Have you visited the Dolores River lately? If you're looking to get on the water, you might have to wait.

Last Saturday, May 1, I made my annual trip to the Dolores River as it runs just west of Gateway, Colorado. The water looks a bit low to say the least.

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The Dolores River Compared to Past Years

Each year, on the first Saturday in May, my group participates in a little retreat on BLM land west of Gateway. The group camps along the Dolores River, not too far from the Colorado/Utah state line.

Each year I like to grab a little video footage of the river. As you can see from the video at the top compared to the videos below from past years, water levels can change drastically.

Looking at the Dolores River Back in 2019

Here's a few seconds of footage from May 2019. Sorry, but thanks to COVID, there is no footage to share from 2020. Looking at the 2019 video, shot just a few hundred feet upstream from the 2021 video, the water flow is profoundly different.

How about 2017?

The video directly below was shot from the very same location as the 2021 video at top.

What a Difference in the Dolores River Over the Years

Compared to the 2017 and 2019 videos, 2021 is looking a little thin. Then again, it's been raining in Western Colorado for the last 16 hours. According to the National Weather Service, Gateway has an 80% chance of rain through Monday evening. Some points along the Dolores are receiving snow as of 9:30 this morning, with snow continuing into Tuesday.

Isn't it amazing how much can change? Then again, with rain and snow falling right now at several points along the Dolores, the river undoubtedly looks different compared to 72 hours ago.

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