Animas River Colorado – This is a pretty incredible river with some serious history. The Animas begins high in the San Juan Mountains where the landscape is dominated by 14ers and historic mining towns. You can take the historic train ride from Durango to Silverton, following the river along the way. Some people even use the train to access the remote sections of river. Hop off and fish or kayak, then catch the train home.
Flows And Weather
ANIMAS RIVER BELOW SILVERTON, CO
ANIMAS RIVER AT DURANGO, CO
- Water Temp: 36.86 ° F
- Flow: 128 ft³/s
- Water Level: 2.07 ft
ANIMAS RIVER BLW DURANGO PUMP PLANT NR DURANGO, CO
- Flow: 149 ft³/s
- Water Level: 2.94 ft
Rapids and Float Notes
Eureka to Silverton is the very upper end of the watershed. It’s mostly class II with some class III water thrown in the mix. Primarily an early season run in higher water.
Silverton down to Rock Box is an advanced paddlers dream with class IV-V water. It’s narrow, technical and pushes hard. You’ll want to run this zone over 400 cfs. Tacoma is a good half way point takeout here as well. It’s pretty much non-stop class IV so be prepared for a workout.
The Baker’s Box section is only for the most advanced and experienced paddlers. It’s class V+, extremely remote and once you drop in, you really only have the option to paddle out. Access is also difficult and you should do this with other experienced paddlers for support. The last drop – Wilson Falls has some serious hydraulics. Hit it fast and make your move to drive through.
The remainder of the river runs through Durango and on down to the state line. It’s class II with a few class III’s. The lower river is fun for more casual floats and is a great fishing option. Also popular with tubers.
Animas River Shuttle Services
Mild to Wild Rafting – 800-567-6745
Southwest Raft and Jeep – 970-259-8313
Flexible Flyer Rafting – 970-247-4628
Durango River Trippers – 970-259-0289
Durango Rivers and Trails – 970-259-0289
River Specific Fishing Regulations
FROM THE CONFLUENCE WITH THE LIGHTNER CREEK TO RIVERA CROSSING BRIDGE:
- Artificial flies and lures only.
- Bag, possession, and min size for trout is 2, 16 inches long.
FROM THE CONFLUENCE WITH HERMOSA CREEK DOWNSTREAM TO THE STATE LINE:
- No bag or possession limit for channel catfish, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, northern pike, walleye, green sunfish, bluegill, bullhead, yellow perch or crappie.
Fishing the Animas River
The river has experienced some ups and downs with contamination from abandoned mines in the upper watershed. Despite the issues, it’s a resilient fishery with some incredible wild trout populations. Fly fishing is popular throughout the entire river system and some of the biggest brown trout live right through town. There are some great fly shops and outfits in the area offernig current reports.