Spending time on the river is one of the best summer activities here in Durango. You may not know it, but there’s more than one way to enjoy the lower Animas River. No matter what the water levels are, your own person river experience, or the overall conditions of the river, there is something for everyone to enjoy!

Changing up how you get down the river can add to the fun and adjust the experience to match your group’s needs. The top ways to enjoy the river include rafting, kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding and tubing.


One of the most popular and traditional options to get down the river is by rafting. Rafting the lower Animas River has been a long-loved activity that is great for beginners. Rafting is the perfect way to enjoy the adventure with friends or family and has the benefit of a raft guide who will give you safety lessons and information about the river.

When the water becomes lower in the late summer months, there will be more technical strategies to dodge large rocks. But that contributes to the fun of it! On the Lower Animas, you can choose between a standard raft and a premium raft. Standard rafts hold up to ten people while premium rafts have a smaller, more personal feel to them with up to six people. Contact the rafting experts at Mild to Wild Rafting & Jeep Tours to learn more.


For a much more individual experience try an inflatable kayak! You get to control your way down the river at an increased adventure level. No experience is necessary here as you will have a kayak instructor’s supervision, but this option is more challenging than rafting. These kayaks offer similar stability as a raft but much more mobility. So if you are ready for a new and challenging outdoor activity, try kayaking on the Animas River!


The new unique and fun way to spend your time on the river is on a paddle board. Stand-up paddle boarding (SUP) is a popular and growing sport. Mild to Wild Rafting & Jeep Tours offers a half day course where you can learn all there is to know about paddle boarding, and you can also rent your own paddle board for the day.

This sport is all about balance and paddle strokes and there are several options of how to use the board: standing, sitting or even laying. The great thing about paddle boarding is that you will have tons of fun while in still water; you don’t need the huge waves to enjoy it. So rent a board and try out this entertaining activity!


Experiencing the river on a tube is perhaps the most relaxing and simplest option. Without committing to a full day excursion, tubing allows for a stress-free adventure.

Starting from Oxbow Park is a perfect and calm area for tubes and you can proceed down the river until you so choose. Sometimes you need an activity to do in the sun without the physical work! Out of all these options, you will get the least exercise out of tubing but it is the easiest to do at your own leisure. Mild to Wild Rafting & Jeep Tours offers tube rentals and shuttles.

So no matter what type of experience you are looking for on the river, there is something for you. You can choose your own adventure, whether it be physically challenging, adrenaline-pumping, or simply relaxing. The lower Animas River has so much to offer for a wide range of people and adventure levels, so get out on the river with one of these options or try them all!

Sponsored by Mild to Wild Rafting & Jeep Tours.