Animas River Rafting: Quick Facts & Insights

Animas River Origins

Learn about the Animas River is a staple of Durango, and its name ‘Río de Las Ánimas’ translates to ‘the River of Souls.’ This name was coined by Spanish colonizer Juan María Antonio Rivera during his 1765 expedition of Southwest Colorado. The Animas Canyon originated from a glacier, which, at the time, was a staggering 2,000 feet thick and stretched over 50 miles.

Top things to know about rafting the Animas River:

The river originates in Animas Forks near Silverton and runs 126 miles southward to its confluence with the San Juan River in Farmington, New Mexico.

It flows through Colorado’s largest wilderness study area, the Weminuche Wilderness.

The Animas River is the third-largest commercially rafted river in Colorado, with over 60,000 boaters a year.

The season typically runs from early May to mid-September, depending on the flows that year.

In 1911, the river recorded an all-time high of 25,000 CFS.

Smelter whitewater park is a prominent training site for competitive kayakers and whitewater competitions.

The Upper Animas is more wild with class I-V rapids.

The Lower Section is calmer with class I-III rapids.

So if you’re looking for scenic views, splashes, and a lot of history, then come give the Animas River a go!

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