The Animas River

One Of The Last Free-Flowing Rivers In Colorado

It’s hard to imagine a more picturesque Colorado mountain city than Durango. Part of what gives Durango its magical ambiance is the Animas River. Flowing from the peaks of the San Juan Mountains through downtown Durango and beyond, the River is rich with spirit and history.

The Animas River

Known as one of the last free-flowing rivers in Colorado, the Animas River’s name comes from the Spanish terms for “river of lost souls.” There are two different legends about how the Animas River got its name, both stemming from when the Spanish explored the area in the 16th century. One legend suggests the name comes from a group of conquistadors who were killed on the river banks who never received last nights. The second theory comes from the empty Pueblan homes the explorers found dotting the riverbank.

Things To Do On The Animas

Regardless of which legend is true, today’s souls on the Animas River are anything but lost. The Animas River is a lively part of Durango and is the perfect destination for outdoor recreation. The Animas River’s rushing waters are great for tubing, kayaking, stand up paddle boarding, white water rafting, fly fishing, and so much more.

The Durango Experience

The Animas River is an essential part of the Durango experience. In addition to tubing, kayaking, SUP and rafting, the Animas is known for its Gold Medal waters and fishing. Casters here catch Rainbow and Brown trout, and many of those fishermen will take home an impressive catch, with most trout in the Animas measuring between 10 and 15 inches.

You’ll find many Animas River access points in Durango. River access points include those located at:

  • 9th Street at Schneider Park
  • 29th Street at Memorial Park
  • 33rd Street
  • Recreation Center
  • Santa Rita Park
  • Cundiff Park
  • High Bridge
  • Dallabetta Park

Regardless of how you intend to enjoy the Animas, you’ll find endless opportunities for recreation and rich history on these breathtaking waters.