Wild and Scenic River Suitability
The Dolores River was found suitable for Wild and Scenic River designation in the original Wild and Scenic River Study of 1976. Today, the Bureau of Land Management still finds the Dolores River to contain Outstandingly Remarkable Values that make a river suitable. View map of Wild and Scenic River Analysis for the Dolores River Corridor
Boating the Dolores River
Boating the Dolores River is a unique and exciting experience. Whether you are enjoying the upper Dolores on a day float to town, or if you have the opportunity to experience the lower Dolores River below McPhee Dam, you need to pay attention to flows. Stream flow gages along the Dolores will help you assess your options. While the upper Dolores River flows are dependent on the natural hydrograph of snow runoff and precipitation, the lower Dolores River flows are dependent on both snowpack and the management of McPhee Reservoir. Be sure to check the stream flow gages before embarking on your river adventure, and please note that the lower Dolores River through the Dolores River WSA is a multi-day adventure. For any multi-day trips on the lower Dolores, check in with the Dolores Water Conservancy District to find out if dam releases and flows will allow safe passage for the number of days you are planning on boating.
We will be developing an interactive map with additional boating details about the Dolores River soon! In the meantime, visit the BLM’s Tres Rios website for more info about boating the Dolores River from Bradfield to Bedrock, and the Uncompahgre Field Office for info about Bedrock to Gateway. For info on the Gateway to the confluence stretch, contact the Moab Field Office.
Dolores River Watershed Management
The Dolores River watershed is managed by multiple public land management agencies, each with its own management plan. Dolores River Boating Advocates is actively involved with the land management policies along the river, from the headwaters high in the San Juan mountains near Rico, to the red rock canyons of the confluence near Moab. We will be developing a page that explains the various management plans at play on the Dolores River, including Wild and Scenic suitability determinations. Stay tuned!