Upper Animas One Day Needleton Section

CLICK on the video to see the Animas in action!
Season: Late May – Early August
Class: High Water: Class IV & V with continuous Class II and III

Low Water: Continuous, technical Class II & III with Class IV+ rapids

 Meet Time: 9:30 AM

The ultimate Colorado whitewater adventure!

Conquer non-stop Colorado whitewater with continuous Class II and III rapids with intermittent Class IV and two Class V rapids. Creeks and streams cascade into the river as you continuously paddle through awesome whitewater. Travel by the Durango & Silverton historic narrow gauge railroad into the heart of Colorado’s largest wilderness area to access and depart for this adventure. This is the friendlier section of the Upper Animas, but all participants must be strong swimmers and able to paddle while the boat bounces, spins and submerges. • The only way to make the Upper Animas better is by staying at our semi-permanent camp for a night in the wilderness and under the stars on the Upper Animas Two Day trip!

Standard Rafts

15 foot self-bailing rafts rigged as an oar boat with paddle assist. Be ready to paddle and swim on your pre-trip orientation! Age: 16 & up
Adventure: Wild
Cost: $265* 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!
  • Enjoy continuous Class III rapids as a warm up!
  • Scout “Broken Bridge”, a Class V rapid, and run it!
  • Hit more continuous Class III rapids.
  • Stop for lunch, a delicious deli-style spread.
  • Hurry back to the river for even more Class III rapids.
  • Scout and run “Tank Creek” rapid.
  • Run your final Class IV rapids, “Specter” & “The Narrows.”
  • Arrive at the Tacoma Power Station, take out and de-rig boats for the train ride back.
  • Board the train and relax as you take in the sites of the Rockwood Gorge.
  • 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 BoatintheUpperAnimas
*  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.

Click here for recommendations on Durango Lodging.