Paddle through the pink Granite walls of Browns Canyon National Monument and enjoy whitewater thrills on the Arkansas River. Put in near Buena Vista, Colorado, and travel 12 miles through remote wilderness where wildlife still resides in natural beauty under the big Colorado sky.
Ponderosa Gorge + Slickrock Canyon Rafting Trip
- 5 Days, 4 Nights
- Adult Ages 13+
- Child Ages 10-12
This trip will change your life!
Rapids: Class II-IV
The Dolores River is second only to the Grand Canyon in unbroken miles and quality of whitewater, making it one of the best river trips in USA. Begins high in the San Juan mountains, the waters reflect the green of the Ponderosa pines that line its banks. The river winds through Slick Rock Canyon where the roar of whitewater only breaks the silence. Several side canyons contain fascinating prehistoric Anasazi pictographs and ruins. It is slick rock, quiet water, tree lined campsites and whitewater, a river of many moods, one that will change your view of life.
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 grotto’s 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.
Included in your trip
- 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.
- Transportation to the arranged meeting point or put-in (see below)
- Pre and post meals and lodging near the arranged meeting point
- Personal clothing and other sundry items (see list below and in confirmation email)
- Possible shuttle of personal vehicle to take out locations. (Add during checkout and call afterwards to confirm)
By Plane: Arrive at Cortez, CO airport prior to your trip. Cortez is serviced by United Express from Denver with flights daily. It is best to book your air roundtrip from your home city rather than booking from Denver. Add a shuttle at checkout and Dvorak Expeditions will pick you up at your motel at 7:00am on the morning of the first day of your trip and transport you to the river put-in point near Cahone, about an hour drive from Cortez.
By Car: Meet at Bradfield Bridge in Cahone, CO by 7:00am on the first day of your trip. Dvorak Expeditions will rendezvous with you at the river put-in parking lot or you will see our van & trailer, etc. Shuttle of your vehicle will need to be arranged prior to the trip (you can add this at checkout). You will have your vehicle at the Bedrock take-out around 3:00pm on the last day of your trip.
Sleeping bags and pads, tents, wetsuits – we’ve got it all!
After you add your trip to your online cart here, you will be prompted to add Raft Trip Equipment Rentals. Choose your trip start date and time then choose your trip length.
Please limit your gear to 30 pounds in weight. The provided 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) – rentals available
- Sleeping pad (backpack size) inflatable/insolite – rentals available
- Small backpack style tent w/ fly & ground sheet – rentals available
- Long john style wetsuit/boots for cold months* – rentals available
- 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 – rentals available at no cost (add Splash Jacket when adding rentals)
- 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
Gratuities are not included in your trip cost. While tipping is done at your discretion, tipping is one of the gauges we use in terms of customer satisfaction. If you are ever not satisfied, please let us know so that we can adjust our expeditions in the future.