Dolores River

At Dolores, CO



River Guide – Plan Now. Boat Later.

If you’re anything like us we’re taking this opportunity of physical distancing to clean out the garage, wash down the boat and day dream of our next big river trip. To help you with your river day blues DRBA is proud to announce the launch of the new Dolores River Guide.

Plan now, boat later.


DRBA offers the following recommendations based on the governor’s “Safer at Home” guidelines and our research and contact with many public land agencies, towns and counties where the Dolores flows.   

The first part of our mission is, “DOLORES RIVER BOATING ADVOCATES PROMOTES RESPONSIBLE RECREATIONAL USE.” That is what we are recommending within the context of COVID-19. 

The governor’s “Safer at Home” orders include the following guidelines that affect outdoor recreation:

Many local governments have enacted their own restrictions and these will likely change over time. If you go, check with these local authorities on ever changing conditions and recommendations with respect to COVID-19. The following are the hyperlinks for the Sheriff’s offices and County and Regional Departments of Health of the Dolores watershed.


Montezuma County Sheriff

Montezuma County Department of Health

Dolores County Sheriff

Dolores County Department of Health

San Miguel County Sheriff

San Miguel County Department of Health

Montrose County Sheriff

Montrose County Department of Health

Mesa County Sheriff

Mesa County Department of Health


Grand County Sheriff

Southeast Utah Health Department

An important consideration is that the Dolores River runs through small towns and rural counties in Southwest Colorado and Southeast Utah, and many of these places do not have extensive medical facilities and have very few confirmed positive cases of COVID-19.  Please follow local government recommendations.  If they request that you stay away, please respect these requests.  Avoid stopping for supplies or fuel in these places.

Private Property access is always off limits without permission from landowners.  Thus far the river stretches that are in BLM land will be open to camping, with the exception of the Utah Moab Field Office where camping is currently closed which includes all BLM land along the Dolores in Utah.  Public officials have told us clearly that if there are too many people congregating at access points they may be forced to close them to the public.  

Do not endanger yourself or others.  If you do go boating, only run sections close to home that are easy for you and below your normal skill level.  Stay sharp.  Don’t be the boater that has to call for help. Search and Rescue does not need additional risk this year. And don’t get hurt. Hospitals need to maintain space and supplies in the case of new local Covid cases. 

In the midst of this public health emergency, it may not be the best year to go boating. If you find yourself inclined to go boating, here are other recommendations to consider:  



The Dolores River Boating Advocates, Inc. (DRBA) does not represent, warrant or guarantee that the information it provides on the Dolores River boating conditions and hazards are current, complete or accurate. The DRBA does not assume any liability whatsoever for how this information is used. River conditions and hazards change minute by minute, especially during the spring runoff. The information the DRBA provides is not a substitute for scouting and vigilance. There may be dangerous unreported hazards, including, but not limited to, low overhanging bridges, and debris and fences in the river. Whitewater rafting and river sports are inherently dangerous activities which can result in death, injury and loss of property. You alone are responsible to ensure that you possess the necessary skills, preparation and equipment to navigate the Dolores River safely and that you are aware of your location at all times so that you can respect the rights of private landowners. Feel free to send us your observations of current conditions and hazards.
Dolores River Boating Advocates formed in 2011 in response to concerns about the ecological and recreational values of the lower Dolores River, which had been jeopardized by low flows. DRBA is a small organization with great passion and impact. In our vision, the river and river corridor will have permanent protection as part of BLM’s National Conservations Lands, whitewater boating will be supported, and a healthy habitat for native species will balance the needs of all stakeholders.
DRBA has a unique niche. We are a recreation-focused group dedicated to conservation, and the only local group focused on the Dolores River and surrounding landscape. We work to protect and enhance the environmental and recreational integrity of the Dolores River through advocacy, stewardship and partnerships, education, and outreach, and we are a great source of information regarding Dolores River boating and conservation.
DRBA seeks to be: 1) a strong voice for boaters and river enthusiasts in the region; 2) a resource for information about conservation efforts to protect the Dolores River; and 3) advocates for and stewards of the Dolores River. We are an American Whitewater affiliate club and part of the Friends Grassroots Network, a group of nonprofit organizations advocating for National Conservation Lands, which are composed of some of BLM’s most scenic and treasured lands in the West.
As a grassroots group of conservation-minded whitewater enthusiasts, we work to inform paddlers and the wider community about the need to protect the Dolores River and its many contributions to our region’s quality of life. We invite you to join Dolores River Boating Advocates.