Looking to make a splash in Durango? Consider kayaking in Durango, Colorado on your next trip to the San Juan Mountains. The Lower Animas River is a spirited stretch of water essential to the Four Corners Region’s culture and heritage – and kayaking in Durango offers a great adventure for those seeking to paddle, spin and surf their way down these “Gold Medal Waters.”
History Of The AnimasThe Spanish explorers who first charted the region’s landscape named the rushing river “El Rio de las Animas Perdidas en Purgatório” or "The River of Lost Souls in Purgatory". Legend has it that the Animas River was originally called El Rio de las Animas Perdidas in commemoration of a regiment of Spanish soldiers that mysteriously disappeared along with a box of gold coins. Today, those who travel the Animas are anything but lost: You’ll find lots of information and resources available to help you plan your next Durango kayak trip.
Know Before You Go Kayaking In DurangoThough the Lower Animas River is much tamer than the wild Upper Animas, you’ll find that kayaking here is an exciting river adventure full of heart-pumping thrills. You’ll definitely get wet when kayaking in Durango, and it’s essential to have strong swimming skills before you pick up a paddle. Paddle schools offered by many of the region’s river outfitters can help you make sure you have the skills you need to play it safe while having fun on the water.
Choosing Your KayakKayaking on the Animas River can give you an adrenaline rush like you’ve never experienced before. You’ll likely find several kinds of kayaks at Durango’s river outfitter shops. Popular options among Durango kayakers include: inflatable kayaks, whitewater kayaks, fishing kayaks and hobby kayaks. The boat you choose determines the ride you experience as you paddle down the Animas River.
Conquering The RiverKayaking the Lower Animas River starts with putting in at one of the region’s many river access points. The Animas River starts its stretch near Silverton and flows until its confluence with the San Juan River in New Mexico. Even with its long run, the most popular stretches for kayakers are right here in Durango. Ready to make a splash? It’s time to experience the magic and spirit of Durango’s Animas for yourself! Choose your craft, pick up a paddle and soak in the Durango kayak experience!
- 33rd Street (parking here can be limited)
- 29th Street at Memorial Park
- Santa Rita Park (Whitewater Park for skilled paddlers)
- Cundiff Park “4 Corners Take out”
- High Bridge
- Dallabetta Park