Dolores River

Bureau of Land Management, Utah.

The Utah section of the Dolores River offers technical rapids, stunning scenery, wildlife viewing, side-canyon hiking, and camping. A free permit is required and may be obtained by calling the BLM Moab Field Office at (435) 259-2100 between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday (excluding Federal Holidays). Permits are emailed or faxed and trip leaders must sign and carry the permit on the river to be authorized. Please contact the BLM Moab Office several days in advance of your trip or if you need to make changes before your launch date. All boaters must read and adhere to all stipulations of the permit.

The primary challenge for running this river is the erratic and short (sometimes non-existent) boating season. Flows generally peak between late April and early May. Stream flow conditions can be found on the U.S. Geological Survey website.

Rapids on this section range from class I to class IV, and the most challenging rapid is near the Utah and Colorado stateline. The "Stateline Rapid" is a mile-long rock garden and requires excellent scouting (from river right) and quick maneuvering at all water levels. Mistakes in this rapid can result in a very long and dangerous swim. Many groups choose to put in below this rapid. A pdf map is available at Suggested minimum flows are: 200 cfs for canoes, kayaks, and duckies, 800 cfs for rafts less than 14 feet, and 1000 cfs for rafts larger than 14 feet. Bring an adequate amount of drinking water as the Dolores and its tributaries are unfit for human consumption. Land ownership along the Dolores River is mixed, please respect the rights of private landowners.

For the portion of the Dolores River that flows through Colorado, please contact the Tres Rios Field Office. Private trips do not require a permit for boating the Dolores River through Colorado. More information on stream flows can be found on the Dolores Water Conservancy District website.

Activities and Experiences

Nearby Activities


The Dolores River confluence with the Colorado River is located just upstream from Dewey Bridge on Utah Highway 128.