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  • Map It!

Dolores River - Ponderosa Gorge

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Put-in is north of McPhee Reservoir near the town of Cahone
Class III and IV
River Length
50 miles
3 day
May to June


Ponderosa Gorge is the farthest upstream of the raftable sections of the Dolores. This section begins a few miles north of McPhee Reservoir, near the tiny town of Cahone. A Ponderosa Gorge trip contains some of the most thrilling whitewater on the Dolores, including long stretches of rapids like 3-Mile Rapid and the infamous Snaggletooth.

Peaceful stretches of relative calm alternate with these exciting stretches, allowing rafters a chance to appreciate the striking sandstone cliffs and pine/juniper forest around them. Visitors can also take side trips on foot to ancient Anasazi structures to learn more about the original inhabitants of the area.

Trips usually end near the town of Slickrock.

Tour Companies

  • 5 Rivers in Central CO
  • Rafting
  • 800-370-0581

Breckenridge Whitewater Rafting The most dedicated, skilled and enthusiastic outdoor professionals anywhere want to escort you on the outdoor adventure of a lifetime. Our years of experience and unmatched professionalism will clearly set us apart when you raft with Breckenridge Whitewater. Choose from door-to-door transportation or drive to one of our offices and save money. See our website for DISCOUNTS and videos!

  • Several convenient locations!
  • Rafting, Kayaking
  • 970-423-7031

AVA's Colorado Rafting Join AVA for world-class whitewater on the best rivers in Colorado. Trips for all ages and abilities: mild floats to family whitewater to pounding Class V waterfalls! Free wetsuits and splash jackets on AVA-run trips, outstanding guest service, great Outposts. See our award-winning website for daily discounts, packages and videos! Trips close to Denver and all major mountain resorts.

  • 5 Colorado Rivers
  • Rafting, Jeep/Other Offroad
  • 800-462-7238

Wilderness Aware Rafting #1 On Trips Advisor. Twice Named Colorado’s Company of the Year. Specializing in ½ to 10 day whitewater adventures, scenic horseback rides, thrilling downhill mountain biking, and breathtaking zipline tours. Experience exceptional customer service at our 100% solar powered riverside facility. LEARN MORE...

Class III and IV
River Length
50 miles
3 day
May to June
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Mesa Verde Country Mesa Verde Country Mesa Verde Country
SouthwestSouthwest Colorado's towns of Cortez, Dolores, Mancos and Towaoc embrace the archaeological center of America, anchored by world-renowned Mesa Verde National Park.
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