cfs per day, but the tail end500-2000 cfs

5
Dolores River Releases

As the time approaches where irrigation and municipal demand are equal to or exceed inflow to the Reservoir, the spill will be brought to a close. The goal is to ramp down flows at an average rate of about 100 cfs per day, but the tail end500-2000 cfs

6
Dolores River Releases

As the time approaches where irrigation and municipal demand are equal to or exceed inflow to the Reservoir, the spill will be brought to a close. The goal is to ramp down flows at an average rate of about 100 cfs per day, but the tail end500-2000 cfs

7
Dolores River Releases

As the time approaches where irrigation and municipal demand are equal to or exceed inflow to the Reservoir, the spill will be brought to a close. The goal is to ramp down flows at an average rate of about 100 cfs per day, but the tail end500-2000 cfs

8
Dolores River Releases

As the time approaches where irrigation and municipal demand are equal to or exceed inflow to the Reservoir, the spill will be brought to a close. The goal is to ramp down flows at an average rate of about 100 cfs per day, but the tail end500-2000 cfs

9
Dolores River Releases

As the time approaches where irrigation and municipal demand are equal to or exceed inflow to the Reservoir, the spill will be brought to a close. The goal is to ramp down flows at an average rate of about 100 cfs per day, but the tail end500-2000 cfs

10
Dolores River Releases

As the time approaches where irrigation and municipal demand are equal to or exceed inflow to the Reservoir, the spill will be brought to a close. The goal is to ramp down flows at an average rate of about 100 cfs per day, but the tail end500-2000 cfs

11
Dolores River Releases

As the time approaches where irrigation and municipal demand are equal to or exceed inflow to the Reservoir, the spill will be brought to a close. The goal is to ramp down flows at an average rate of about 100 cfs per day, but the tail end500-2000 cfs

12
Dolores River Releases

As the time approaches where irrigation and municipal demand are equal to or exceed inflow to the Reservoir, the spill will be brought to a close. The goal is to ramp down flows at an average rate of about 100 cfs per day, but the tail end500-2000 cfs

13
Dolores River Releases

As the time approaches where irrigation and municipal demand are equal to or exceed inflow to the Reservoir, the spill will be brought to a close. The goal is to ramp down flows at an average rate of about 100 cfs per day, but the tail end500-2000 cfs

14
Dolores River Releases

As the time approaches where irrigation and municipal demand are equal to or exceed inflow to the Reservoir, the spill will be brought to a close. The goal is to ramp down flows at an average rate of about 100 cfs per day, but the tail end500-2000 cfs

15
Dolores River Releases

As the time approaches where irrigation and municipal demand are equal to or exceed inflow to the Reservoir, the spill will be brought to a close. The goal is to ramp down flows at an average rate of about 100 cfs per day, but the tail end500-2000 cfs

16
Dolores River Releases

As the time approaches where irrigation and municipal demand are equal to or exceed inflow to the Reservoir, the spill will be brought to a close. The goal is to ramp down flows at an average rate of about 100 cfs per day, but the tail end500-2000 cfs

17
Dolores River Releases

As the time approaches where irrigation and municipal demand are equal to or exceed inflow to the Reservoir, the spill will be brought to a close. The goal is to ramp down flows at an average rate of about 100 cfs per day, but the tail end500-2000 cfs

18
Dolores River Releases

As the time approaches where irrigation and municipal demand are equal to or exceed inflow to the Reservoir, the spill will be brought to a close. The goal is to ramp down flows at an average rate of about 100 cfs per day, but the tail end500-2000 cfs

19
Dolores River Releases

As the time approaches where irrigation and municipal demand are equal to or exceed inflow to the Reservoir, the spill will be brought to a close. The goal is to ramp down flows at an average rate of about 100 cfs per day, but the tail end500-2000 cfs

20
Dolores River Releases

As the time approaches where irrigation and municipal demand are equal to or exceed inflow to the Reservoir, the spill will be brought to a close. The goal is to ramp down flows at an average rate of about 100 cfs per day, but the tail end500-2000 cfs

21
Dolores River Releases

As the time approaches where irrigation and municipal demand are equal to or exceed inflow to the Reservoir, the spill will be brought to a close. The goal is to ramp down flows at an average rate of about 100 cfs per day, but the tail end500-2000 cfs

22
Dolores River Releases

As the time approaches where irrigation and municipal demand are equal to or exceed inflow to the Reservoir, the spill will be brought to a close. The goal is to ramp down flows at an average rate of about 100 cfs per day, but the tail end500-2000 cfs

23
Dolores River Releases

As the time approaches where irrigation and municipal demand are equal to or exceed inflow to the Reservoir, the spill will be brought to a close. The goal is to ramp down flows at an average rate of about 100 cfs per day, but the tail end500-2000 cfs

24
Dolores River Releases

As the time approaches where irrigation and municipal demand are equal to or exceed inflow to the Reservoir, the spill will be brought to a close. The goal is to ramp down flows at an average rate of about 100 cfs per day, but the tail end500-2000 cfs

25
Dolores River Releases

As the time approaches where irrigation and municipal demand are equal to or exceed inflow to the Reservoir, the spill will be brought to a close. The goal is to ramp down flows at an average rate of about 100 cfs per day, but the tail end500-2000 cfs

26
Dolores River Releases

As the time approaches where irrigation and municipal demand are equal to or exceed inflow to the Reservoir, the spill will be brought to a close. The goal is to ramp down flows at an average rate of about 100 cfs per day, but the tail end500-2000 cfs

27
Dolores River Releases

As the time approaches where irrigation and municipal demand are equal to or exceed inflow to the Reservoir, the spill will be brought to a close. The goal is to ramp down flows at an average rate of about 100 cfs per day, but the tail end500-2000 cfs

28
Dolores River Releases

As the time approaches where irrigation and municipal demand are equal to or exceed inflow to the Reservoir, the spill will be brought to a close. The goal is to ramp down flows at an average rate of about 100 cfs per day, but the tail end500-2000 cfs

29
Dolores River Releases

As the time approaches where irrigation and municipal demand are equal to or exceed inflow to the Reservoir, the spill will be brought to a close. The goal is to ramp down flows at an average rate of about 100 cfs per day, but the tail end500-2000 cfs

30
Dolores River Releases

As the time approaches where irrigation and municipal demand are equal to or exceed inflow to the Reservoir, the spill will be brought to a close. The goal is to ramp down flows at an average rate of about 100 cfs per day, but the tail end500-2000 cfs

1
2
3
4
5

Events
Dolores River Releases Delores,CO runs 04/01/08 - 06/30/08
[+] favorites
  (iCal)  

Documents

Associated Projects

  • Dolores River (CO)
    American Whitewater is working to conserve and restore a dynamic, healthy Dolores River by leveraging recreational water needs to enhance and support in-stream flows.
  • Lower Dolores Working Group (CO)
    AW is working with a broad group of stakeholders to draft a new federal legislation that protects water and the iconic landscapes of the lower Dolores River.