Upper Animas One Day Rockwood Gorge Section

Rockwood Gorge
Season: Late Season Option Only
Class: Class II-V: Class IV & V with continuous Class II and III
Meet Time: 9:30 AM

This whitewater section is a gem – Only available at low water levels!

When the waters recede, fear not seekers of adventure as the Rockwood Gorge becomes the section of choice for the Upper Animas with its big drops and channeled flow allowing us to go where we dare not in higher water times. The Rockwood Gorge offers exhilarating Class II and III rapids with several large Class IV’s and two Class V’s, “Mandatory Thrash” and “Dangerocity”. This beautiful stretch of river is unique in we can only raft it at low water levels. You will travel by the Durango Train into the heart of Colorado’s largest wilderness area to access and depart for this adventure. This trip is only offered in paddle boats, where the guide has a paddle just like everyone else, so be prepared to help navigate through the rapids! Once you hit the river, you will encounter thrilling whitewater lined by the gorge walls. Since you are traveling deep into the heart of the Upper Animas, the only way to exit the canyon is on foot! After your rafting day, you will hike up 3/4 of a mile with your personal rafting gear while your guides carry the boats. All participants must be strong swimmers and able to paddle while the boat bounces, spins, and submerges through the spectacular Rockwood Gorge.

Rockwood Camp Out Option

Want to experience the excitement of Upper Animas whitewater rafting and a serene night under the starry skies all in one trip? The Camp Out trip is for you! You will meet at our main office at 11:00 AM on the first day of your excursion, we will get you suited up for the river and you will head out for your on river orientation on the Lower Animas River. After orientation, we will depart for Silverton (with lunch provided on the way!) where you will board the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad for your shuttle into the canyon. The train will let us off at the camp site, where you get to relax, wander around and just enjoy your time in this beautiful wilderness, while our guides prepare dinner. After a peaceful night under the stars, you will wake up to hot coffee and breakfast before taking down camp, loading the gear back on the train and beginning your exhilarating day of whitewater rafting!

Standard Rafts

13 foot self-bailing rafts rigged as a paddle boat. Be ready to paddle and swim on your pre-trip orientation! Age: 16 & up
Adventure: Wild
Cost: $285* per person
*Additional River/Land Access Fees not included


  • 5:15 Evening Prior: Check into our office to get fitted for your thermal wetsuit gear and go on the orientation raft trip where you will take your practice swim in a Class II+ to III+ rapid.
  • Day of Trip: Meet at our Main Office in Durango at 9:30 AM.
  • Shuttle to Rockwood station to board the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad.
  • Descend from the train and get suited up for the river.
  • Hit the river!
  • Begin with “Mandatory Thrash,” your first Class V of the day!
  • Continue through numerous, thrilling Class III rapids, in your face and over your head!
  • Stop for lunch, a delicious deli-style spread.
  • Hurry back to the river for even more Class II & III rapids.
  • Experience “Dangerocity” rapid, a Class V, as well as Hunter S. Thompson (III+), “Red Rocks” (IV+) and the Guardian (Class IV).
  • At the end of the trip, you will change into your hiking clothes and shoes hike the 3/4 of a mile out of the canyon carrying your personal rafting gear, while the guides carry the boats!
  • Arrive at the Rockwood station, and shuttle back to Durango.
  • Arrive back at our office around 6:00 PM.

Click here for Important Considerations

Click here for What to Wear & Bring
*Please note that all itineraries are subject to change due to river conditions. Click here for directions to our main office in Durango.

See FAQ’s and Common Concerns for additional information.

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