Please note: At high water, many consider this river to be one of the most difficult commercially run trips in the U.S. Minimum age is 16 years, and participants must be in physically fit condition with strong swimming abilities. It's required that all participants can paddle while the boat bounces, spins, and submerges during this high-adventure trip.
Your rafting experience starts the evening before your tour, when you must complete a river orientation and be fitted for your thermal wetsuit. You'll take a raft trip on the river to practice swimming in the rapids.
The morning of your tour, head back to the rafting office, where you'll board a shuttle for the ride from Durango to Silverton via the Million Dollar Skyway. When you reach the Upper Animas River, suit up with your wetsuit and booties, which are required and provided. Then hop on your raft with your guide and hit the water, paddling through Animas Gorge, a set of continuous Class III rapids.
Then scout and tackle your first Class V rapid of the day, Ten Mile, followed by a break for a deli-style lunch on the riverbank. After eating, get back on the river for more Class III rapids, and tackle No Name rapid, if you dare, before more Class III's. Upon arrival at Needleton Camp, get out of the water for your ride on the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, a historical train line that takes you past Rockwood Gorge. When you get to Rockwood Station, you'll catch the shuttle back to Durango, where your day tour ends at the rafting office in the early evening.