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All reviews the river lower animas half day trip great guide class rapids great trip great rafting white water these guys super fun rafting adventure a lot of fun first timers water level year olds the bus fun experience
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Reviewed June 26, 2016

My 18 year old son and 15 year old daughter joined me one what I hoped would be a fun filled day of rafting adventures. I asked the booking agent for something fairly hairy and challenging that we would remember for a long time. She recommended the Needleton section of the upper Animas, and we were not disappointed. Our full day trip started the previous day with a 1 hour mandatory swim test on the lower Animas rapids that run through town. We learned basic paddling commands and river safety tips from our guide. We also donned the wetsuits and booties (but not the wetsuit jackets we would be using on our actual trip) helmets and life jackets. It was a sobering eye opener when the guide asked half the rafters to 'jump in the river and swim 3 strokes from the raft'. The river was shockingly cold and even though this section of the river was tame compared to what we would be facing the next day, the adrenaline spike from dropping overboard and being hefted back into the boat taught us all quickly to 'respect the river' and our guide. My daughter managed to haul a full sized dad out of the rapids with her flawless technique and my son managed to boat me after some initial struggles, clouded by adrenaline. The next morning we took the Durango/Silverton train about half way to Silverton and offloaded our rafts and gear at a day camp in the National forest by the river. My daughter was suffering from a case of severe jitters and asked if there was a way to skip the trip at this point. The answer was that she could wait next to the train tracks with one of the guides for the returning train and catch it back to town in a few hours. (The moral of the story here is that once you get on the train, you'd better be locked and loaded for this adventure, because there's no turning back!) After we ate lunch she decided that she was going to go for it, and join us on the water. She made me promise that she would survive the trip if she agreed to go! The first section of rapids in the 12 mile Needleton run is the Broken Bridge section which was running Class V during our trip according to our guide Jesse. It was wild and hairy and wet and cold and awesome! Jesse was a Raft Whisperer! His obvious skill at running this river and navigating it safely, quickly gave my daughter confidence that she could enjoy the trip without planning for imminent death around every turn. He barked out commands clearly and with confidence and due to the aforementioned desire that we all had to remain IN the raft and OUT of the river we paddled like fiends when asked to do so, and we all whooped and screamed like happy fools as we plowed through the rushing water. After the first 3 or 4 miles we all settled down and soaked it all in - trying to remember every sweet detail, since there were no cameras around to capture any of the action. The end came too quickly for all of us (including my daughter by this point) and we landed/changed and loaded our gear back on the train for the trip back to Durango. A couple of tips: Pack a trash bag to put all of your wet clothes in on the train ride home. Pack a towel to dry off with when you change back into your clothes at the end. Not a trip for the faint of heart, but at no point did I feel like our guide was out matched by the river. My daughter said she would take another raft trip again - as long as it didn't get any hairier than this one!

Date of experience: June 2016
1  Thank Mike O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MountainWatersRaftin, Owner at Mountain Waters Rafting & Adventure Company, responded to this reviewResponded June 28, 2016

What a wonderful review and experience and why all of us at Mountain Waters have this passion to share our lifestyle with each of our guests, thank you.

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Reviewed June 25, 2016 via mobile

Half day lower Animas trip was streamlined and fun. Didn't take long to get to and on the river. We had a fun and knowledgeable guide, Carlos, who did a great job. The Rapids in whitewater park were fun! We felt safe and had a great time. We would recommend this company to people stopping through the area. Fun way to see Durango on a hot day!

Date of experience: June 2016
Thank Kathleen W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RiverJames, Owner at Mountain Waters Rafting & Adventure Company, responded to this reviewResponded June 26, 2016

More Rafting, Less Driving on our Half Day Animas River Trip through Durango!

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Reviewed June 24, 2016 via mobile

What fun! After a little hiccup with our booking (which they totally made up for!), we had a terrific time on the river! Our guide Jaime was so knowledgeable and confident. She made the trip even more awesome. She did a great job of imparting some minimal knowledge -- enough to make us novice rafters feel like we were taking part AND to give us a taste of this terrific sport. Just what you want as a beginner - ish rafter. Highly recommend!

Date of experience: June 2016
Thank MarlaS458
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RiverJames, Owner at Mountain Waters Rafting & Adventure Company, responded to this reviewResponded June 25, 2016

Knowledge and confidence is one of many benefits of a 9 year veteran guide, so glad you enjoyed the trip!

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Reviewed June 23, 2016

This was our first rafting trip for he family. The guides were all friendly and helpful. Our guide Kristen was fun and encouraging to us newbies! The harder rapid section our 9 year old had to get out and walk due to the higher water. She got to take pictures of us though. Halfway through you stop to get a snack of apples, chips and salsa. I would recommend this company as they did a great job!

Date of experience: June 2016
Thank Wendy C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RiverJames, Owner at Mountain Waters Rafting & Adventure Company, responded to this reviewResponded June 24, 2016

Safety is our priority and certain river levels dictate best practices for children to walk the whitewater park. I'm glad to hear you had a great trip and recommend our family friendly raft trip, cheers!

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Reviewed June 23, 2016

This was my third time white water rafting and probably one of the more challenging trips I have made. Our guide Doug, Jeffery "El Jefe", and Jesse were incredible. They really put a priority on safety. We stopped half way and had lunch. We expected pre-wrapped sandwiches, but they supplied fresh cut fruit and vegetables, 3 different sandwich meats, hummus and veggies, all the condiments. A great lunch with a great crew. Completely worth the risk involved with whit water rafting. This river is every part of class 3, 4, and 5 rapids at the water levels we rafted on (1200 cfs)

Date of experience: June 2016
Thank 630sixtom
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RiverJames, Owner at Mountain Waters Rafting & Adventure Company, responded to this reviewResponded June 24, 2016

The Upper Animas is truly the most exciting, challenging and breath taking stretch of whitewater in the state of Colorado in my opinion. Safety is by far our number one priority and our guides take it very seriously before we start having some serious fun. And yeah, we could probably serve spam for lunch, but our guides who eat it everyday would probably mutiny, and that would not be safe. Thank you.

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