Dolores River 3-day Canoe Trips (general itinerary)
Day 1: Meet your guide staff at the park in Gateway, CO, located 50 miles southwest of Grand Junction and enjoy a continental breakfast before driving to your first night campsite. This is a car-supported trip and your vehicle will be positioned at each campsite, allowing you to paddle with empty canoes making them more maneuverable.
You will drive to the confluence of the Dolores and San Miguel Rivers in as few cars as possible and launch. Shortly after launching, you will begin paddling past the remnants of an abandoned gold mining flume anchored high above on the canyon walls. This architectural feat is an archaeological mystery as it is unknown if it was ever fully successful.
Paddle downriver until approximately noon and enjoy lunch on the rivers edge maybe catching a glimpse of the area wildlife.
After lunch continue paddling and having water fights until roughly 2 p.m. and make camp at Louise Pit Bridge where your car has been parked.
Late afternoon on the first day is devoted to setting up your tent and possibly taking a short hike to an abandoned mine or relaxing, playing, and floating in the river.
Happy Hour begins at 5:30 p.m. where hors d'oeuvres and wine will be served.
Dinner is served around 7 p.m. followed by campfire activities that may include games, singing, western tall tales, or guitar playing.
Day 2: The middle day will consist of paddling through flat water and intermittent small rapids until reaching the Peregrine Rapid campsite. The guides will supervise running each canoe through Peregrine Rapid and you can choose not to paddle through it. Again, your car will be positioned here where we will camp for the night. You will have time to bathe and relax in the river before Happy Hour begins around 5:30 p.m.
Day 3: You will break down camp after a hearty breakfast. Some of the highlights of the day include Salt Creek and Larson’s Rapids adding some exciting fun to the journey.
You typically reach the Gateway takeout between 2-4 p.m. after lunch on the last day of the trip. Your car will be at the Gateway takeout allowing time to return home.