Dolores - 06. Gateway to Colorado River (UT)


Dolores, Colorado, US/Utah, US

Disclaimer

06. Gateway to Colorado River (UT)

Usual Difficulty II+(IV) (for normal flows)
Length 30 Miles
Avg. Gradient 14 fpm

Photo#880938


Photo by Nathan Fey taken 06/09/12

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
DOLORES RIVER NEAR CISCO, UT
usgs-09180000 1000 - 4000 cfs II+(IV) 01h15m 642 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. American Whitewater has become a leader in policy discussions around Reservoir management, and restoring flows below McPhee for the benefit of recreation and native fish.  Follow the links to the right, for more information.

LOGISTICS: It's a long shuttle via Grand Junction but that also means this section receives somewhat reduced use. The put-in is on the upstream river right side of the Highway 141 Bridge in Gateway. The take-out is at Dewey Bridge across the Colorado just downstream of the confluence with the Dolores. In spring, snow can block the short-cut shuttle through Castle Valley. Inquire locally to see if you can find someone willing to run your shuttle.

DESCRIPTION:

This river sees somewhat limited use compared to nearby desert runs. The shuttle can be long (when the mountain shortcut is blocked by snow), the action is mellow except for Stateline which can be too much action for some, and there's a bit of ranch and mining "history" that detracts a bit from the scenery. But if you're looking to avoid the crowds, this is a trip worth checking out and with supplemental flows from the San Miguel it can be a possibility when McPhee Dam holds back the spring melt and the upper sections on the Dolores are too low. In some years your only opportunity for paddling the Dolores is to paddle the sections below the confluence of the San Miguel and this one contains the most whitewater. The Dolores is managed by the BLM and they maintain a web page with information on the river. Although permits are not currently required in Colorado, once you cross into Utah, a permit is needed.  Permit information can be found below.

The run starts out from the Gateway Launch at mile 141 as a mellow float characteristic of the sections just upstream. A road parrallels river right as you pass through open bottomlands. Within a few miles the action begins to pick up with some class II and III rapids before you reach the highlight of this section at Stateline Rapid. You'll want to get out to scout this class IV drop from river right. After this rapid the river mellows out again with only a couple more rapids before settling out to a lazy float to the Colorado.

Decent campsites can be found once you've passed through Stateline Rapid and into Utah. Here the run becomes more remote as you start to leave the roads behind. You'll find some good wilderness camping and side hikes. There are a couple sections of ranch land and you'll see evidence of the past human history of this area, but there's some good scenery.

The Dolores joins the Colorado and ends at mile 173 (as measured from Bradfield Bridge below McPhee Dam). It's another couple miles on the Coloardo to Dewey Bridge.

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:

 

Permit Information

http://www.blm.gov/ut/st/en/fo/moab/recreation/River_Recreation/doloresriver.html

Required permit can be obtained by calling the Moab BLM field office for a reservation.


StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2014-01-03 19:40:05

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.

User Comments


2012-01-11 06:24:47 (826 days ago)
malczyk (153085)
stateline rapid has changed due to a flash flood spring 2010. At flows from 750-1900 water no
longer flows around the upper island at the top of the rapid. After the upper island the majority
of the water diverts to the right and goes over the dam. The river left has many more rocks in it
and has a narrow run river left. At flows higher then 2000 this may open up more. portage can be
done by lining boats over dam on the right.
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)  

Associated Projects

  • Colorado River Basin Supply Study
    American Whitewater's staff and contractors are working to develop quantitative metrics that help the US Bureau of Reclamation evaluate impacts to recreational stream-flows across the Colorado basin.
  • 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.