Dolores - 05. Bedrock to Gateway


Dolores, Colorado, US

Disclaimer

05. Bedrock to Gateway (Paradox and Mesa Canyon)

Usual Difficulty II+ (for normal flows)
Length 44 Miles
Avg. Gradient 10 fpm

Hanging Flume on the Dolores River


Hanging Flume on the Dolores River
Photo by Nathan Fey taken 11/19/10

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
DOLORES RIVER NEAR BEDROCK, CO.
usgs-09171100 500 - 5000 cfs II+ 98h13m 50 cfs (too low)


River Description

SEASON: April to early June depending on snowpack and release from McPhee Dam and inflow from the San Miguel River.

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 put-in at Bedrock is on river left just upstream of the Highway 90 Bridge. There have been reports of car vandalism at this access site. From the put-in take Highway 90 east and turn north onto Y11 Road as it parrallels the river. Once you reach the confluence with the San Miguel River the road turns east and up the San Miguel along river left where it crosses the river and joins Highway 141. You may be able to find an alternate launch site here when the Dolores is too low. Follow Highway 141 back downstream along the San Miguel on river right. This road follows the river all the way to the take-out at Gateway. Access from Highway 141 to the river is limited by the steep canyon walls, but there are a couple potential spots (obtain permission from land owners).

DESCRIPTION: This section is the Paradox and Mesa Canyon section of the Dolores and for the most part you're here for the scenery. This section is most often paddled as part of a longer trip on the Dolores. Evidence of past mining activity can be seen from the river and there is a road along much of the run.

While McPhee dam upstream limits the days the San Miguel River joins the Dolores providing supplemental flows in the spring. In some years your only opportunity for paddling the Dolores is to launch below the confluence of the San Miguel. 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.

From the Bedrock Launch site at mile 97 the river passes under the Highway 90 bridge and continues as a lazy float for about 7 miles until you enter Paradox Canyon. There are a couple campsites in the canyon and a bit of class III. At mile 108 the San Miguel joins the Dolores and the river enters the scenic Mesa Canyon. Launching upstream on the San Miguel may be a possibility when the Dolores is too low, but there's a fair amount of private land around here.

The river passes in and out of scenic river canyons all the way to the Gateway access at mile 141. There are some good campsites along this reach but a river guide is helpful to plan your stopping points. Although a couple sections along this reach aren't visible from the road, most of it is and can be scouted from the road.

Boaters can start from further upstream or 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: 2013-07-31 20:16:29

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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

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Events
Dolores River Releases Delores,CO runs 04/01/08 - 06/30/08
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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.