White-water Rafting and Kayaking White-water Rafting and Kayaking

Colorado Whitewater Rafting & Kayaking
Animas River Rafting & Kayaking


The free-flowing Animas River runs from high in the San Juan Mountains along the Durango and Vallecito Lake areas to New Mexico. The river passes by attractions such as the Durango/Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, as well as a Southern Ute Indian Reservation and old mine ruins. Cruising down this river, you will also experience panoramic views of the Southern Rockies and glimpses of wildlife.

The Animas River also has a longer season for rafting than most rivers in Colorado. Snowmelt and summer rains bring heavy run-off until mid-June, but the water may not be clear until July. The Animas is usually navigable into late August or early September, depending upon snowpack and summer rains.

The Animas River was once named "Killer River" because of its ferociousness. The upper river, when at high water, is considered by many to be the most difficult commercially run river in Colorado. The upper region of the Animas River has rapids in IV+ and V classes, with over 100 rapids in its 25-28 mile run. The gradient at times is as high as 85%, dropping 150 feet per mile.

If you are looking for a little less of an risk, the lower Animas River runs 11 miles with class I-II rapids. This run is perfect as an adventure for the whole family!

The International Rapid Rating Scale:

  • Class I: Easy. Fast moving water with riffles, small waves.
  • Class II: Novice. Straightforward rapids, wide, clear channels.
  • Class III: Intermediate. Rapids, moderate, irregular waves.
  • Class IV: Advanced. Intense, powerful rapids, precise boat handling.
  • Class V: Expert. Long, obstructed, violent rapids.

More Activities & Information

Durango, Colorado includes: Bayfield, Hesperus, Ignacio, Lemon, Vallecito Lake

Rafting & Kayaking in Colorado

Click to return to main Colorado Rafting & Kayaking Map

horizontal rule
Follow Us
Follow us on Facebook Button Follow us on Pinterest Button Follow us on Instagram Button

Places to Stay, Rentals & Amenities
Cabins & Cottages | Motels & Hotels | Lodging & Lodges | Vacation Homes | Condos, Suites & Townhomes | Bed & Breakfast | Tent Camping | RV Parks & Campgrounds | RV Sales, Service & Rentals | Romance Packages | Family Friendly | Pets Welcome | By Water | Swimming Pools | Guest Horses | Groups, Reunions & Retreats | Weddings & Elopements | Winter Lodging

Fun Things to Do
Calendars of Events | National Parks, Monuments & Historic Sites | Scenic Byways & Drives | Fishing & Fly Fishing | Hot Springs | Horse Riding | ATV/UTVing | Jeeping & 4WD | Whitewater Rafting & Kayaking | Attractions | Golfing | Restaurants & Dining | More Fun Stuff | Hunting & Land Leases | Snowmobiling | Downhill Skiing & Snowboarding | Snowshoeing | Cross-Country Skiing

A-Z Towns & Areas | Colorado Maps | About Us

©Copyright 1997- by The Colorado Directory, Inc. This is a directory only; it is not and does not contain a recommendation, warranty, guaranty, inducement or endorsement of any kind. Representations herein were supplied by the individual businesses. The publisher, The Colorado Directory, Inc., does not assume any responsibility for truth, falsity or completeness of any representation made herein or any errors, changes, services rendered, or changes made in the use of this directory. This information was compiled as accurately as possible. Prices and services are frequently subject to change. Errors called to the publisher's attention will be corrected in the future. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored or transmitted in any form or by any means, without permission in writing from the publisher.