To share a Facebook post publicly, you click the “Share” link on the Facebook post, photo or link. A window will pop up that says “Share This ____” at the top. You must Share it “On your own timeline.” You can add some text above the link, photo or post. At the bottom of the window next to “Share ____” you’ll see a drop down menu. Select “Public,” click “Share” and you’re done!
The Salt River canyon in Arizona contains a blend of desert and riparian ecosystems, which allows it to support a vast array of life. One of the most iconic plants of the area, the Sonoran Desert, is the saguaro cactus, and it can be found in droves the further you travel down in elevation. These plants are large, tree-like cacti that develop branches as they age (although some never do and just grow straight up!). These arms generally bend upward and some cacti can even have up to 25 of these growths! Saguaros are covered with protective spines, white flowers in the late spring, and red fruit in summer. The animals that help pollinate these flowers are lesser long-nosed bats, which feed on the nectar from the night-blooming flowers. Lesser long-nosed bats are relatively small, and as their common name implies, they have a long, narrow snout. The lesser long nosed bat also has a tongue with a number of adaptations for lapping nectar, including long ridges and rough, conical papillae (imagine a dog lapping up water). If you are ever lucky enough to go explore the Salt River canyon for multiple days, it is very possible you might encounter these two signature species and a great way to do so is on the 3 Day Salt River Rafting Trip!
A quaint mountain town with historic charm, Telluride offers a great location to relax or get your adrenaline pumping, your choice! Stroll around downtown to shop and eat, notice anything? There isn’t a single chain store in Telluride! Or don your river gear and bounce through consistent Class II and intermittent Class III rapids on a guided rafting trip down the San Miguel River! Relax on your ride up the free Mountain Village gondola and take in the box canyon scenery from a bird’s eye view or trek up one of Colorado’s 14,000 foot peaks for a different bird’s eye view! You could also venture into the mountains on the rough 4×4 roads, take a horseback ride, go fly fishing, rock climbing or on a hot air balloon ride! There are so many possibilities; not even including Telluride is also famous for it’s numerous yearly festivals. Check out the Telluride Film Festival, Blues & Brews, Telluride Bluegrass or the Yoga Festival (among many other choices)! Fun Facts about Telluride:
- The town itself was founded in 1878 as “Columbia,” but due to confusion with another California town of the same name, was renamed Telluride in 1887.
- At 9,078 feet above sea level, the Telluride Regional Airport is the highest commercial airport in North America.
- Telluride was the first city in the world to have electric streetlights. Once called the “City of Lights,” the world’s first alternating current (AC) power plant was built here.
- Butch Cassidy robbed his first bank in Telluride on June 24, 1889, walking away with over $24,000.
- The nearest stoplight is 39.5 miles away.
We really love all of the great reviews and feedback our guests leave after their trips, whether it be on the Salt River in Arizona, the Lower Animas in Durango or a multi-day trip on the Colorado River in Utah, it always makes us smile! It means we’re doing something right and, really, who doesn’t want to hear that! Our favorite reviews are the ones that come to us from all of those social media and review websites out there, though, because not only are you sharing your experience with your close friends and family, but now you’re telling the world just how great your experience was! Here at Mild to Wild, we pride ourselves on having the most repeat and referral customers which means we really appreciate everyone who takes the time to write about their experience on TripAdvisor, Google+, Facebook or blogs! Continue reading
The section of the Lower Animas River that runs through Durango offers a beautiful developed riparian habitat, where aquatic environments are protected from excessive sedimentation, polluted surface runoff and erosion. This allows a plethora of species to thrive on, near and around the banks of our small mountain town. On a quiet morning, you could stroll the river walk and see a number of different species of birds and when you’re lucky, they even come out during our Lower Animas Rafting Trips! Some of the birds you might encounter are:
- Great Blue Heron
- Canada Goose
- Common Merganser
- American Kestrel
- Red-tailed Hawk
- Steller’s Jay
- Black-billed Magpie
- Common Raven
- American Crow
- Barn Swallow
- European Starling
- Violet-green Swallow
- Northern Rough-winged Swallow
- Black-capped Chickadee
Known as the “Switzerland of America,” this small old mining town tucked away in the San Juan Mountains is the perfect destination for outdoor lovers; and with quick access to hiking, jeeping, canyoneering, backpacking, fishing, ghost towns, river rafting trips, horseback riding, rock climbing and mountain biking it’s easy to see why! And that doesn’t even begin to cover the winter activities: downhill, backcountry & cross country skiing, sledding, snowmobiling, snowcat skiing, ice climbing and, of course, the hot springs (which are luckily open year round!)! Although our main office is located in Durango, here at Mild to Wild, we consider Ouray to be a must-see stop during your Southwest vacation! The only way to drive into Ouray is on the Spectacular Million Dollar Skyway (one of the Top 10 Drives to do in the US in your lifetime!) and once you’re there, we have some great day trips to help fill out your adventure! Only 45 minutes from Ouray (and my personal favorite part of the Million Dollar Skyway) is the small town of Silverton and also, the departure point for our Mini Ghost Town Tour. This 3 hour guided jeep tour gets you off the, albeit beautiful, highway and onto some rough mountain roads you wouldn’t want to take your own vehicle (or that rental…) as you venture up to Animas Forks, one of the most preserved ghost towns in Colorado! Another great day (or multi-day) trip out of Ouray is a whitewater rafting trip down the San Miguel River. It takes about 45 minutes to get to the meeting point, mainly because you have to go all the way around those mountains! From here, though, you get to throw your cares away and splash through fun filled Class II “splashes” and Class III “wet and fun” rapids. Don’t get me wrong, though, Ouray is also a great place to kick back and relax. Shops and restaurants galore line either side of the registered National Historic District that is Main Street. Grab a milkshake at Mouse’s Chocolates and then venture down the street to check out some of the local artists and unique shops. On a warm day, the upstairs patio at Ouray Brewing is a great place to relax and enjoy your time with friends and family. And back to those hot springs…Ouray boasts a fantastic local to relax and soak year round! Oh, and did I mention that the infamous W.C. McCall was mayor of Ouray for 6 years? I imagine that’s where he got the inspiration for “Black Bear Road”, aptly named after the “shortcut” between Ouray and Telluride, Black Bear Pass, where the sign reads “12 Miles – 2 Hours. You don’t have to be crazy to drive this road – but it helps”!
The 12 Days of Christmas will soon be upon us, but what we can’t wait for is the 12 Days of Adventure that await us next summer! We know it is probably difficult for most folks to get 12 days of fabulous vacation time so let one of our trip consultants help to plan a more compact itinerary…but if you could get that precious time, this is what we would do! Day 1: Start your adventure off with a ½ day whitewater rafting trip down the Lower Animas River! Day 2: Venture up to the old mining town of Silverton to depart on our Mini Ghost Town Tour, which will take you up to Animas Forks, one of the most preserved ghost towns in Colorado! Day 3: Spend a relaxing day on the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. You can do it round-trip or as a one-way train/one-way bus option! Day 4: You’ve already conquered the Lower Animas in a raft; now try it in a single person Inflatable Kayak to step up the adventure level! The smaller the boat, the bigger the wave! Day 5: Start your day early to avoid the lines and head to Durango Mountain Resort to retrieve your Total Adventure Ticket! You’ll get unlimited mini golf, alpine slide rides, scenic chairlift rides and mountain bike uplifts as well as one time at 2 of the following: bungee trampoline, climbing wall and mechanical bull ride. Day 6: Step up your rafting skills on the Piedra River! The Upper Piedra offers an intermediate rafting trip, the Lower Piedra is a high adventure section, and both offer the thrills of stair-step, pool drop rapids! Day 7: Enjoy the serene flat water sections of the Lower Animas on a stand-up paddle board! This new water sport craze offers a fun way to take in the river scenery and get a great core workout! Day 8: Explore the ancient Pueboan ruins of Mesa Verde National Park on the guided 700 Years Tour! Day 9: Discover the spectacular La Plata Canyon on a convenient 4-hour guided jeep tour departing out of Durango! Take in the breathtaking mountain vistas from the top of Kennebec Pass and keep your eye open for high altitude wildlife! Day 10: Have you been rock climbing on real rocks before?? Here’s your chance! Meet up with our partner, San Juan Adventure Guides, to experience a half-day of climbing at Durango’s own, X-Rock! Day 11: Soar through the treetops with the aptly named Soaring Tree Top Adventures! The longest and largest zipline course in the world also offers some of the most beautiful scenery you could imagine! Day 12: Experience true high adventure on the adrenaline packed Upper Animas River! Constant heart-pounding white water splashes are bound to keep you entertained on this wilderness rafting trip! (Turn it into Day 13 by trying the even more popular 2 Day Trip!)
For those of you who have experienced the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad during your summer vacation to Durango, this may come as a surprise, but the train operates year round! (For those of you who haven’t, you’ll understand as soon as you take in those breathtaking views of the Animas River plunging deep below the canyon edge!) How on earth does that train make it through the San Juan Mountains covered in snow, you may ask… Well, beginning in late October the Cascade Winter Train schedule starts up; which offers an abbreviated trip up to Cascade Canyon and back. This allows for beautiful views and avoids the mountainous sections that would be impassable when covered in snow. But the real treat comes around mid-November and lasts through Christmas: The Polar Express! The classic children’s story comes alive each year as the Polar Express engine emerges for round trip journeys from Durango to the “North Pole”! Just like in the story, kids dress in their pajamas and board the evening train where hot chocolate is served and the story of the Polar Express is read in each car. Once you reach the North Pole, Santa comes aboard the train and visits each child to give them a special gift (If you haven’t read the story, spoiler alert!), a bell! Then on the journey back to Durango, the attendants aboard the cars will lead you in Christmas Carols. This magical journey is not one to be missed! So if you’re looking for a weekend getaway with the family or planning a ski trip to Durango Mountain Resort this winter, don’t miss your chance to take a ride on the Polar Express!
If you missed our blog on the Top 5 Colorado River Rafting Trips blog, you can still check it out here, but for those river enthusiasts looking to break out of the great Colorful Colorado, here are the top 10 river rafting trips in the United States according to Guide Neil. These include some of his absolute favorite rivers to raft as well as a few still on his bucket list One-Day Trips 1. Gauley River – West Virginia The Gauley offers two fantastic sections of advanced whitewater rafting, mainly during “Gauley Season,” the time in which the Army Corps of Engineers schedules 22 controlled dam releases for the purpose of river recreation. The Upper Gauley boasts dozens of Class IV and V rapids with five Class Vs, while the Lower Gauley has fewer and more spread out Class IIIs, IVs and Vs. 2. Kaweah River – California The Kaweah is an intermediate to advanced white water river located in Sequoia National Park. Experience is recommended, as many of the Class III and IV+ rapids require technical and deft maneuvering. The trip can be split into two daily sections, though, allowing for a milder Class III section and the high adventure Class IV+ section. 3. Lower Box of the Piedra River – Colorado The Lower Box of the Piedra River offers high adventure whitewater rafting through a pristine wilderness that is highly regulated by the Forest Service. You won’t see many other boaters while you’re out there, which makes this Class III, IV and V pool-drop river a must do for adventure seekers. The scenery is unmatched as you are surrounded by 1,000 foot canyon walls and can even stop half-way down at a natural hot springs to warm up from the snow melt splashes! 4. Cherry Creek of the Tuolumne River – California The Class V Cherry Creek section of the Tuolumne is considered the most advanced commercially run trip in California with 15 Class V rapids! The headwaters of the river (accessible only to backpackers) flow through granite valleys down to the more accessible sections in the Sierra Nevadas. The Tuolumne is protected under the Wild and Scenic act and the 9 miles of Cherry Creek should be on the bucket list of any high adventure whitewater enthusiast. Multi-Day Trips 5. Upper Salt River – Arizona The spectacular Salt River flows through a 2,000 foot deep canyon just 2 hours east of Phoenix. The one-day trip is great with 10-12 Class III rapids, but to really get the experience of the canyon (and some Class IV rapids) you have to try the overnight trips. Not only do you get more awesome Arizona whitewater and beautiful desert scenery, you also get memories of sleeping under the stars and relaxing around the campfire! 6. Middle Fork of the Salmon River – Idaho The Middle Fork tributary has 300 ratable rapids ranging from Class III+ to Class IV with only one Class V. The Middle Fork, along with the Salmon, River is designated Wild and Scenic, just over 100 miles in length and has six stops along the way where there are natural hot springs. With only 7 departures allowed each day during the season, be sure to plan your Middle Fork trip early! 7. Grand Canyon of the Colorado River – Arizona The Grand Canyon makes for a spectacular (albeit longer) multi-day Colorado River rafting trip. You can experience the beauty and wonder of the canyon on a quick 4 day guided raft trip, or make the whole trek downstream in 18-19 days. The multiple rapids are rated on a scale of 1-10 on this river and you’ll experience whitewater throughout those classifications. 8. Upper Animas River – Colorado The Upper Animas is considered to be the toughest commercially rafted river in the United States at high water. With over 100 rapids and continuous Class II and III with intermittent Class IV and V rapids, this river is not for the faint of heart! A multi-day trip gives you the experience of the Silverton and Needleton sections, the first being high adventure, and the second more of an advanced intermediate section. It also gives you the chance to relax and explore the Weimenuche wilderness in a semi-permanent 5-star camping environment. If you’re looking for an adventurous getaway, this is your ticket! 9. Rogue River – Oregon The Rogue is another one of those fantastic rivers protected under the Wild and Scenic Act of 1968. This Class III-IV river (with a couple IV+) is characterized by thrilling whitewater stretches with milder sections in between, peaceful pools, narrow canyons and towering cliffs. Wildlife is abundant throughout the canyon and you don’t want to miss a night under the stars while listening to the sound of the bubbling river. 10. Forks of the Kern River – California The Kern is also designated a Wild and Scenic River and proves it’s beauty mile by mile through the wilderness. The Forks of the Kern runs deep within Sequoia National Park through a solid granite walled canyon, so deep in fact that you will need to pack your gear in along a 3 mile rocky trail to the put in. The nearly continuous Class IV and V rapids and waterfalls call for boaters looking for serious fun and adventure.
What does Guide Kira keep in her Ammo Can? I remember one of the first days I started working at Mild to Wild, the owner walked in and said “If the guy selling ammo cans comes around, we want them,” and that was it. I was pretty confused, but didn’t want to show my ignorance so just smiled and nodded. Well, now I understand how handy those little watertight boxes can be on the river so I talked to Guide Kira about what she thinks are the most important things to keep in her raft-side ammo can on a white water adventure. Here’s what she said:
- Sunscreen & lip balm with SPF – You have to protect yourself from those rays at all times on the river!
- Vaseline – Dual purpose, works great to heal chapped lips and helps those cracks you get in your skin (often hands and feet) when you’re constantly living on the river.
- Toothbrush & toothpaste
- Small mirror
- Hair ties and bobby pins
- An “Ouch Pouch” – This contains items you would need to take care of small injuries: band-aids, nail clippers, tweezers, ibuprofen, eye drops.
- Maps – You want to be prepared for the area you are traveling in, even if you think you know it all.
- A compass – Just in case you do need to find your way out with those maps!
- Energy bars – Just a quick snack to keep you going on long paddling days.
- iPod – Who doesn’t travel with an iPod these days? Even on a majestic river, music soothes the soul.
- Cards & bubbles – These are just great for killing time and bonding on overnight trips and I don’t go anywhere without bubbles!