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Animas River - Upper

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Put-in is just south of Silverton
Class IV and V
River Length
28 miles
1/2 day, full day or multi-day
May to June


The Animas River begins high in the San Juan Mountains near Silverton, and descends rapidly south towards Durango. From here, the "River of Lost Souls" continues south at a slower pace before joining the San Juan River in northern New Mexico, having dropped 8,000 feet in elevation from its headwaters in just over 100 miles.

The upper waters of the Animas are heaven for thrill-seekers. The river tumbles through canyons in the beautiful San Juan Mountains, providing non-stop technical challenges through Class IV and V rapids. Some sections of this route drop well over 100 feet per mile. Much of the terrain is inaccessible except by water, adding to the remoteness and danger of the trip.

The put-in point for Upper Animas trips is just south of Silverton, where Mineral Creek joins the Animas. Trips end north of the impassable Animas Gorge, just north of Durango.

Tour Companies

  • Several convenient locations!
  • Rafting, Kayaking
  • 970-423-7031

AVA's Colorado Rafting Join AVA for world-class whitewater on the best rivers in Colorado. Trips for all ages and abilities: mild floats to family whitewater to pounding Class V waterfalls! Free wetsuits and splash jackets on AVA-run trips, outstanding guest service, great Outposts. See our award-winning website for daily discounts, packages and videos! Trips close to Denver and all major mountain resorts.

Class IV and V
River Length
28 miles
(to do the full section)
1/2 day, full day or multi-day
May to June
Guides Available?
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Formatted DirectionsMap

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