Gunnison River

Escalante to Redlands Dam

Northwest District/Grand Junction Field Office


BROCHURE: Lower Gunnison River

ELEVATION:  Approximately  4800'

LOCATION:    Escalante put-in, 35 miles south of Grand Junction 


Escalante - Bridgeport 13 miles,  
Bridgeport - Whitewater - 14 miles,  
Whitewater - Redlands Dam - 12 miles 
Total trip Escalante - Redlands Dam 39 miles



Escalante - Bridgeport 4 - 6 hrs (Dominguez-Escalante NCA)
Bridgeport - Whitewater 4 - 6 hrs (Dominguez-Escalante NCA)
Whitewater - Redlands Dam 3 - 4 hrs (Grand Junction Field Office)  
(times may vary depending on streamflow and winds)

SHUTTLE TIME:  1 - 1 1/2 hours

SEASON:  May - October 


DRINKING WATER:   None.  Plan to pack in 1 gallon per person, per day. 

DIRECTIONS TO ESCALANTE BOAT LAUNCH:   From Grand Junction take Hwy 50 south towards Delta, travel approximately 25 miles to interpretive sign for Escalante Canyon on west side of road. Turn right on to dirt road and travel 3 miles to river. Use north side of bridge for put-in and park in upper lot.

WHITEWATER PUT-IN/TAKE-OUT:   From Grand Junction travel south on Hwy 50 to Whitewater, turn right on Hwy 141, turn left on to Desert Road travel .5 miles turn right at the gate going through the old DOE compound, travel approximately .5 miles and park. You will have to carry your boat under the railroad bridge to the launch/take-out.  

BRIDGEPORT PUT-IN/TAKE-OUT:  From Grand Junction take Hwy 50 south towards Delta, take a right at the Bridgeport turnoff, follow the road to a parking area just before the railroad tracks. To your left is a gate, if the gate is open you can go through the gate and take the road up river, cross over the railroad tracks until the road ends at the bank of the river. If the gate is locked you will have to carry your boat from the parking area under the railroad tracks to the river.

REDLANDS DAM TAKE-OUT:   From Grand Junction take Hwy 50 south, shortly after crossing over the Colorado River take a right on to Canon St, turn right on B 3/4 Rd, left on 26 3/8 Rd, drive past the DOE complex to the parking area. You will need to carry your boat from the river up to the parking area. 

STREAM FLOW:  Along this section of river you will encounter Class I and II rapids. It is recommended you check the stream flow data when planning your trip, especially during spring runoff, which can vary greatly from year to year. 

Attractions:  Beautiful scenery, hidden rock art and solitude bring visitors to this 800' deep canyon. Opportunities for hiking, wildlife viewing and exploring are excellent.  A popular stop along the way is Bridgeport.  Primitive camping is available and a hike up Big Dominguez Canyon offers an opportunity to go exploring for rock art and enjoy the waterfall. 

REMINDER:  Port-a-potties are required on all overnight trips.  Firepans must be used for all campfires.  All groups must carry a firepan even if they do not intend to have a campfire.  Gas or propane stoves are strongly encouraged for camp cooking.  Gas or propane stoves are strongly encouraged for camp cooking.   



Primitive boat ramps

The Grand Junction Field Office manages portions of the stretch of the Gunnison River from Whitewater to Redlands Dam.  A large portion of this section of the river travels through an "urban corridor" taking boaters past Grand Junction and the surrounding area.  Much of the land bounding this stretch of river is managed by the Colorado Riverfront Commission.

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