Skip to primary navigation Skip to content Skip to footer
Back to Blog

Adventure for the Whole Family, Rafting in Durango

a person riding a wave on a surfboard in the water

While on your next trip to Durango, you would be remiss if you didn’t include white water raft trips on your bucket list.

Durango is one of the top Southwest destinations for Colorado white water rafting trips. The reason for this is in no small part to the Animas River. The Animas is the perfect locale for rafting trips. But this river is also a key aspect of Colorado’s breathtaking landscape.

Although exciting and fun for people of all ages, it is important to know that there are different classes of water rapids you should be aware of. Before you sign up for river rafting, check out this guide on rapid classifications:

  • Class I: Small waves, moving water with minor ripples. Raft trips in Class I are ideally suited for beginners.
  • Class II: Open channels and easy rapids with small waves, no higher than three feet high.
  • Class III: Narrow, more constricted channels than Classes I and II. Erratic and unpredictable waves moving at high speeds. At this level, rapids are powerful enough to capsize a canoe.The Lower Animas are Class III that provide just enough of a challenge for the intermediate rafters, kayakers, tubers, and fishermen to enjoy. Great for families and large groups, the Lower Animas begins at the north end of Durango and finishes about 5 to 10 miles downstream.
  • Class IV: Long, narrow, and difficult to navigate. These rapids usually have obstructed riverways and should be scouted beforehand.
  • Class V: This class is for only the most experienced navigators. Extremely grueling, difficult, and long. These violent rapids may pose life-threatening conditions.The Upper Animas River are a great example of Class V rapids. While rough and long, cascading down these waters offers unparalleled scenic views of the San Juan backcountry.
  • Class VI: Should never be attempted to navigate.

Join explorers from all over the world and come to Durango for a myriad of activities such as rafting day trips, kayaking, family fishing trips, ziplining, and guided ATV tours.

When visiting Durango and floating down the Animas, it is a good idea to do so with an experienced guide at your side. Ready to book your Colorado white water rafting trips with 4 Corners Whitewater?