Upper Animas River Class IV or V
”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 a guide book
“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 and to do the whole thing it is best to break up over two days”. Whitewater of the Southern Rockies
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.” Gorp.com travel writer and adrenaline junkie Dan Oko
Durango Herald articles featuring the Upper Animas and Mountain Waters Rafting:
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
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.