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

By Mild to Wild   •   April 11, 2017

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


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