The San Miguel River Recreation Area features diverse ecosystems of rare riparian plant communities. The corridor is a fragile ecosystem containing outstanding riparian, recreational, scenic, and wildlife values. 22 miles of the river is road side and very scenic with dark red sandstone and deep green pine. This is where our upper and lower half day trips take place which can be combined into a full day. The next 20 river miles are Norwood Canyon as the highway leaves the river and has more of a high desert feel. This can be done as a 1 day or overnight trip. The SM has a high gradient of 30-50 feet per mile, is cold and shallow at 1 – 3 feet, and the river is filled with rainbow trout and cut-bow (cut throat rainbow hybrids) The water’s consistent gradient and continuous flow through a boulder-strewn course make for exciting rides. Visitors of this area can travel along the Unaweep-Tabeguache Scenic and Historic Byway. The San Miguel River begins in the San Juan Mountains above Telluride, Colorado and ends at the confluence with the Dolores River 81 miles downstream (near Uravan). While the San Miguel is more or less free-flowing, diversion dams dot the river and alter its flow. The San Miguel drops over 7,000 feet from an alpine to a desert ecosystem. The riparian corridor is lush and contains numerous globally rare riparian plant communities.
Our most popular trip near Telluride! A full day on the San Miguel River is one of the best outdoor adventures in the area. Combine both half day stretches or enjoy one of two scenic stretches in a roadless canyon.