Rafting/Kayaking in Durango, CO
Ride the rapids! Water sports create some of the most popular activities in the Four Corners region and your trip just won't be complete until you experience the fun of a river rafting adventure. There are numerous whitewater rafting and kayaking trips offered in Durango, CO. The season runs April through September, when the Durango weather is warm and the landscape is blooming.
Thrills for everyone. Ride the whitewater rush of spring run-off or relish a calm and lazy summertime float. Consider a two hour trip, a half day trip with lunch or a 1-6 day wilderness expedition. Beginner, intermediate and advanced experiences are available. Need lodging? There are dozens of excellent Durango camping sites, vacation rentals and hotels in the vicinity.
The rivers run through it. The Animas, San Miguel, Dolores, Piedra, Florida, Pine and San Juan are just a few of the rivers that wind through vivid desert and mountain scenery in the heart of Southwest Colorado. Some are remote, others are easily accessible. But they all offer opportunities for water-fun and some of the best fishing, too.
The most popular river for rafting and kayaking is the Animas River. The Animas is one of the last free-flowing rivers in the United States and whitewater adventurers come from around the world to experience its average drop of 85 feet per mile. Amazing hiking trails along its banks add to the river's appeal.
Get dressed to get wet. The Lower Animas is called "The River of Lost Souls," and provides the perfect water flow for novice and family rafting trips. The Upper Animas, which has whitewater rapids that rumble 28 miles through the San Juan National Forest, is for experienced rafters only. Both sections deliver fun, excitement and majestic terrain.
The Dolores, San Miguel and Piedra Rivers also lure many rafters to their gorgeous whitewater curves. There are whitewater rafting trips around nearby Silverton, Telluride, Cortez and Dakota.
Stay safe. Like skiing, biking and four-wheeling, rafting and kayaking can be fun for people of all skill levels. But it's not advisable to take excessive risks. Rapids are classified into six levels. Class I represents moving water with ripples and small waves. Class VI means waters too violent to navigate. The best rafting trip takes place somewhere in between, depending on your experience. Going with a guide from a rafting company gives newcomers peace of mind, allowing everyone to simply climb aboard and have a good time.
More Rafting Information
The companies listed below provide rafting trips with professional, experienced guides. Some give group discounts. Some have packages that combine rafting with other activities like jeep tours, horseback riding or train rides on the Narrow Gauge Railroad. Some will outfit river-goers who just want to rent equipment or go tubing. We suggest you investigate all the choices to determine the best option for your vacation.