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Trip Report: Upper Animas River
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Trip Report: Upper Animas River

Trip Report: Upper Animas River

--When, Where, Conditions--
When: June 6-7 2015
Location: Upper Animas River, Silverton, CO
Conditions: High Water! 1600cfs out of Silverton.
Duration: 2 day overnight trip.

--Helpful Info--
Difficulty: Class 5+
Kid Friendly? NO.
Pet Friendly? NO.

The Report: This trip is my favorite trip and section of whitewater in America yet. Hands down. Accessible only via raft or train, this wilderness Class 5 trip is some of the most technical yet inaccessible sections in the West. With the halfway mark nestled between fourteeners with Durango and Silverton Colorado on either side, it is an absolutely GORGEOUS wilderness trip. This river is for only able-bodied 16yr olds and up. If you don't want to swim through a rapid, then don't go on this trip- the chance is there. Needleton camp is where our camp is set for overnight stays, with an army tent for shelter, horseshoe pits, tents, fire pit, and benches.

The river starts mellow but is fairly continuous class 3, 4, 5 throughout each day, with the biggest rapids Ten Mile, and No Name being on day 1. We had a bit of a scare at the top of No Name where we had a boat miss the scout eddy but we were able to pendulum them back to shore and make it to portage the main rapid. At high water, many of the bigger rapids are portaged by rafts and kayaked by only extremely competent paddlers. The train carries up most of the heavy gear and dry bags so making it to camp in time is always a race to be able to unload the gear cars. A mandatory exit from the river at the Tacoma Power Plant on day two is crucial for rafts before entering into the Rockwood section of the Upper Animas unless you want to hike your rafts out of the canyon. Rockwood is the absolute gem of the Upper Animas allowing only select few into her reaches, there aren't even words to describe how breathtaking the river is down there.

The Upper Animas is a trip worth taking if you are up for the adventure. That river and the mountains that surround it are what dreams are made of. Check out all the photos from my trip below!

Upper Animas Review

Upper Animas River

Upper Animas River

Upper Animas River

Upper Animas River

Upper Animas River

Upper Animas River

Upper Animas River

Upper Animas River

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