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The Upper Animas River – Durango’s Most Extreme Whitewater Adventure

Located in the heart of the Colorado’s biggest wilderness, the Upper Animas river runs from Silverton, CO through the San Juan Mountains to Durango, CO. A remote, technical, and exhilarating river to raft or kayak the Upper Animas has three sections for adventure seekers of all levels.

Rockwood Section: When the waters recede, fear not seekers of adventure as the Rockwood Gorge becomes the section of choice for the Upper Animas with its big drops and channeled flow allowing us to go where we dare not in higher water times. The Rockwood Gorge offers exhilarating Class II and III rapids with several large Class IV’s and two Class V’s, “Mandatory Thrash” and “Dangerocity”. This beautiful stretch of river is unique in we can only raft it at low water levels. You will travel by the Durango Train into the heart of Colorado’s largest wilderness area to access and depart for this adventure. This trip is only offered in paddle boats, where the guide has a paddle just like everyone else, so be prepared to help navigate through the rapids! Once you hit the river, you will encounter thrilling whitewater lined by the gorge walls. Since you are traveling deep into the heart of the Upper Animas, the only way to exit the canyon is on foot! After your rafting day, you will hike up 3/4 of a mile with your personal rafting gear while your guides carry the boats. All participants must be strong swimmers and able to paddle while the boat bounces, spins, and submerges through the spectacular Rockwood Gorge.

Silverton Section: Conquer non-stop Colorado whitewater rafting on continuous Class II and III rapids with intermittent Class IV and two Class V rapids on the Upper Animas River. Creeks and streams cascade into the river as you continuously paddle. Your trip starts near Silverton, Colorado and ends with a ride on the historic Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. You must be a strong swimmer and able to paddle while the boat bounces, spins and submerges for this high adventure trip. At high water, this trip is considered extreme.

Needleton Section: 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!

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