Adventure Raft Trips

Upper Animas May-August, 1,2 & 3 Day Trips, Class IV or V
1 Day Upper Animas Silverton Stretch Class IV-V
1 Day Upper Animas Needleton Stretch Class III-IV
1 Day Upper Animas Rockwood Stretch Class IV
2 Day trip combines Silverton & Needleton Stretches
3 Day the 2 day trip with an extra day in paradise

Piedra River May & June, 1 Day Trips, Class III or IV
1 Day Piedra River Class III or IV Trips

What the experts say about whitewater rafting the Upper Animas River between Silverton and Durango, Colorado:

Super Soaker, a jaunt through the meanest whitewater in Colorado
The Upper Animas is Like Beethoven’s Fifth
Upper Animas River: A whitewater hidden gem – Upper Animas Trip 2010

Whitewater Rafting Upper Animas River Reviews

“Best rafting company in Durango!” 5 of 5 stars
“Upper Animas Insanity!!” 5 of 5 stars
“Upper Animas – Needleton section was intense and exhilarating!” 5 of 5 stars
“Upper Animas Needleton Rafting Greatness” 5 of 5 stars
“Worth the Risk” 5 of 5 stars
“Heres to the tall ships, the small ships, but the best ships….our friendships!!” 5 of 5 stars

Reviews of whitewater rafting the Piedra River between Pagosa Springs and Durango, Colorado

“Upper and lower Piedra Rafting ” 5 of 5 stars
“Do the Upper Piedra” 5 of 5 stars
“Amazing Guide (Andy G.), Great Crew and Breathtaking Scenery” 5 of 5 stars

* ”Few rivers can match the Upper Animas for heart stopping whitewater action. In the 28 mile long Animas Gorge – a deep jagged slot carved through the ancient metamorphic bedrock of the San Juan Mountains – the river drops 2,450’. The scenery is among the finest in this guide.” Western Whitewater is a guide book which chronicles 160 rivers and over 400 runs in 12 western states published in 1994

* “Not too difficult, but difficult in places; long, but short enough to run in a day; wilderness, yet paralleled by the Durango Silverton Narrow Gauge Rail Road; the Upper Animas flows through the heart of the majestic San Juan Mountains. Overnights are common on this run just to prolong one’s immersion in the beautiful country. Enjoy the river: play it, work it, do a side hike up into the mountains surrounding it.” Colorado Rivers and Creeks is a guidebook which covers 160 runs in the state of Colorado published in 1999

* “As one of the few class IV+ runs in Colorado that has a big feel, the Upper Animas boasts spectacular scenery as it winds its way through 13,000’ peaks in the heart of the San Juan Mountains. At an impressive 27 miles the Upper A can be physically exhausting and mentally taxing. Whitewater of the Southern Rockies is the new testament to class I-V+ covering over 332 runs in the 5 state area published in 2007

* “Having run whitewater from the holy Ganges in India to the Grand Canyon in Arizona, I learned long ago that every river has its own personality—but those river trips barely prepared me for this adventure. Dropping a stomach-curdling 80 feet per mile, the boulder-strewn Upper A is like a natural waterslide overflowing with rapids.” travel writer and adrenaline junkie Dan Oko shares his experiences rafting the white waters of Durango, Colorado’s Upper Animas River with Mountain Water Rafting published in 2012

* The Piedra River cuts deep, sheer sided trenches through massive blocks of ancient metamorphic rock in two narrow defiles known as the Box Canyons. Wildlife abounds and civilization seems far away. The Piedra is a candidate for National Wild & Scenic Protection.

* Mountain Waters Rafting is proud of both its safety record and being one of the pioneering raft companies (since 1982) on the Upper Animas River. Our base camp near the Needleton train stop and gateway to the Weminuche Wilderness is a place of pure magic making our 2 and 3 day trips very comfortable. All Upper Animas trips make use of the historic 1881 Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad for a shuttle vehicle. Join us for a 1, 2 or 3 day adventure on the World Class Upper Animas!

trip advisor “A Life Changing Experience!”
A couple of weeks ago I rafted the Silverton section of the Upper Animas with Mountain Waters Rafting. The entire trip completely took my breath away. Even the shuttle up in the morning was spectacular. The water was incredible and the rapids were intense, challenging, and thrilling. Even though I knew that No Name and Ten Mile were class V rapids, on the trip I was not afraid like I had been a couple of days before. The way my guide handled every situation and talked me through each rapid made me feel like I could conquer any whitewater. And we did! Every rapid went extremely well, with fun drops and big waves. Literally all the views made me stare; everything was so beautiful.

Mountain Waters Rafting does an amazing job of taking care of each client, especially on trips that are more dangerous like the Upper. Not only are the guides extremely experienced on the water, but they are all very familiar with Colorado and it’s history. On the trip I learned more about Silverton, the San Juan Mountains, and rafting in general. This made the beautiful trip even more worthwhile. The train ride was also perfect; gorgeous views of the river and plenty of time to relax after such a challenging section of whitewater. I would say this trip is absolutely worth every penny.