The Dolores is a lovely desert river in western CO and eastern UT which unfortunately has a very short season due to dam control. Most years, releases are limited to a couple of weeks or less, and of course the river gets very crowded then, particularly on the scenic and moderate Slickrock to Bedrock run (which I've done twice). The lower section from Gateway CO to the confluence with the Colorado River in Utah has a somewhat longer season, as the free-flowing San Miguel river joins the Dolores above Gateway, but usually by mid-June the flows have dropped below what's needed for rafting. This year, however, heavy snow in the mountains near Telluride kept the San Miguel flowing into summer, and conditions looked reasonable -- around 1200 cfs (cubic feet per second), on the low side but fine for smaller rafts -- for a July 4th weekend on the lower Dolores.
I would not have chosen this particular section of the Dolores on my own, because among its rapids is an infamously long and difficult one right at the state line between Colorado and Utah which is, oddly enough, called Stateline Rapid. (According to one of our guidebooks it is also called Chicken Raper, although that name seems to be mostly applied by kayakers to the crazy-boaters-with-deathwish line on the left of the big island that splits the rapid, about which our more sedate guidebook says DO NOT GO LEFT WHATEVER YOU DO.) But our previous plans had fallen apart, and I got email from a friend who really wanted to do this section, and Britt thought it sounded good, and so the lower Dolores it was.
( Ridiculously long trip report, with photos and video. )
Or just go straight to the photos (these plus lots more) on Flickr.