Dolores River Canyon Trail

Gateway, Colorado 81522

Dolores River Canyon Trail

Dolores River Canyon Trail Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"The Dolores River drains the western side of the Uncompahgre Plateau and San Juan Mountains. It flows southwest from 12,500foot Hermosa Peak before making a U-turn and flowing north from Durango, for 241 miles to meet the Colorado River near Cisco, Utah.

The Dolores River is considered one of the most endangered rivers in the United States because of McPhee Dam near Durango, low water flows, high salt content, diversions, invasive plant species such as tamarisk, and a number of other issues. Nonetheless, this trail offers a unique hiking opportunity in a remote and beautiful canyon where the solitude is engulfing."

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Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

100 Classic Hikes in Colorado (The Mountaineers Books)
Scott S. Warren
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"After gathering strength in the San Juan Mountains, the Dolores River flows west and north before emptying into the Colorado River just inside Utah. While still in Colorado, the Dolores River twists and turns through a series of deep wilderness canyons that thrill thousands of rafters, canoeists, and kayakers each spring. One of these canyons, the 30-mile-long Dolores River Canyon, is the centerpiece of a 28,668-acre BLM wilderness study area of the same name. Hikers interested in exploring this corridor can follow an old jeep road, now closed to vehicles, that accesses the first few miles of the canyon’s mouth. Along the way you can enjoy not just spectacular red-rock scenery, but some prehistoric and paleontological treats as well."

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Trail Information

Nearby City
215 feet
Elevation Gain
Trail Type
Skill Level
3.5-4.5 hours
BLM Uncompahgre Field Office, 2465 South Townsend Ave, Montrose, CO 81401; (970) 240-5300;; BLM Tres Rios Field Office, 29211 Hwy. 184, Dolores, CO 81323; (970) 8827296.
Local Contacts
Paradox, CO; La Sal, UT
Local Maps