The whitewater rafting season is underway and the Lower Animas River is calling all challengers! Thanks to an extra snowy winter, the rapids are flowing high and fast. It should be a long, fun season.

You can raft the Animas River commercially through September (depending on water levels). The Lower Animas River cuts through downtown Durango and the Class III Whitewater Park, located just south of town. It’s a perfect river for first-timers and families, as well as seasoned paddlers.


David Moler, owner and raft guide at Durango Rivertrippers, shares his news about the local whitewater park:

“You have to try out the new rapids down the Lower Animas River. It’s an entirely new experience and people are loving it.”

Durango Whitewater Park

Durango Whitewater Park.

Lower Animas River Rafting

Group rafting the new whitewater park.

Lower Animas River Rafting

Big splash.


Durango Rivertrippers & Adventure Tours launched their first commercial float this season on April 1st. They’ve been rafting Southwest Colorado since 1984 and have maintained a perfect safety record. All the gear you need to have a great time is available.

Choose between three main trips:

  • ♦ 4 Hour “Half Day” Trip with Snack – door-to-door trip with a snack break in the middle
  • ♦ 2-Hour “Splash & Dash” – door-to-door that hits class III rapids
  • ♦ Guided Kayak Trip – paddle your own inflatable kayak on a 2 or 4 hour trip

Another choice, new in 2017, is the Dolores River. It flows through the second longest river canyon in the U.S., only behind the Grand Canyon. Dammed at the McPhee Reservoir, limited releases allow for commercial rafting access to the river only every few years. The Dolores boasts Class II to IV rapids and beautiful surroundings.

In addition to rafting they offer 4×4 tours, Jeep rentals and guided trips to Mesa Verde National Park.

Lower Animas River Rafting

Rafting the Lower Animas River.


Feeling more adventurous? Try the class IV and V rapids of the Upper Animas River. Both Mountain Waters and Outlaw Tours guide trips on the Upper Animas, which is north of Durango toward Silverton.