If you come to Colorado for rafting or want a rafting experience in your home state, the Animas River running through Durango is one of the best options available.
The river through water recreation alone for things like rafting and kayaking brings in 10% of Colorado's total rafting revenue.
With all that in mind, Durango and the surrounding areas are considered to be one of the best access points to the river and the rafting opportunities it hides. There are a variety of rafting outfitters that can set you up for a trip through the whitewater and multiple access points that give a convenient entrance for your own gear if you have it.
The Animas isn't even the only rafting opportunity in the area for those looking to branch out. Several fast-flowing creeks and smaller rivers run through the area giving other options like kayaking and tubing down their own whitewater. The canyons in the area can be home to exhilarating rushes of water nearly perfect for a fast-paced series of rapids and drops. If you want a more sedate and gentle path down the waters you can hope on nearby rivers to just float for a while.
Rafting, whitewater or otherwise, abounds in the Durango area.
The Animas River running directly through town provides huge amounts of convenience and adventure to those who seek it.
Rafting on the rapids is just one of those convenient adventures located in town. With some of the rafting outfitters or just with your own equipment you can start out above town and float your way down to the other side. In between putting in and pulling out you can ride the rapids as you fight nature itself for a good time.
There is even a permanent whitewater rafting course built into the river alongside town just for those rafting the town run and beyond.
The Upper Animas is a rafting run on the Animas, roughly from Silverton down to just above Durango.
As one of the most challenging yet rewarding runs, it's a draw for many people looking to raft in Colorado. The class 4 and 5 rapids the run is known for making it one of the higher difficulty options, but that difficulty gives people the challenge they're looking for in a whitewater rafting run.
If you want to test your skill in a rush of water and adrenaline the Upper Animas rafting tour is one of the best options near Durango
Vallecito Creek is nearly the definition of whitewater in the area for kayakers looking to get out on the water.
Considered to be the best mile of creek boating in Colorado, Vallecito is a series of drops, rapids, and boofs as you guide your kayak down through the gorge near Bayfield and Durango. With the amazing waterfalls and granite walls, once you start your way down the creek there's no paddling your way back up so be prepared for a wild ride on an epic journey down the canyon.
Be sure to scout things out before you set off to keep your run safe and fun.
Rafting can be dangerous no matter your experience level so please bring and use the proper safety equipment while out on the water.
Be respectful of nature and your fellow rafters by cleaning up after you finish and packing out what you pack in.
The water, especially in the spring, will be cold so if you feel too uncomfortable, do what you can to dry off and warm up.
The river water is not safe to drink without filtering. So even though it looks clear and refreshing it's best to bring and drink your own water.