Dolores River Rafting – Ponderosa Gorge & Slickrock Canyon (3-5 Days)

Dolores River

THE DOLORES RIVER – Colorado’s Premier Rafting trip is “Running for 2020” Through  Ponderosa Gorge 3-Day & Slickrock Canyon for 5-Day in COLORADO

The Dolores River flows down through the high country running clear and cold to campsites under the branches of ancient 100′ Ponderosa pines. These stretches are the home of legendary Class II to IV whitewater. The Dolores begins one of the most challenging stretches of water in the west, culminating in the fury of the Narrows ten miles downstream. The 200 miles of river winds through naturally “painted” slick rock canyons, ancient Anasazi ruins and artful petroglyphs left by the Ancient Ones. Historical sites on side canyon hikes and grottos bursting with lush desert flora will delight your group in this escape to the wilderness. Call us today for group rates and arrangements to suit your date and expectations.

The Dolores is a seasonal river and depending on the snow pack for the current year, this will determine what sections are run-able or not. Even though this river is absolutely one of the most spectacular resources in the lower 48 states we can not guarantee its flows until early spring when snow-tel reports are in.

*Please contact us for more details
*Minimum group size of 12 persons

We are also be able to run single day, 5 day and 8 day trips on the Dolores River upon arrangements made with our adventure specialists. Please contact us  800 824-3795 if you are interested in an alternative length rafting trip on the Dolores River.


Location: Dolores River, CO/UT
Distance: 47 – 100 Miles
More Canyons: (8-10 Day trips by arrangement)
Duration: 3-5 Days
Activity Level:  Intermediate to Difficult
Pricing: $599 – $940 per person


The following are included in your Dvorak Expedition: All boating equipment/life jackets/drinking water.All on-river meals (lunch day 1 through lunch last day).By arrangement prior to the trip rain jacket with pants. Eating utensils, plates, complimentary Dvorak souvenir cup, Waterproof dry bags (3.3 cu.ft) for personal gear. Rain tarps for shelter in the kitchen area.


We furnish rugged inflatable self-bailing rafts 12 to 16 feet in length. We provide all necessary river equipment, PFDs (Type V), waterproof dry bags for personal gear, first-aid and safety supplies. There is a guide on every raft and ratio of 1 to 4 on any instructional clinic. In addition, we have rental equipment that consist of tents, sleeping bags, pads, and ground sheets. We also have wetsuit and boot rentals available per day or trip. You can choose to be either in a paddle raft (participatory) or an oared raft, (passenger). Paddle rafts have 4 to 6 persons and 1 guide.


  • Transportation to the arranged meeting point or put-in
  • Pre and post meals and lodging near the arranged meeting point
  • Personal clothing and other sundry items (See list)
  • Possible shuttle of personal vehicle to take out locations. (Request details)


Please limit your gear to 30 pounds in weight. Drybag is 3.3cu-ft. It should be able to be packed into a standard duffel bag. This list should cover everything for a safe, comfortable trip.

  • Compact synthetic filled sleeping bag (not down)
  • Sleeping pad (backpack size) inflatable/insolite
  • Small backpack style tent w/ fly & ground sheet
  • Long john style wetsuit/boots for cold months *optional
  • Long pants (one light weight to block the sun & one warm wool or pile/fleece type*)
  • Nylon shorts or swimsuit under wetsuit
  • Long sleeved shirts (one warm*/one light weight)
  • Non-cotton shirt or poly propylene top (fleece top)
  • Warm jacket*, wind proof or Fleece, water resistant
  • Pair of tennis shoes - tie on preferred or wet boots.
  • Wool socks will help keep feet warm in tennis shoes
  • Sunglasses with loss protector/keeper (with UV protection
  • Sun block (over 5,000' altitude - lots of UV exposure)
  • Hat for sun protection (tie-on)
  • Rain gear by request from DVK or bring your own
  • Small towel / biodegradable soap / shampoo / lotion etc.
  • Flashlight and extra batteries with new bulb or head torch
  • Bandana and a pair of lite gloves for sun protection.
  • Personal items kit (hygiene) medicines etc.
  • Waterproof camera or a very good waterproof case.
  • EXTRA BEVERAGES - PLASTIC containers of liquor, BYO canned beer or soda. An adequate supply of soft drinks is provided. If you prefer diet drinks, please request them in advance. Complimentary wine is provided with evening meals.
  • OPTIONAL ITEMS: Field glasses with waterproof protection, Journal notebook, book, pliers (for use in taking things from fire i.e. coffee, hot water, etc.), Day pack for side hikes & Extra Zip Lock Bags. Small travel pillow or use stuff sac with your extra clothing.

* Can be excluded during warmer weather


Note: (See List for options for rentals) These items need to be reserved and payment is due along with your trip balance 45 days prior to departure. Be sure to give your height, weight, and shoe size for wetsuit rentals.


      $15 Three-season-Synthetic Poly Sleeping Bag
      $25 One-nite :(2-3)persons dome tent floor & rain fly. $50 two+ nights
      $10 Thermarest Sleep pad, self-inflating
      $20 ‘Paco’ Sleeping Pads (Deluxe)
      $10 one-day Long John Wetsuit with booties. $20 two+days.
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Please read our cancellation policy carefully, as it applies in every instance. If YOU must cancel your reservation, you may be eligible for a partial refund. Our cancellation policy is firm. We operate under stringent federal regulations, which restrict the number of guests per trip and the number of trips per season. We incur substantial expenses before each trip departs. In the event of late cancellation, Dvorak Expeditions cannot recover costs, nor can we make refunds. WE HIGHLY RECOMMEND TRIP INTERRUPTION INSURANCE.


A minimum advance deposit 25% of trip cost per person is required when making reservations. The total is due 45 days prior to trip. Contract deposit negotiations on groups. When cancellations are made more than 45 days before the trip - all moneys are refunded LESS a $100 per person fee. If cancellation is made less than 45 days before the trip, the deposit of 25% per person is non-refundable. With less than 14 days’ notice, NO monies are refunded (this includes all credit card charges).

BY PLANE: Arrive in Cortez, CO and Grand Junction, CO airports prior to your trip. There are several airlines with flights into both airports from a variety of connecting cities. Cortez is serviced by United Express from Denver with flights daily. It is best to book your air around trip from your home city rather than booking from Denver. 5 days or longer trips should fly out of Grand Junction, CO. Dvorak Expeditions will pick you up at your motel at 7:30 a.m. on the morning of the first day of your trip and transport you to the river put-in point near Cahone, about a 1 hour drive from Cortez.

BY CAR: You will need to arrive in Slickrock by 7:00 a.m. the morning of your trip. Camping is available behind the Slickrock Store & Cafe if you arrive the evening before. In either case, check with the store for parking arrangements. Dvorak Expeditions will arrive at 7:30 a.m. to transport you to the river put-in point near Cahone.

Slickrock or Bedrock is reached easiest by car either: (1) Taking I-70 to Grand Junction then take Hwy #50 south to Whitewater, then Hwy #141 south to Slickrock. To get to Bedrock, turn off Hwy #141 onto Hwy #90 just north of Naturita, or (2) Taking Hwy #50 west to Montrose, south on Hwy #550 to Ridgeway, west on Hwy #62 to Placerville. Continue west on Hwy #145 to the Hwy #141 junction. Go south on Hwy #141 to Slickrock or north on #141 through Naturita to Hwy #90 to get to Bedrock.


All trips over 5 days will leave out of Grand Junction: At trip's end Dvorak Expeditions will take you to your lodging in Grand Junction, Co., the afternoon of the last day of your trip. You can fly out of Grand Junction the following morning.

BY PLANE: Arrive in Cortez the day prior to the trip. Dvorak Expeditions will pick you up at the TURQUOISE MOTOR INN at 7:30 a.m. on the morning of the first day of your trip and transport you to the river put-in point near Cahone.

BY CAR: Meet at Bradford Bridge (see map) by 8:30 a.m. on the first day of your trip. Dvorak Expeditions will rendezvous with you at the river put-in parking lot or you will see their van & trailer, etc. Shuttle of your vehicle will need to be arranged prior to the trip. Call for cost and details. You will have your vehicle at the Bedrock take-out around 3:00 p.m. on the last day of your trip. NOTE SHUTTLES: On trips longer than 5 days, you will need to arrange to have your vehicle shuttled to the appropriate take-out point. Cost will vary per length of shuttle ($50 - $175 estimate).

TRANSFER COST (Pick Up / Drop off): 3 to 12 day trips, pick up and drop off by Dvorak’s $30 per person.


After derigging and loading equipment late afternoon on the last day of your trip, Dvorak Expeditions will either:

  • Shuttle you back to either Cortez or Grand Junction.
  • Arrange to have your car shuttled to the take-out at an extra cost. (See your confirmation letter).

Although you can usually make a connecting flight home after 7:00 p.m. on the last day of the trip, we recommend you fly out the following morning in case inclement weather or other circumstances that would delay our arrival in Grand Junction. Remember, "River Time" is unpredictable.


We recommend the following lodging pre- and post-trip:

Our pick-up location in Cortez:
The Turquoise Inn & Suites
535 East Main Street
Cortez, Co. 81321
(970) 565-3778

Our 5 day + return location (Mention Dvorak’s for Rates)
The Grande Vista Hotel
2790 Crossroads Blvd.
Grand Junction, CO 81506
(800) 228-2828
(970) 241-8411

The Ramada Inn
752 Horizon Drive
Grand Junction, CO 81506

Ray's Motel (Closest to Bedrock Take Out for pre-night of lodging: Restaurant across the street opens at 6:30 a.m.)
101 Main Street
Naturita, CO 81422
(970) 865-2235

Best Western / Red Arrow Motel
1702 East Main St. (Hwy 50)
Montrose, CO 81401
(800) 468-9323
(970) 249-9641


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5.0 rating based on 12,345 ratings
Overall rating: 5 out of 5 based on 1 reviews.

Tag along kayaker

Great day on the river tagging along w/ Will and his raft group. Water was a whitewater me once. Thanks again for the shuttle and the wild afternoon on the Arkansas.
- Tom Schembra


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