Slickrock Canyon can be rafted as a stand-alone 3-day trip or as the 2nd half of a 6-day trip combined with Ponderosa Gorge. If you are looking for a mild water scenic desert wilderness trip, far from the crowds, this trip is for you!
A few miles after launching from Slickrock, we enter the short and scenic "Little Glen Canyon". The sandstone rock here is the same formation that is found in Glen Canyon, now flooded by Lake Powell. Exiting the canyon we enter the salt block formation that created the wide open spaces and breathtaking views of Big Gypsum Valley.
Below Gypsum Valley the river plunges into and divides a massive sheer rock wall over 1000 feet tall. The next 30 miles we are in the 29,000 acre Dolores River Canyon Wilderness Study Area. The river twists and turns through sandstone walls that reach skyward directly from the water's edge. "Entrenched meanders" were created as the plateau tilted on edge, speeding the flow of the once sleepy river. In places these cliffs overhang the entire river.
You'll camp on river beaches or sandy alluvial fans where the river passes a number of beautiful side canyons. We will explore several of these interesting serpentine grottos. Deer and Bighorn Sheep, are regularly spotted. We'll also make several stops to admire Indian petroglyphs, carved into the sheer sandstone walls.
Our trip ends at an old west survivor, the Bedrock Store, where a scene from "Thelma and Louise" was filmed.
- Trip Duration: 3.00 days
- Destination: United States
- Region: Colorado
- Price Range:
$251-$450 per person
Families, Friends, First-Timers, Mature, Independent, Veterans
- Minimum Age: 10
- Activity Option:
Inflatable Kayak, Fishing, Birdwatching, Hiking
- Accommodations: Wilderness Tent Camping
Starting in Slickrock, Colorado, the ending point of the Ponderosa Gorge trip, we will descend into the deepest canyon of the Dolores, where near-vertical, stair-step cliffs over 1,200 feet high greet us. In places, the brightly colored sandstone is smooth and sheer for hundreds of feet, overhanging part or even the entire river. We will camp on narrow ledges or alluvial fans created by fantastic serpentine side canyons. These side canyons offer inspiring hiking. There is little whitewater on this section.