Top Place: Dolores River Basin

Westwater Canyon, little Delores River Waterfall
The Dolores River Basin stretches from western Colorado to New Mexico and has many wildlands, such as the treasured San Juan Mountains.

Experience the Dolores River Basin

Starting in the 14,000-foot peaks of Colorado’s San Juan mountains, the Dolores River winds through 230 miles of Colorado and Utah. The surrounding basin contains vast stretches of varied wilderness, from alpine forests to redrock canyons.

This rugged area is a haven for recreation, particularly hiking, rafting and fishing.

What’s the one best thing about the Dolores River Basin?

Its pioneer quality.

The Dolores River Basin, which has been largely untouched by modern development, retains a pioneer quality. Visitors enjoy expansive views of canyons, forests and traditional cattle ranches.

What’s one activity The Dolores River Basin is known for?

Backcountry hiking.

Hiking enthusiasts enjoy the wide-open spaces and frontier quality of the Dolores River Basin. Hiking through the Dolores River canyons, you will see ancient petroglyphs, stunning geological formations and old cowboy cabins.

Interested in backcountry hiking? Get insider tips.

What’s one way The Wilderness Society is working to protect the Dolores River Basin?

At Wilderness, we want to see the Dolores River Basin protected as a national conservation area.

Creating a Dolores River Basin National Conservation Area would trigger a comprehensive plan for the basin that would:

  • Preserve it from most development, including limiting mining and drilling
  • Protect habitat for the rare Gunnison sage grouse
  • Safeguard slopes where rare plants grow

Learn more about our work in the The Dolores River Basin.

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