Needleton Section Camp Out
About this Trip
Spend the night under the glimmering skies of the Weminuche Wilderness, then conquer the non-stop waves of the Upper Animas the following day on our Needleton Camp Out trip! This 2-day excursion feels like a true expedition, with a ride on the historic Durango Train in and out of the roaring canyons where you’ll be rafting.
The Needleton Section of the Upper Animas churns up constant Class II and III rapids, with a handful of Class IV and V drops throughout the run. An orientation is required to run this wild section of the Upper Animas with us. All participants must be physically fit and strong swimmers who are ready to paddle it out while the boat bounces, spins, and submerges in this world-class whitewater run.
The first day of this trip includes an orientation in the morning (expect around 2-3 hours for this), lunch, and a shuttle/train ride into the Upper Animas Canyon. Dinner will be served in the evening at one of our comfortable established camps along the river, with time to explore the area and enjoy the surrounding views of 14,000 foot peaks. The next day, a hearty hot breakfast will be served (you’re going to need it!) before taking on the pandemonium of the Upper Animas. After a full day on the river, we’ll take out and head for the train tracks to take us back to civilization.
Join us on this journey if you’re ready to experience the ultimate combination of history, adventure, adrenaline, and serenity in the remote reaches of Colorado’s largest wilderness.
Upper Animas Needleton Camp Out trips start at $749.
Late May – Early August
Class of Rapids
High Water: IV & V with continuous II & III
Low Water: Continuous, technical II & III with IV+
15 foot self-bailing rafts rigged as an oar boat with paddle assist. Be ready to paddle and swim on your pre-trip orientation!
Ages 16+ until late June
Ages 14+ late June through the end of season
Payment & Cancellations
- 1/2 down, 1/2 charged 30 days prior to trip.
- 1/3 down with remaining balance charged in thirds.
- Call for other arrangements!
FREE COURTESY HOLD
We don’t want you to miss out on this trip so we’ll hold your spots, payment-free, for 24 hrs while you make your final arrangements & prepare for payment.
In addition to the listed trip cost, we collect an additional 9% for River and Land Access Fees (ie. Forest Service, BLM, City, Private Land Use).
Receive an 80% refund with written notice 5 days prior to trip departure. Less notice, unfortunately there will be no refund.
At Upper Animas orientation, if it determined this river is not right for you, for 1 day trips you may apply the trip cost to another available trip, less $250 per person for the nonrefundable train ticket & orientation. Train tickets may be able to be transferred depending on the train’s availability. We conform to the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad cancellation policy.
Trip Insurance through RoamRight is recommended to help cover unforeseen circumstances.
* Please note that all itineraries are subject to change due to river conditions.
· Orientation the morning before heading out is 100% required. Orientation will include a practice raft trip and a swim through a Class II+ to III+ rapid, so come with a swimsuit and be prepared to get wet!
· Plan 2 to 3 hours for this orientation. If you need to schedule for a different time, there is a $50/person charge.
· All participants must be in outstanding physical shape. When rafting, it is important to choose the trip that matches the level of the least adventurous and least physically fit person in your group. It is dangerous to ignore physical limitations.
· After orientation, if it is determined that the Upper Animas is not the right trip for you, we will move you to a more suitable river. See our Cancellation Policy for rescheduling fees.
· As the season progresses and water levels change, we reserve the right to change river sections based on the type of trip you are looking for and your abilities.
· All itineraries are subject to change due to water conditions.
What to Wear & Bring
- Wetsuit (available for rent)
- Wetsuit boots all season (available for rent)
- Splash Jacket (available for free)
- Fleece jacket and fleece socks
- Swimsuit/Quick drying clothing
- Hat (that fits under your helmet)
- Sunglasses with a strap
- Water bottle
- Camera with waterproof case
- Sleeping bag (available for purchase)
- Tent (available for purchase)
- Sleeping pad (available for rent)
- Small pillow
- Warm base layers
- Warm socks, beanie & gloves
- Headlamp or flashlight
- Sneakers/hiking shoes
- Rain gear
- Personal items & toiletries
- Alcoholic beverages if desired in non-glass containers. Please bring in moderation.