These 4 Hidden Gems Guarantee A Successful Telluride Adventure

The best summertime adventures in Southwest Colorado not only include the best whitewater rafting Telluride has to offer, but also many hidden gems tucked away in the heart of the beautiful mountain town of Telluride, Colorado. The locals came for the skiing and ended up staying for the summer. There is truly no place like Telluride in the summer. Don’t take our word for it, check out Telluride for yourself! We’ll even let you in on the best hidden gems in Telluride. Be sure to keep them on the down-low. We want to keep Telluride’s hidden gems just that-hidden.

 

Whitewater Rafting telluride

 

Free is the Magic Word

 

Telluride locals pride themselves that all of their public transportation is free! That’s right-free! The gondola from town that takes you up to Mountain Village is a popular mode of transportation in the summer. It’s great even just for the fantastic views. The gondola is absolutely free as well! This “hidden” gem takes you to the mountain bike park, the base of Telluride’s ski resort, and all over Mountain Village. As you ride up the gondola you will see fantastic views of the jagged San Juan Mountains and the San Miguel River running through town. You can even watch a few rafters and boaters try their hand at the gnarly whitewater rafting Telluride boasts.

 

Whitewater rafting telluride

 

Little Known Whitewater Rafting Telluride Offers

 

The San Miguel River runs right through town and has some of the best whitewater rafting Telluride and Southwest Colorado has to offer! With constant Class II and III rapids, this fast-paced and narrow waterway will surely leave you wanting more.  This hidden gem is one of Colorado’s least known and most spectacular rivers! You will quickly be thrusted into a world of forested red-rock walls under towering Ponderosa pines, a true outdoor adventure! The San Miguel River’s narrow twisting waterways and remote feel will leave a big smile on your face, in awe of the incredible scenery and rolling rapids!  

 

Whitewater Rafting Telluride             

Have you Heard of the Via Ferrata?

 

Take a break from whitewater rafting Telluride and head to the Via Ferrata! Translating from Italian to “iron road,” the Via Ferrata is a perfect mix between a hike and rock-climbing excursion. The trail takes you to a traverse along the side of a cliff. You will clip into a system of cables using carabiners as you hike. Along the way you will hang onto iron rungs alongside the cliff and work your way to the end slowly but surely. This hike is not for the faint of heart as you are hanging on the side of a cliff. If you are new to climbing, leave the stress to the experts and hire a guide to help coach you through. This hidden gem is tucked away at the backend of town on the way to Bridal Veil Falls.

 

Whitewater Rafting Telluride

 

Telluride’s Best Kept Secret Hike

 

 In addition to whitewater rafting Telluride also has a top-secret hike that only locals know about. Little Hawaii might be Telluride’s best-kept secret! This hidden gem will lead to a beautiful little lagoon deep in the woods of Telluride. Good luck finding it! There are no directions to this secret spot online and it is not in any guidebooks. This is truly a hidden gem. Many friendly locals will let you in on the secret if you ask. You can also find directions from a few internet bloggers than have written about the hike if you email them. If you find this hidden gem, be sure to keep it a secret!

 

Whitewater Rafting Telluride

 

Take some time this summer and enjoy Telluride’s hidden gems, but be sure to keep them a secret! Not only are each of these truly a special experience, but Telluride works hard to keep these adventures awesome! From the Via Ferrata to rafting the San Miguel to hiking Little Hawaii to riding the free gondola, there is something for everyone! If nothing else, take a day and experience the epic white water rafting Telluride has to offer and get your feet wet in the San Miguel River!

Images from Telluride.com

 

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San Miguel River Rafting

Hidden Gems of Silverton

These Brilliant Tips Will Ensure You Capture Every Moment On The River

Sitting at an elevation of 8,750 feet above sea level, Telluride is a small mountain town that is well known for its summer activities, which include hiking, rock climbing, mountain biking, free gondola access, and Telluride river rafting! Telluride rafting is a great way to cool off and escape the summer heat on the San Miguel River and is an exciting and thrilling experience. For most it can be the adventure of a lifetime! Coming home with pictures of such an adventure is icing on the cake! Who wouldn’t want pictures to relive such an amazing memory? It can be a stressful experience to try and take a selfie while you are in the middle of a Class III rapid as your guide is yelling at you for not paddling! Check out these tips and tricks for how to capture a Telluride River rafting trip!

 

Recommended Camera For Telluride River Rafting

 

Telluride River Rafting

 

As you hopefully know, anything you take with you on the raft is going to get wet and has a chance of getting dropped and lost forever in the water. So whatever form of camera you bring, make sure it is waterproof and can be secured tightly to either the raft or to your body. We recommend GoPro or a GoPro-style camera. These are great because it can be attached to your helmet or across your chest with various mount attachments and can be left running hands-free as you paddle down the fast-paced and twisting waterways of the San Miguel River.

 

Telluride River Rafting

 

*Pro-tip: attach your camera to your chest since it is the most stable part of your body. Your head moves around a lot while on the raft and can make for “motion sickness” when viewing the videos.

 

Telluride River Rafting

 

If You Don’t Want To Take A Camera On A Telluride River Rafting Trip

 

A fool-proof way to capture your awesome Telluride River rafting experience is to leave it to the professionals! We have photographers that travel to the various rivers we raft on and take pictures while our guests go through roaring rapids! This way you do not have to worry about losing or damaging your own camera equipment. The San Miguel River is one of Colorado’s least known and most spectacular rivers, with fast-paced splashes, rolling rapids, and incredible scenery. This river is definitely one you will want pictures to take home with you! So leave the expensive camera gear at home and let us do all the hard work for you!

 

Telluride River Rafting

 

*Pro-tip: Make a funny face for the camera, but don’t forget to paddle!

 

Telluride River Rafting

 

Finding the best method for capturing a raft trip can be difficult. On a Telluride river rafting trip, you are making memories that will last a lifetime! Telluride is a gorgeous area and rafting down the San Miguel is no exception! Keep all of this in mind when you are preparing for your trip to Colorado and let us take some stress off your back! You can either take our advice and utilize one of the methods above, or if you have ideas of your own, please feel free to share them with us! But remember to have fun along the way!

 

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Salt River Rafting Media Re-cap

Four Little Known Spring Adventures

 

The Best Memories From Salt River Az Rafting 2017

The rafting season in Salt River AZ is drawing to a close for the 2017 season. We wanted to take the chance to compile all or our favorite photos and videos from Salt River AZ. 2017 was one of the best seasons for rafting the Salt River that our guides can remember. With a deep snowpack in the White Mountains, the water remained high an fast late into April. We took our first trip to Salt River AZ in early march. Our media team spent a couple weekends capturing the beauty that can only be found in the Salt River Canyon. 

 

Salt River AZ

 

Who Could Forget The Guides Of The Salt River AZ

The guides are really what makes the rafting expereince so special. Each with their own unique story an personality. Perhaps the most intriguing thing about the life of a guide on the Salt River is that they camp on the Salt River for the entire season. Thats 12 plus weeks of camping in the Arizona desert!

 

Salt River AZ

 

The Customers Of Salt River AZ Share Their Experiences

 

 

The guides love the Salt River River. Why else would they spend their entire spring down there. We know the guides love the Salt River, but we wanted to get some unbiased opinions. We spent some time talking with a few of our guests during their trip down the Salt River. How do they describe the Salt River canyon. What is the rafting like for them? Not surprisingly our guests share the same thoughts as our guides. The Salt River is great!

 

Salt River AZ

 

While the Salt River rafting season has drawn to a close for the 2017, It’s never to late to start planning for next year! We want to thanks all the customers and guides who made out Salt River Rafting season such a great success. We hope you all had just as much fun as we did! For those looking for a step up in adventure and excitement from the Salt River rapids, join us on the Lower Piedra River! Constant class III excitement with some class IV rapids mixed into this classic mountain river. 

 

Salt River AZ

 

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A New Perspective On The Dolores River

White Water Rafting in Arizona

 

Is The Animas River Days Festival All It’s Cracked Up To Be?

Summertime in Southwest Colorado is a great time to explore all that Durango white water rafting has to offer. The Lower Animas river runs right through the heart of town. Locals and visitors alike take to the river to cool off on hot summer days. In celebration of all that the Lower Animas brings to the community, is the Animas River Days Festival. The festival is a weekend long celebration right here in Durango. The events celebrate and showcase the talent and excitement of Durango white water rafting. This year’s festival is on June 3rd and has an exhilarating line-up of events!

 

Durango White Water Rafting

 

Durango White Water Rafting: How did the Animas River Days Start?

The Animas River Days began in 1985 when Nancy Wiley hosted a “whitewater rodeo” in Durango. The first of its kind, it was a celebration of Durango white water rafting. Over time the festival has grown and draws in crowds from all over the world. Participants flock to Durango to compete and spectate in the lively events. The whitewater park in Durango has become the center of the festival in recent years. The Durango white water rafting park is well-known for three exciting rapids: Smelter, Corner Pocket, and Ponderosa. These rapids are rated as Class III, but in high water can be bumped up to Class IV. The whitewater park is a great location for spectators to watch the events. The Animas River Days is a local favorite to celebrate Durango white water rafting.

 

 

Durango White Water Rafting

 

What’s Going on During the Festival?

The day of the festival is jam-packed with competitive and fun events. The day  kicks off bright and early with a host of river sport competitions. In the afternoon things begin to calm down. Event finals will take place as the Durango white water rafting park begins to fill up. We recommend watching the events from the large boulders that line the riverside in the Durango Whitewater Park. Be sure to wander around the park to explore all the offerings from local vendors and booths. In the afternoon you can expect fun to watch events such as the Inflatable Rodeo hosted by Mild to Wild Rafting and Jeep Tours.  The can’t-miss culmination of the event is the raft parade. The parade starts at 32nd street and goes all the way down to Santa Rita park. Watch a variety of decorated vessels try to tackle the raging smelter rapids. Chances are good you’ll see a boat flip. The event ends with a Late Night Party at El Rancho Tavern. Starting at 8:30 AM and going late into the night, it is a full day of Durango white water rafting!

 

Durango White Water Rafting

 

Durango White Water Rafting – The Best Way to Experience the Festival

The Animas River Days is a great time to try Durango Whitewater rafting. Expereince the same whitewater challenges as the competitors. On Saturday take a raft trip down the Lower Animas river. Follow up a day of rafting with a brewery tour in the evening. Durango is a town that is well-known for its beer! Take a break from Durango white water rafting for a refreshment. Visit any of our many fine breweries such as Ska, Carver’s, Steamworks, Durango Brewing Company, and Animas Brewing Company. On Sunday get out and participate in and spectate the festival events.

 

Durango White Water Rafting

 

If you are planning a trip to Durango the weekend of June 3rd, get ready for a weekend of river fun! Lather on the sunscreen, grab your buddies, and head down to the Animas River. Watch some of Durango’s most spectacular whitewater racing. If you think the events look like fun, try your hand at Durango white water rafting! We’ll see you there!

 

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Upper Animas Rafting

The Ecosystem of The Lower Animas

Rafting The Upper Animas Is The Challenge Of A Lifetime

Do you think you have what it takes to conquer the mighty Upper Animas rafting? This wild river is like none other. Deemed to be the one of the toughest commercially run rivers in the United States, the Upper Animas rafting is not for the faint of heart. You will race through constant class II and III rapids with unforgiving class IV and V rapids. The Animas River translates from Spanish as the “River of Lost Souls.” With serious consequences on the river, physical fitness is of the utmost importance. This raft trip is not just a scenic float down the river. It is a constant battle down one of the most intense river sections in the country. Do you still think you have what it takes to conquer the mighty Upper Animas?

 

Upper Animas Rafting

 

Upper Animas Rafting: What Rapids to Expect

 

If you are one of the lucky few to experience Upper Animas rafting you won’t be disappointed. Your adventure begins with a breathtaking drive along the Million Dollar Skyway to Silverton. Excitement and anticipation build for the grueling journey ahead. You will get a quick warm up through the Animas Gorge on class III rapids. Soon after you hit your first class V rapid of the day: Ten Mile rapid. Class V rapids are extremely technical rapids and Ten Mile is no exception.  Hold on tight as you bounce around the raging whitewater. Be sure to listen to your guide and paddle when they say to!

 

Upper Animas Rafting

 

Down river, you’ll meet your next Class V endeavor: No Name Rapid. And this is no easy class V rapid. This rapid will be sure to test your strength and teamwork. Squeezing through a narrow rock chute, you will then hit a roller coaster-like wave train. The swim consequences of this rapid are severe since you hit continuous class IV rapids immediately after No Name, so it is importance you take this rapid seriously. While Upper Animas rafting is some the best in the world, it is not for the faint of heart.

 

Upper Animas Rafting 

 

After tackling No Name rapid on your Upper Animas Rafting trip there is still more fin to come. Hopefully you still have some strength and stamina left in you! You’ll end the day with more continuous Class III rapids before hopping on the Durango Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad and make your way back to Durango. Relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery after a full day of wild Upper Animas rafting.

 

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Upper Animas Rafting: More Then Just a Day Trip

 

Upper Animas Rafting

 

If you are still hungry for more action, you are in luck! Our two and three day Upper Animas Rafting trips have two more Class V rapids to keep your adrenaline pumping. Day two/three on the Upper Animas rafting goes through the Needleton section. Hit roaring Class V rapids such as Broken Bridge and Spector Rapid. After your first day of rafting, you will camp at our semi-permanent campsite along the river. Guides will prepare delicious meals. Your river guides quickly transform into five-star chefs and campsite gurus. They will prepare you a delicious hot meal to refuel you for the next day of rafting and get camp set-up for you so you can sleep like a rock! Immerse yourself in the wilderness on an Upper Animas rafting multi-day trip.

 

Upper Animas Rafting

 

The mighty Upper Animas rafting isn’t a river to take lightly. If you think you have what it takes to conquer this beast, then join our crew for one to three days on the river. Run the toughest commercially run river in the United States. Start training today and soon you will be ready to take on the mighty Upper Animas rafting!

 

 

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Hidden Gems of Durango

How is the Animas River Effected By Rafting?

 

These Little Known Gems Will Leave You Wanting More

The Durango Silverton Train is a must do for those visit Durango in the summer. Known as hidden gem the Durango Silverton train is not to be missed. The train is one of the many hidden gems that the area has to offer. Most recognize Colorado as the place to be for winter fun on the slopes. Purgatory Resort in Durango is a top spot for winter fun. Not everyone knows about all the fun Durango has to offer in the warm months though. Durango is the place to be for anyone looking for summertime fun in the sun. From adventure in the pristine alpine wilderness to the exceptional culinary culture. Durango and the surrounding area have something to offer.

 

Durango Silverton Train

 

Expereince The Durango Silverton Train

 

Durango Silverton Train

 

There are few day trips in The US less scenic than that between Durango and Silverton.  The dramatic vistas of the San Juan Mountains are hard to beat. The Durango Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad is one of the few locomotives in the United States that still runs on a steam powered engine. The train has changed little since it started transporting silver and gold ore in 1882.  Enjoy breathtaking views as you ride in one of the iconic gold cars.  There are multiple options to expereince the train. Ride the train both ways or take a bus one way. There are plenty of ways to enjoy this beautiful route and travel back to the Victorian Era. Explore the historic mining town of Silverton nestled quaintly in between the peaks. There is no better way to expereince the remarkable San Juan Scenic Skyway,

 

Ice Lakes – Beyond the Durango Silverton Train

 

Durango Silverton Train

 

For anyone looking for a more up close and personal experience with the landscape, this is for you. Get even closer than the Durango Silverton Train gets you. Durango has easy access to numerous extraordinary day hiking destinations. Just a quick drive from both Durango and Silverton is Ice Lakes. Beautiful crystal clear alpine lakes. Surrounded by picturesque peaks are waiting for those that take this high elevation hike.  The trail takes hikers past pictorial waterfalls fed by the lakes. In mid summer a colorful variety of wildflowers (including Colorado Columbines) speckle the landscape. This hike is a local favorite and a must see for summer visitors. For those that aren’t ready to hike, the jeep tours in the area are spectacular. 

 

Explore Durango’s Breweries 

 

Durango Silverton Train

 

Colorado is well known for both the abundance and quality of its microbreweries.  Many of even the smallest towns feature their own microbrews and brewpubs.  Durango has plenty of options for those who want to sample the local brews.  Local brewery favorites include Ska, Animas, and Durango Brewing Company. Interestingly Durango Brewing Companies logo recognizably includes the aforementioned Durango Silverton Train. Some of the oldest brewpubs in Colorado like Carver’s and Steamworks Brewing Companies are right in downtown.  Be sure to visit as many as you can to get a taste of the award winning and seasonal beers. Many beers you won’t find anywhere else!

 

Durango Silverton Train

 

Taste of Durango – The Perfect Addition to the Durango Silverton Railroad

 

Durango Silverton Train

 

Beer isn’t the only thing Durango does well.  Locals know that there is no shortage of quality dining options in town.  Every year Durango puts that quality food on display at the annual Taste of Durango Festival. The event occurs just as summer starts. Free music, family fun, and awesome eats highlight this event. Organized by the Durango chapter of the Colorado Restaurant Association the Event is designed to highlight Durango’s premiere culinary talents.  In addition the event welcomes in the warm summer weather.  Located in the middle of historic downtown on Main Street along the route of the Durango Silverton Train. Taste of Durango features the best the city has to offer from its breweries as well as restaurants.  This year, the festival will take place on May 21st.

 

Durango Silverton Train

 

Southwest Colorado has plenty for visitors to do. Taste the best food and beverages. Ride The Durango Silverton Train. Hike to the Ice Lakes. The winter here is great but don’t forget about Durango for a summer vacation. These hidden gems are sure to keep you entertained!

 

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Rafting In Durango

Shoulder Season Trip Ideas

 

 

Rafting Durango – Know the Truth About How the River is Affected

Come summertime, rafting Durango is one of the most popular activities. Especially on hot days, the cool water is a great way to relax. Thousands of boaters venture through Durango down the Animas River every summer, whether it be by raft, kayak, or inner tube. Rafting Durango is a very popular summertime activity. The popularity of running the river takes a toll on the health of the Animas as well as the surrounding areas. As hard as we work to take precautions to preserve the health of the river, there is still an impact each year from the wear and tear of boaters and anglers. There are some things YOU can do on your trip down the Lower Animas River to do your part in creating a more sustainable trip for future generations.

 

Rafting Durango

 

What Sort of Impacts Does Rafting Durango Rivers have on the Water

 

Rafting Durango down the Lower Animas River is fun without a doubt. While you are on the water, make sure to minimize your footprint in the wild. Over the course of a Lower Animas trip, even though it is such a short trip, there are many ways the water is impacted. For example, sunscreen and bug spray are both commonly used by rafters on the lower animas. Certain chemicals can have damaging effects to the ecosystem of the water. While we definitely recommend using sunscreen, try use a waterproof or eco-friendly formula. That way when you dip into the water you won’t add any pollutants to the pure water.  Food landing in the river can also disrupt the natural selection of the Animas River. It is of utmost importance to keep all food secured in the boat or in your stomach! This includes natural items such as banana peels and apple cores!

 

Rafting Durango

 

How Can You Help Protect Rafting Durango? 

The Leave No Trace ethic is a series of seven principles to help reduce the impact of human interaction with the wilderness. These seven principles are as follows: Plan ahead and prepare, travel and camp on durable surfaces, dispose of waste properly, leave what you find, minimize campfire impacts, respect wildlife, and be considerate of other visitors. From the Economy Lower Animas trip to the five-day Salt River trip, Leave No Trace plays an important role in all rafting trips.

 

Rafting Durango

 

One of the most important things to keep in mind is to dispose of waste properly. If you “pack in it” you must “pack it out,” meaning if you bring snacks on your raft trip, then every part of that snack must come off the river, including the wrapper!  Given the nature of rafting Durango and the potential to fall out or flip the raft, we urge guests to use reusable water bottles that can be attached to the raft, so we don’t pollute the river with plastic water bottles in the Sumer months.

 

Rafting Durango

 

Take only pictures, leave only footprints! This is important in order to preserve the ecosystem and environment of the Animas River. Since it is such a heavily trafficked river everyones impact makes a difference. We encourage you to take pictures while on your trip. We strongly discourage you from taking rocks or other natural souvenirs home with you. Taking souvenirs from the river could disrupt the nature of the ecosystem. If one person were to take a rock from the river it may not seem like a huge deal. What if every single person who went down the Animas River took a rock over the course of a summer? It would drastically change the dynamic and nature of the river.

 

Rafting Durango

 

Another important consideration while rafting on the Animas River is to respect the wildlife. On the economy Lower Animas rafting trip you could see all kinds of animals including fish, deer, birds, and other wildlife. Observe animals from a distance and do not feed them. This is why it is important to pick up after ourselves and not leave crumbs or apple cores on the riverside. The animals will develop a dependence on humans to survive, which we do not want! Help to keep nature natural.

 

Rafting Durango

 

As you can see, we work hard to protect and sustain the Animas River. Not only do we want to give you an awesome experience, but we want to give people for years to come the same amazing experience!

 

Read More:

The Animas River Ecosystem

The Unique History of the Dolores River

 

Actually Understanding Important And Astonishing River Ecosystems

Both the Upper and Lower sections of the Animas River flow right through the heart of the San Juan Mountains along and provide some of the most raging and fun-filled rafting in Colorado. The Animas River is the backbone of Southwest Colorado, specifically Durango. The locals take extra caution to care for the Animas River to keep it flowing healthy for years to come. The Animas River is one of the last free-flowing rivers in Colorado and has one of the best Gold Medal Water fly-fishing sections in Colorado. This makes it a unique destination for anglers, rafters, and outdoor enthusiasts alike. Conservation holds a very special place in the hearts of Animas River enthusiasts. Keep the Animas River flow.

 

 

Animas River Flow

 

 

What lives in the Animas River flow?

 

 

Animas River Flow

 

 

The Animas River is considered “big water” as it is nearly 100 feet wide in spots, which provides a great niche for fish to live and an even better niche for anglers to catch and release. Home to cutthroat, rainbow and brown trout, the Animas River flow allows these fish to grow large since the river is so big. It is not uncommon to catch 10-15 inch trout. The most common species in the Animas is the Rainbow trout, making up about 70% of angler catch. Next comes brown trout at 25%. There is a very limited survival of native cutthroat trout. The trout in the Animas River flow feed on sculpins, which lie on the bottom of the river in the mud and dirt. However, due to a high pH in the Animas River the bottom of the river is slick, so be careful wading out into the water! Colorado Parks and Wildlife works hard to keep the animas river flow healthy.  Some regulations put into place are standard bag limits for anglers. These depend on what section of the river you are on. Stocking the Animas with rainbow and brown trout is common and based on current results done through scientific studies. If you are lucky enough to take a raft trip on the Animas river, look into the water and see what lives below the surface. What seems like just flowing water is actually a vibrant ecosystem!

 

 

Animas River Flow

 

 

Does the Animas River flow clean water?

 

 

DSC_3600

 

 

In August of 2015, the Animas river experienced a pollution disaster when three million gallons of toxic mining waste spilled into the river, causing the river to turn a bright orange color. One year later, the Animas River flow is clear again! This is due to the hard work of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) crews and federal steps toward a Superfund cleanup and by September, the EPA declared an “all clear” from the spill, despite potential long-term effects. Today the Animas River is as healthy as ever running over 250 cubic feet per second (CFS), which is expected to rise as spring arrives. In short, the Animas River is clean and the ecosystem is back to normal!

 

 

DSC_3555

 

 

            Conservation of the Animas River is of the utmost importance today in Durango and the Southwest. The many species of the Animas River thrive in their ecosystem and provide tourists and locals alike with hours of fun on the water. Whether it be rafting, fishing, tubing, or relaxing on the side we all rely on the Animas River Flow. Help us protect and cherish this valuable resource. If you are coming to Durango, the Animas River is one thing you will want to check out for yourself!

 

 

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The Dolores River

The Colorado River – Moab

 

Four Remarkable Shoulder Season Trips Crammed With Adventure

Planning a Durango CO Vacation can be tough because there are so many great adventures. What time of year should you visit Durango? In the travel industry, “shoulder season” refers to the time between the high and low seasons. For Durango the shoulder season occurs two different times each year. Fall and spring are the times of year right between the high and low travel seasons. With the weather remaining favorable, the shoulder season is a perfect time to visit Durango. We think the shoulder seasons are some of the best times to visit Durango. Enjoy a quieter environment, less people, and often lower prices.  In celebration of the shoulder seasons we put together of our favorite spring and fall activities. If you get the chance to experience Durango during that time of year, here is our must do list of adventures!

 

Participate in the Iron Horse Bicycle Classic During Your Durango CO Vacation:

 

Durango CO Vacation

 

Occurring every memorial day weekend, the Iron Horse Bicycle Classic is the ultimate celebration of Durango’s cycling heritage. Late May is a perfect time to experience a Durango CO vacation by bike. The weather is warm, spring is in the air and the trails are opening up. The Iron Horse Bicycle Classic is a weekend long event. With rides and races for both road and mountain bikers, it’s a unique and special event. If you get the chance, participate in the citizen’s tour on Saturday. With varying lengths, the citizens tour provides stunning views of the Animas valley along with breathtaking views from the mountain passes. The full tour goes all the way from Silverton to Durango along the San Juan Skyway. Be sure to watch the professionals compete in the downtown mountain bike race on Sunday. Enjoy the street fair atmosphere and stop by one Durango’s breweries for a bite to eat and tasty beverage. The Iron Horse weekend is a fun and exciting weekend to visit Durango.

 

Learn about the history of the Southwest with a Tour of Mesa Verde an Important Part to Any Durango CO Vacation

 

Durango CO Vacation

 

We think the fall and spring are the best times to take a tour of Mesa Verde National Park. In the spring and fall you get the advantage of Escaping the heat of summer and the chill of the winter. While a Durango CO vacation is a great option in any season, Visiting Mesa Verde is prime in the Spring and Fall. In general all the sites are open during these time periods, and you don’t have to worry about crowds. We think the best way to take in this historic site is on a guided tour. Go with an area expert. They will fill you in on the history of the area, be able to answer your questions, and know all the best spots to view the ruins. A self guided tour is certainly an option but with a guided tour you’ll gain a better perspective of the ancestral ruins. If you get the chance to take a Durango CO vacation in the spring or fall, take the time to visit Mesa Verde National Park. You won’t regret it.

 

Head for the Mountains and Explore old Mining Roads During your Durango CO Vacation

 

 

Durango CO Vacation

 

We can’t recommend a fall jeep tour enough! There is something so special about the high mountains in the fall. The air is still and clear. The sky is the most vibrant shade of blue, contrasted only by the sparkling gold aspen leaves. A great addition to any Durango CO vacation. With a multitude of old mining roads and jeep trails to explore, a trip into the mountains is pretty amazing. Travel above 12,000 feet and take in the view among the soaring peaks on a guided jeep tour. Our personal favorite is a trip up to the top of Kennebec Pass in LaPlata canyon. Take a moment at the top to enjoy the unique quiet stillness. There is something so relaxing about a fall afternoon in the mountains. Yet another great reason to visit Durango in the fall!

 

Fly Fish the Clear and Challenging Waters a Durango CO Vacation Classic

 

Durango CO Vacation

 

With all the freshwater resources available in the Durango area it’s no wonder that Fly Fishing makes our shoulder season list of favorites. For anglers visiting in the spring, the river’s can get a bit murky and flushed out from snowmelt. This can make for tricky fishing, but don’t worry. There’s plenty of other great options for spring time fishing during your Durango CO vacation! When the rivers are high, head for Vallecito or Lemon reservoir. The fishing is great, but the views might be even better. Don’t forget to take your eye’s off the water to watch the Osprey and Eagles soar over the lake. They’ll be your biggest competition for catching fish! In the fall nothing beats fishing the streams and rivers of the Durango area. For the casual fishers, the Animas river flowing through town is perfect. With clear low water, it will take some skill, but catch will be rewarding. With a multitude of prime fishing holes right in downtown Durango, an afternoon doing some fall fishing is incomparable. The perfect relaxing end to a Durango CO vacation. 

 

Durango CO Vacation


Plan your Durango CO vacation for any season. There is always a sure fire good time to be had. If you are lucky enough to come during the shoulder season we know that you’ll enjoy any or all of the activities above. Tried and true, all of our staff will attest to any of these adventures being wonderfully fun.

 

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The Durango Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad

Lower Animas Whitewater Rafting

 

A New Perspective on the Beautiful Dolores River Rafting

Dolores River Rafting is back! For the first time in over a decade the Dolores River will receive consistent flow releases from McPhee reservoir. That means consistent rafting on this extremely special and unique river. A true classic western river, the Dolores is on par with the greats: the Grand Canyon, the Salmon River and then there is the Dolores River! Winding through slick rock canyons, remote wilderness, and towering ponderosa forests, the river reaches terrain rarely touched by humans. The Dolores is dammed near the headwaters at McPhee Reservoir.  For many years the droughts in Colorado in conjunction with farmers using the water as a means of irrigation have prohibited any ability to run this river. The Dolores is a classic emblem of the struggle to balance agriculture and recreation in the west. Since the water levels have been dangerously low, the Dolores River has been largely inaccessible to boaters. The McPhee Dam now holds the water that was once flowing down the Dolores River Canyon. The River has been considered “dead” since the drought struck Southwest Colorado in 2000. The river hasn’t been consistently raft-able since the McPhee Dam was suddenly forced to release water during a rainstorm in the fall of 1999. Flowing at a less then raging one cubic foot per second, the Dolores river hasn’t flowed much higher than ankle height in years. Occasionally the river has gotten a few days of water released. It has not received a full season in close to a decade.

 

Dolores River Rafting

 

Dolores River Rafting Controversy

 

Deemed to be one of the mightiest white-water rivers in the West, the Dolores River drops over 6,500 vertical feet over 50 miles. Since 1984, the McPhee Dam has held back the water flow to this river to be diverted to irrigate farms in Montezuma Valley and Ute Mountain Indian Reservation. Farmers in this area pushed hard to get the McPhee Dam to be used for their irrigation purposes. In their eyes “water not used is water wasted.” Dating back to the 1800’s, there have been constant battles between environmentalists and farmer regarding what the precious river water should be used for. Environmentalists and rafters are in favor of letting the water run its course naturally. Those with a vested interest in agriculture and forestry want to keep the water in the region, rather then flowing out of state. With such an arid climate, the water is a valuable resource for agriculture in the Southwest. The fact that snowpack is finally high enough to allow for releases from the McPhee Reservoir is rare and end exciting news! A white-water rafting season on the Dolores River makes it’s return. 

 

Dolores River Rafting

 

Dolores River Rafting Makes it’s Return

 

Dolores River rafting is something you won’t want to miss out on this season! With a predicted white-water season from April to early June, this rare chance to raft this bucket list river. The Dolores River is a bit of a “jewel in the desert”. It has such a controversial history and the release of water from the McPhee Dam is so infrequent. It is predicted that the Dolores River will have 60 days of river flow over 800 cubic feet per second (CFS). Thirty nine of those days above 2000 CFS! Four of those days at 4,000 CFS. In layman’s terms, that means the river will be flowing furiously at full blast! This is not only beneficial for boaters and rafting companies, but is also a great opportunity for the river to restore its native habitat. It is currently predicted that 255,000 acre-feet of water will be released into the Dolores River. Making it a raging whitewater adventure with a few powerful Class IV rapids! There is rarely enough water to navigate a kayak, let alone a raft, down the waterway. We hope you are as excited as we are to return to a rare Dolores River rafting season!

 

Dolores River Rafting

 

 

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The San Miguel River

San Juan Scenic Highway