Dolores River - Slickrock to Bedrock - May 15, 2008

For weeks, months actually, it was a given the Dolores would run this year. A rare occurrence that not many people were willing to pass on. The Colorado BLM and other not-so-well-liked organizations co-manage the river. A chance electronic meeting via the Yahoo Utah Rafters group established the group and dates. As things worked out, this trip dovetailed nicely with a May 20th Westwater and a May 23rd San Juan trip. Although the initial goal had been to do Bradfield to Bedrock, was quite satisfied to go with the shortened section. Weather was decent to excellent with flow being a perfect 1800 CFS. At least it seemed perfect to a first-timer such as myself.

The amount of time spent on the water was very minimal and ranged from two to six hours per day. I think both parties would have preferred more river time, but with the flow and distances, got what we could. Felt the rapids were a little overrated with some not even listed in the guide book coming close to the named rapids. Did not take much effort to move downstream as there was plenty of current. Biggest surprise for me was the intimacy of the river. This is not a big river at 1000 CFS.

Cap And Tom Shuttle Service (970-859-7203) served as the shuttle provider and ran $70 per vehicle. My driver was more than helpful with carrying gear, the boat, helping rig and deserved the tip he got. We had an interesting conversation between Bedrock and Slickrock and I picked up a lot of local history. The biggest trip issue was the number of boats. There were a lot. All river miles are referenced to the "Dolores River Guide" by DeVries and Maurer.

Click images to view trip report details.

Trip report image
USGS flow link image