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River Rafting

San Miguel River

Well, that was a short season!  Due to low snowpack, rafting has ended for this year.  Please consider a Telluride Outside 4WD Tour, Fly Fishing or SUP Trip! 



Telluride Outside welcomes the 2020 rafting season with special considerations for guest and guide safety in regard to the COVID-19 pandemic.  In considering your reservation, please understand the following rules.


1)      All guests must confirm wellness.  Any guest showing symptoms of illness must cancel.  Guides will ask guests to confirm wellness at the time of pickup for the guided trip.

2)      Guests, including children, must wear face coverings.

3)      Guests are requested to bring hand sanitizer for their family.

4)      Guests must provide their own snacks and drinks.  Telluride Outside will not provide any food or beverages on guide service trips this season.

5)    All rafting trips will be conducted with private transportation and private rafts for each party.  

6)   Pricing is $500/boat for up to 6 passengers. 



Splashy, fast and fun, the San Miguel offers terrific rafting for guests of any experience level. Running the San Miguel requires constant maneuvering and excellent teamwork. Grab a paddle and jump in the raft!

Half day trips on class II-III+ water are available from late May through mid-July or early August most years. Two half day routes are available. Our most popular trip launches just thirty minutes downstream from Telluride at Specie Creek and runs 9 miles to the Beaver Creek river access. This section features class II-III- whitewater, ideal for beginning and intermediate rafters, families and groups of mixed ability. Our age limit for this trip is 6 years/50lbs. Capacity per boat is 6 paddlers.

Our upper river 1/2 day trip launches near Deep Creek, just 6 miles downstream from Telluride, and runs approximately 12 miles west to our take-out site just below Placerville. At typical flows, this is more intense whitewater than the lower run, with long sections of constant class III rapids and occasional class III+ whitewater.  Our age limit for the upper river is 12 years. All participants must be strong swimmers in excellent physical condition. 



San Miguel Rafting Prices 2020per raft
1/2 Day Lower River (class II-III)$500
1/2 Day Upper River (class III+)N/A

2020 San Miguel rafting prices include private transportation to and from Telluride, wet suits, helmets and river booties.



Dolores River

The Dolores, "River of Sorrows," ranks among the finest wilderness whitewater experiences in the United States. We run two distinct sections of the Dolores on multi-day float trips, described in greater detail below. 1-day trips are conducted on the first 19 miles of the Ponderosa Canyon.

In addition to high adventure, the Dolores offers fascinating cultural and historical highlights for fortunate rafters who travel its canyons. The Dolores traverses the northern edge of the historical homeland of the Anasazi, an ancient culture that flourished from 500 AD. to 1300 AD. Haunting examples of rock art (petroglyphs) and cliff dwellings may be found in these canyons. Dinosaur tracks may still be seen in the rock around one area of the river.


Ponderosa Canyon, Bradfield Bridge to Dove Creek Pump Station (1-day trips and start of 3-day trips)

This first section of the lower Dolores River begins at Bradfield Bridge and ends at Slickrock, CO. The first 19 miles run through the deepening walls of upper Ponderosa Canyon. The canyon gets its name from the huge ponderosa pines that grow within it. This section is characterized by non-stop class II-II+ whitewater, a wonderful day trip and excellent warm up for more challenging rapids downstream.


Ponderosa Canyon, Dove Creek Pump Station to Slickrock (2-day and 3-day trips)

The 28 miles from Dove Creek Pumps to Slickrock are among the most glorious in western whitewater. Class III rapids are nearly continuous for the first 7 miles, leading up to the notorious Snaggletooth. "Snag" is a class IV-V rapid that features a major drop and requires fast action paddling through a quarter mile of boulder studded whitewater. Class III water continues for almost ten miles downstream from Snaggletooth. At most flow levels, Dove Creek to Slickrock is a 2-day float.


Slickrock Canyon: Big Gypsum to Bedrock (2-3 day trips)

The third section of the Dolores begins at Slickrock and ends at Bedrock, CO. We typically launch from the Big Gypsum river access, 13 miles downstream from Slickrock. Slickrock Canyon is noted for red sandstone and smooth rock walls towering 500 feet or more above the winding river. A handful of class II and III rapids punctuate magnificent scenery and a remarkable landscape. We camp either one or two nights on this stretch, depending upon water flows and our trip itinerary.

Typical Launch Dates (number of launches and specifics days of week remain the same each year)

Ponderosa Canyon, including Snaggletooth section on 2 or 3-day trip

April 24 (Thurs) 1, 2 or 3-day trip

April 30 (Weds) 1, 2 or 3-day trip

May 5 (Mon) 1, 2 or 3-day trip

May 8 (Thurs) 1, 2 or 3-day trip

May 10 (Sat) 1, 2 or 3-day trip

May 13 (Tues) 1, 2 or 3-day trip

May 21 (Weds) 1, 2 or 3-day trip

May 23 (Fri) 1, 2 or 3-day trip

May 24 (Sat) 1, 2 or 3-day trip

May 27 (Tues) 1, 2 or 3-day trip

June 4 (Weds) 1, 2 or 3-day trip

June 5 (Thurs) 1, 2 or 3-day trip

June 7 (Sat) 1, 2 or 3-day trip

June 9 (Mon) 1, 2 or 3-day trip

June 11 (Weds) 1, 2 or 3-day trip

June 12 (Thurs) 1, 2 or 3-day trip

June 14 (Sat) 1, 2 or 3-day trip

June 16 (Mon) 1, 2 or 3-day trip

June 18 (Weds) 1, 2 or 3-day trip

Slickrock Canyon (Big Gyp to Bedrock)


April 27 (Sun) 2 or 3-day trip
May 24 (Sat) 2 or 3-day trip
June 3 (Tues) 2 or 3-day trip


Meals: Overnight trips are fully catered with delicious meals utilizing fresh ingredients. Typical breakfast fare includes pancakes, sausages, oatmeal and fruit. For lunch, fresh sandwiches and salads are prepared on the river. Dinner selections include freshly prepared pasta dishes, "Mexican Night," and brownies for dessert. Vegetarian menues are available upon request. Alcoholic beverages are not provided, but guests are welcome to bring modest quantities for their enjoyment.

Dolores River Rafting Prices   per guest  

1-Day, Bradfield Bridge to Dove Creek Pumps  


2-Day, Ponderosa Canyon or Slickrock Canyon  


3-Day, Ponderosa Canyon or Slickrock Canyon  


Prices include round trip transportation from Telluride, BLM resource access fees, shuttles and all meals. Guests are required to bring certain articles of personal equipment for the river and camp. Please inquire for a complete gear list.


This operation is conducted on public lands and waterways, under a special recreation permit with the Bureau of Land Management ~Tres Rios Field Office.




Telluride Outside

Box 685, 121 W. Colorado Ave.
Telluride, CO 81435
800.831.6230 ~ 970.728.3895
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