family fishing trips

Whitewater Blog Category: Blog

Five Reasons To Take Family Fishing Trips

Almost everyone remembers a great family trip from his or her childhood. But do we remember why it was a great trip? If those great family trips were family fishing trips, the answer is probably “they were fun.” But here are five more reasons to take family fishing trips:

Experiences Make Us Happier Than Possessions

In a study conducted at San Francisco State University, assistant professor Ryan Howell found that happiness in a new possession fades over time, about six to eight weeks on average, while experiences create memories that last a lifetime. Moreover, experiences can be easily shared, which is exactly what you want out of a family trip. Family fishing trips will make you much happier than that new phone and, unlike the new phone, family fishing trips can be shared by the whole family.

Family Fishing Trips Mean Family Time

Family fishing trips are experienced together, as a family. This does not necessarily happen on other kinds of family trips. Experiencing an amusement park, for example, usually requires the family to split up into different age groups. The family may divide even further with some family members shopping while others eat or experience rides. There are no distractions from family time during family fishing trips.

Family Fishing Trips Mean Learning Something New

Guided family fishing trips are a perfect opportunity to learn something new. Guides are expert instructors who know geography (like the Colorado River is the only major river in the southwest United States at almost 1,450 miles long), nature (like black bear can have fur that is blond, cinnamon, brown, or black), and, most importantly, fishing (like Durango fishing trips often focus on the Animas River because of its reputation for easy access and large rainbow and brown trout). Your kids will thank you for the fun you had on family fishing trips, while you secretly know that they were actually educational experiences in disguise.

Family Fishing Trips Aren’t All About Fishing

Family fishing trips can give your family the opportunity to try something new. Once you are in the outdoors, many recreational opportunities await. Adrenaline seekers may want to try a guided ATV tour, a kayaking trip, whitewater rafting, or ziplining. Less adventurous families may want to look into rafting day trips with local rafting guides.

Someone Has to Catch All the Fish

Family fishing trips would be disappointing if there wasn’t at least some fishing. Animas river fly fishing trips, for example, consistently reward anglers with 10 to 15 inch rainbow trout and produced a former state record brown trout weighing over 20 pounds. Whether your family’s tastes run toward bait fishing or river fly fishing, someone has to catch all the fish.


Family fishing trips can help your family spend time together, learn, try new things, and make memories to last a lifetime.

Adventure for the Whole Family, Rafting in Durango

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?


Best Outdoor Activities in Durango, CO

The weather is finally getting warmer and sunnier here in the great state of Colorado, so it may be time to finally plan that family trip you’ve been putting off. Whether you’re looking for white water rafting trips for the adrenaline seekers in the family, or something more low-key like family fishing trips, we have the best outdoor activities in the Durango, CO area.

A big draw to this area of the state is the Colorado River. As the only major river in the Southwest, the Colorado River is about 1,450 miles long and crosses through 11 national parks. Many visitors flock to the Colorado River for all the great activities the river provides.

Kayaking Trip

Kayaking is an easy way to explore the river and its landscape in the Durango, CO area. Up to two people can use one single kayak, and we recommend a double kayak like that if it’s your first time.

White Water Rafting Trips

For those in the family looking for something more exhilarating, white water rafting trips are available in the Durango, CO area. An inflatable raft is used to navigate down the river, and the ride usually consists of some rougher water.

White water rafting is great in building teamwork between everyone on the raft, so families with older kids are sure to enjoy this outdoor activity.

ATV Tours

If you’re more interested in staying on land rather than on water, there are ATV tours available in the area to explore the ever-changing landscape. ATV rentals include single, double, or side-by-side seaters, so you can choose how to pair up your family.


Want to experience both the water and the land? Experience it all from above with a zip line tour. You’ll zoom through the Colorado wilderness from high above with some of the best views Colorado has to offer. While ziplining is completely safe, we don’t recommend it for those who are prone to a fear of heights…maybe stay on the ground for this one!

Summer will be here before you know it, so be sure to plan ahead on your summer trip and keep in mind these great outdoor activities that the entire family can enjoy.

The White Water Family Experience: 3 Tips To Guarantee A Fun Ride

Family vacations offer opportunities for bonding through adventure. Whether you’re headed across the ocean or simply a few towns away, there are a number of activities that the whole family can take part in. When it comes to the great outdoors, your options are basically limitless: take a kayaking trip, teach your kids the joys of fishing, or fly over the treetops on a zipline course. If your children are old enough, you can even share the thrill of white water rafting.

Rafting trips are exciting and eye-opening. The experience of racing down a river — even on one of the gentler tours — can introduce your children to nature in a truly engaging way. To make sure your family trip goes smoothly, follow these white water rafting tips.

  • Follow packing list guidelines. When you book a trip with local rafting guides, you’ll be sent a packing list describing items you’ll want to have with you. Do your best to follow it to a T, and try not to bring anything that isn’t expressly needed; that being said, it’s always a good idea to bring some cheap sunglasses — just in case they fly off and end up at the bottom of the river.
  • Let your kids take some risks. White water rafting has a reputation for being dangerous, but that’s why we trust and depend on guides to see us safely through. As impartial judges of the situation, they’ll be able to encourage hesitant kids to push their limits and gently nudge confident kids in the right direction. If you’re concerned about something, you need only ask your guide for a second opinion.
  • Don’t rush to get home. Rafting trips are exhausting. Rather than hopping in the car to head home or jumping on a flight, ensure that your family has the evening to recover from their exertions. This extra time will allow everyone to truly relax and discuss their favorite moments from the trip.

Although you may not be experiencing the kind of rapids that were seen when rafting was introduced to the Olympics in 1972, the sport is nonetheless highly enjoyable for people of all ages. When a family trip is filled with adventure, excitement, and the great outdoors, everyone goes home happy.

Colorado River Rafting Trips: From Tame to Insane!

Extending nearly 1,450 miles and winding through 11 of the United State’s national parks, the Colorado River is the Southwest’s solitary major river. For those eagerly planning their Colorado white water rafting trips, here’s some information to help you choose the best type of river rafting trip for you.

1. Family-Friendly.

This trip along the Lower Animas is ideal for families and larger-sized groups. It’s also appropriate for children four years of age and older.

On the Lower Animas ride, you’ll go through smaller Class II rapids along the way, and there’s a large rapid called Smelter at Santa Rita Park. Depending upon the height of the water at this point, it may be necessary to walk small children around this rapid. After passing Smelter, you’ll enjoy uninterrupted small-sized rapids and lovely views of majestic cottonwood trees and flourishing vegetation.

2. Adventure-Loving.

If you’re in the mood for a more adventurous trip, complete with spectacular scenery, the Upper Animas Raft ‘n’ Rail (“Middle-Upper) is what you’re looking for. This trip is more suitable for those who are at least moderately fit, and prior river rafting experience is recommended.

The adventure takes you to the San Juan National Forest of Southwest Colorado. Because there is no road access here, you’ll hop aboard the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railway and ride through the majority of the Animas River Gorge. The water portion of the trip begins with the Broken Bridge rapid. Lots of additional Class III and Class IV rapids are right behind this one, and there are also some smoother sections of river and stops at historic landmarks. During May and early June, the high water season brings cooler temperatures along with large, wild rapids. The temperatures are typically warmer and the rapids are calmer in late July and August.

3. Holy-Moly!

Adrenaline seekers, hold on to your hats! White water rafting trips like this are geared toward individuals having above-average levels of fitness and endurance, previous experience with white water rafting, and proficient swimming skills. This is particularly important during May and early June, because it’s likely that you’ll portage at least one of the rapids. This means that you must have the ability to assist with carrying the boat. Based on the flows or the participants’ skill and fitness levels, 4 Corners Whitewater reserves the right to transfer individuals to a Middle-Upper rafting trip.

This wild one-day ride runs over 25 miles of Class III, Class IV, and Class IV rapids. You’ll also travel through the San Juan National Forest and have breathtaking views of nearby mountain peaks measuring 14,000 feet. Then comes the Class V Tenmile rapid, the No Name Rapid, and the Broken Ridge rapid. Depending on the flow, and on how high your level of craziness is, you can also add the Rockwood Box, making this an ultra-marathon to remember!

Armed with this information about white water rafting trips, you, your family, and friends can plan an exciting Colorado river rafting vacation that suits all of you perfectly.

Huge Snow Pack!

2019 is going to be an incredible year for rafting in Durango! We are already at 100% of snowpack for the year and still have 2 more months to reach our historic peak snowpack totals. This is a far cry from last winter where we only received 50% of historical snowpack. What does this mean?? ….Huge splashes and long season for an Animas rafting .

With all this snow the San Juan Mountains have seen a ton of avalanche activity. Here’s photo I took in Telluride on Febuary 23.  I just happened to be at the right place at the right to see this avalanche occur.  This is the headwaters of our San Miguel river trips. Luckily I was a safe distance away.



Stay tuned for more updates as the the river season approaches.

3 Activities to Enjoy When You Visit the Southwest For the First Time

If you’re visiting the Southwest United States for the first time, there are countless opportunities to have fun. In fact, adrenaline seekers from far and wide can’t help but visit Colorado for the best in thrills, sights, and outdoor activities.

If you’re visiting the Southwest for the first time, don’t hesitate to try these wild activities to get your blood pumping.

1. Ziplining

Sightseeing should be on the top of your itinerary when you visit the beautiful Southwest. With an abundance of mountains, deserts, and forests, opting for a zipline tour is fun for the whole family.

There’s no beating the pristine beauty of the Southwest. If you’re looking for the perfect family trip but still hope to get a rush of adrenaline, a zipline course cannot be beaten.

2. ATV tours

A guided ATV tour is the perfect combination of excitement and intrigue when you hope to explore the Southwest. Get down and dirty with expert instructors who can lead you on some of the toughest courses around. Traverse hills, valleys, and discover the natural beauty of the Southwest on well-kept ATV trails.

This activity might seem like a boring car ride, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. As you navigate rough terrain, this highly physical activity will burn calories as you pivot and persevere through the trail. You’ll also get a healthy dose of adrenaline as you ride, ridding your body of toxic stress in the process. Just be sure to stop and snap a few photos between the rushes of fun.

3. White water rafting

White water rafting trips are one of the most satisfying experiences you can hope to have in the Southwest. Not only are raft trips exciting, but they will also provide a harrowing challenge to overcome. It will make you feel on top of the world when you’re done, especially if you’ve never engaged in whitewater rafting along the Durango River.

Choose among the six classes of difficulty to get the most out of your white water rafting experience. This highly-active sport is one of the best vacation activities for experienced thrill-seekers.

Are you looking to experience the beauty and fun of the Southwest? Contact Rafting Durango for the best in ATV rentals, Colorado white water rafting trips, and ziplining around. We have activities for the whole family to enjoy. Contact us for more information today.

Adventures In Colorado: 5 Places To Go White Water Rafting

Colorado offers a great many outdoor activities for the discerning sportsman or woman. The soaring peaks provide ideal skiing and snowboarding conditions; the thick forests supply ample opportunity for hikes of all sizes and lengths (not to mention the numerous zipline courses and zipline tours that carry you through the treetops); and the state’s 158 rivers offer whitewater rafting trips to delight and challenge adrenaline seekers of all experience levels.

Whitewater rafting is a favorite in the Centennial State. Depending on what you’re looking for (a simple float or a thrilling adventure) you’ve got plenty of options to choose from. Here are the top five rivers to go whitewater rafting on in the state of Colorado.

  • Colorado River: Unsurprisingly, the Colorado River is the state’s favorite and most famous river. Extending approximately 1,450 miles, it stretches through seven different states (and two more in Mexico) in addition to crossing through 11 national parks — you can just imagine the views.
  • Arkansas River: The versatility of this river attracts many people to it. It has every class of difficulty — Class I to Class V — depending on where you push off from. Since it’s not too far from Denver, it’s also extremely easy to access.
  • Clear Creek: Tourists tend to love Clear Creek because of its convenience — it’s located right off I-70, the popular mountain highway that leads to the ski resort towns of Vail and Breckenridge.
  • Roaring Fork River: If you’re staying in or near Aspen, this is the river for you. The top part of the river is called Slaughterhouse, a section of extreme rapids that is rarely commercially rafted.
  • Rio Grande River: Yes, that Rio Grande. The famous river begins in south-central Colorado and contains class difficulties of all levels.

Whitewater rafting is more than just a fix for adrenaline junkies; in fact, it garnered so much popularity in the 70s that it was introduced to the Munich Olympic Games in 1972. With six difficulty classes, the sport takes a lot of time and experience to master. If you’re visiting Colorado, why not find out what it’s like for yourself?

3 Things to Consider When Planning a Rafting Adventure

Choosing the best rafting adventure to suit your needs can easily become an overwhelming experience. You might feel overloaded with information, options, and even questions. But when it comes to finding the right fit for you, there are really only a few considerations you need to keep in mind. If you focus on these three things, narrowing down which raft trips will be best for you can become an easy task.


Location, location, location. This really is one of the most important things to research when sorting through the seemingly endless river rafting options. If you and your family are adrenaline seekers, look for raft trips that offer endless thrills and excitement. On the other hand, if you and your companions like to take things at a more leisurely pace, perhaps find a trip that will provide just enough fun without the fear of being thrown overboard. Additionally, each rafting trip will offer different scenic experiences, so decide which sights you’d most like to see. In some cases, even the same river can offer a variety of different adventures and sceneries. The Colorado River, for example, is so large that it spreads across 11 different national parks.

A major thing to consider when choosing a location is the condition of the river itself. If there was a lot of rain or snowfall in that area this year, the river conditions might be at a more intense, or even dangerous level. A little less precipitation in an area might mean two things; either the water level is too low for rafting, or the lower water flow could make for less stressful and more playful water conditions. Ultimately, your skill level is one of the most important things to consider when choosing a location for white water rafting trips.

Rafting Guide

Besides finding the ideal river for your adventure, researching the local rafting guides is also vital to ensuring you have the best experience possible. Don’t hesitate to look into the training and years of experience the guides have. No matter the intensity of the trip you take, accidents can happen, so having a qualified and experienced guide is an absolute must.

Additional Activities

If you are hoping to maybe sneak in a few more activities during your river rafting trip, look for experiences that offer a variety of packages. Many locations offer deals where you can experience amazing whitewater rafting, while also offering a scenic and exciting zipline course. ATV tours, kayaking, and even family fishing trips are all experiences you can enjoy during raft trips. Throwing in a few more activities along with your rafting trip can make for an even more exciting and memorable adventure.

In reality, choosing the best raft trips for you and your companions can be a simple and even enjoyable task. The location, rafting guide, and your interest in additional activities are the main considerations to keep in mind as you pick your amazing whitewater rafting trip.

If you thought low-water meant “low-fun,” JOKES ON YOU!

When the water is low, we often get a lot of phone calls asking if rafting is “still fun.”

We have 3 answers for that inquiry: #1 RAFTING IS ALWAYS FUN! #2 Check out these awesome photos from the last few weeks! #3 We firmly believe that the key to a good time is a good attitude and good jokes. In fact, our office manager Teal has been known to say “I think 90% of raft guiding is telling jokes!”

Fortunately, our guides have the largest lexicon of jokes on the Animas River!
We’ve got cow jokes:

“What do you call a cow that just gave birth?”



And more cow jokes…

“What do you say when a cow jumps over a barbed wire fence?”

“Wait…What did you just say?”


It doesn’t end there!

“What do you call a cow with three legs?”

*rolls eyes and nods*

“LEAN BEEF! What do you call a cow with one leg?”

“I can’t believe this is still happening…”

“STEAK!! What do you call a cow with no legs?”

“When will it end…?”


In fact we have so many cow jokes, we get reviews about it:

And how do we respond?

Now, cow jokes are great and all, but sometimes we like to shake up our material with a few rafting themed jokes….

“Where does a river guide put her tip money?”



Or maybe this one…

“Why are rivers so rich?”

“I dunno, because they’re really beautiful and full of natural scener-”


And of course there’s always the classic:

“What is the difference between a medium 2 topping pizza and a raft guide?”

“Well gee! I don’t know, but pizza sure sounds good…”

“One can feed a family of four.”

“Well, that joke wasn’t really funny. But can you tell us where the locals get pizza in Durango?”

The best part is, we do know where the good pizza is (Homeslice Pizza for sure!) and we have many more suggestions for great food and entertainment that our guides would gladly share with you and your family.

Once we’ve exhausted all of cow jokes, and our rafting jokes, we move on to the dad-jokes….

“Why did the tomato blush?”

“I dunno, why?”

“Because he saw the SALAD DRESSING!”

Nothing says “dad joke” more than terrible puns…

“What is the difference between a well dressed man on a bicycle and a poorly dressed man on a unicycle?”
“This seems oddly specific, but I don’t know….?”


We like to think we’re punny, but really we just aspire to be as punny as our own dads…

“What did the buffalo say to his kid on their first day of school?”



By this point you’ll be telling us jokes and we’ll be taking notes for new material. Then we’ll probably be reaching our class III whitewater park, and nearing the end of our rafting trip. So we buckle down, tuck our feet into the boat and get ready to get soaked and have fun!