El Rio de Nuestra Señora de Dolores

Where The Future & Past Collide

River Of Sorrow

Early Spanish presence in the southwest is easily observed by the names of many places that have survived today. Nearly every river in the southwest shares that same trait, but for the Dolores that name carries a notable irony. They named the river our lady of sorrows, El Rio de Nuestra Señora de Dolores. Today the Dolores is the distriubuted from a main channel reservoir across hundreds of miles of canals and ditches to irrigate 10's of thousands of acres in literal feet of water. Needless to say the Dolores works hard in an arid land. So much so that for the last 15 years drought and increased demand have not allowed any excess environmental or recreational flows. To visit the Dolores today the old Spanish name takes on further meaning and urging us to take action.

The Dolores River in Southwest Colorado is an impressive tributary of the Colorado River Basin. For river recreationists a trip down the canyons is full of hikes, whitewater, rich cultural heritage and beauty. However a trip down the Dolores is an endangered experience. Few and fewer boaters get the chance to know this river because the Dolores is dammed creating a reservoir that slakes the thirst of area irrigators. Dolores River Boating Advocates (DRBA) is dedicated to enhancing and protecting the environmental and recreational integrity of the Dolores. DRBA working with a generous funding package from Patagonia announced that they were accepting bids to produce a film about the river, place and people. Rig to flip is proud to have been selected for this project and be working with such an important issue. Throughout 2015 Rig To Flip will be capturing aspects of story. From the communities it supports, learning from water managers, biologists and traveling the river itself.

Ute Mountain Ute
Pack rafting
IMG_2043 (1)
UMUT Chairman Manuel Heart
DWCD Consultant Simon

Drought Across the West

Rig To Flip chasing the last of the 2015 snowpack, traveled to Lizardhead Pass to tour and see the headwater catchment of the Dolores River firsthand. A lot of what we do is all weather conditions, all seasons, any environment. 

Two years of chasing story has only shown us how much more work is ahead. 

It's a Wrap 2016

Official River Of Sorrow Trailer