Upper Animas Raft’n Rail

Great adventure and stunning scenery await you in the San Juan National Forest of Southwest Colorado! There are no roads in paradise so we board the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railway for the best part of the Animas River Gorge. Once we hit the water the action starts with Broken Bridge rapid just a few miles downstream. Plenty of other class III and IV rapids follow along with some calmer sections and visits to historical landmarks.

This section of the Upper Animas is suitable for those with at least a moderate fitness level. Some experience is recommended. During high water season in May and early June you should expect some big wild rapids and colder temperatures. In late June and July/Aug the rapids are easier and temperatures are generally warmer.

No other river in Colorado can match the scenery and wilderness character that is found on the Upper Animas. Come and see for yourself or watch the video!

POV OF Broken Bridge Rapid


  • 7:30 AM: Meet at 4 Corners Riversports in Durango for a pre-trip safety video and gear fitting
  • 9 AM: board train In Durango
  • 12:45 PM: Arrive Needleton, Colorado and rig boats
  • 1 PM: We prepare a tasty lunch before launching
  • 2 PM: Arrive at and scout class V Broken Bridge Rapid
  • 2:30 PM: We tackle several class IV rapids above Tacoma
  • 4 PM: Arrive at Tacoma Station and derig boats and gear
  • 4:30 PM: Board the train for Rockwood, Colorado
  • 5:30 PM: Arrive in Durango, Colorado


In early season the Upper Animas can be chilly and you could fall in the river and take a swim. We provide a wetsuit with splash top free or charge or a full drysuit (additional $30) for your safety and comfort. We provide dry storage, a proper-fitting personal flotation device (life jacket) and helmet, booties and gloves. We also provide a hearty riverside lunch. This is all included in the price!

You should bring the following items for this trip:
  • Fleece/synthetic layers for under the paddle suit and swimsuit for under the wetsuit (we have some loaner fleece available) – absolutely no cotton when on the water
  • Sunglasses with strap (cheap pair)
  • Street clothes for the train ride
  • A water bottle to clip to boat


Standard coach or gondola train tickets are included in the price. Upgraded cars are available. Visit durangotrain.com for more info about this part of your day.


The maximum number allowed per trip by the U.S. Forest Service is 24 including guides. We require a minimum of 4 persons total to conduct a trip. Discounts are available for a group of 10 or more.


The Animas River is a free-flowing river which depends on snowpack. The Upper Animas starts running in May and is usually good through July. At lower August flows we cannot run all the way from Silverton but will start trips in Needleton.


Upper Animas Map


Animas Flow Chart

Questions?? Please contact us