Animas - 05. Bakers Box

Animas, Colorado, US


05. Bakers Box (Pandora's Box )

Usual Difficulty V+ (for normal flows)
Length 2.5 Miles


Photo by Spencer Huff taken 10/26/17 @ 1000 cfs

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
usgs-09359500 400 - 1400 cfs V+ 67d16h33m 126 cfs (too low)

River Description

Approach this run serisouly, a guide is mandatory. 

This section is considered one of the gnalrier, regulary run canyons in the area.  Due both to accses, remoteness and whitewater difficulty. 

The hike in starts at RockWood station, parking where you would take out for RockWood Box. The hike is steep, all be it not that long, however it is almost exclusively on private property.  This has become less of a big deal in recent years, however a guide is still needed to safety and poilety navigate the woods.

Once the hike is over, you will still be at the top of the VERY steep canyon walls.  Two sets of permanet ropes can be found after a slight scramble.  Rope your boat down,with great care, then begin a rope assisted decent into the canyon. 

Keep in mind, once your make this leap, the easiest and best way to exit the canyon is to paddle through it.  Consider this a major NO SWIM zone. 

Another important note,the charastic of the whitewater changes drasticaly with water level, filling up more in certian places, and washing out more in others.  I have heard it called, The Tea Cup Effect.  The middle ranges in flow, from around 500-600 CFS is localy referred to as, The Teeth.  Considered the most challenging water level.

The first rapid, immeditaly below the put in spot, is the Clam Shell, a clean sloping boof, fallowed fairly quickly by two steep, techical and powerful ledge drops, the second of which is called, The Racoon.

After navigating the Racoon, catch your breath in the eddy, and prepare yourself the best you can, for the techical crux of the run, in the from of a rapid known as The Plunger.

The Plunger is unscottable, forcing it to be run blind.  GoPro scotting before the run is highly recommended.  High water levels, around 1000+ cfs make for the cleanest lines on the drop, filling in a river left lip.  Boof best you can, if you get stuck in the very powerful river left eddy, wait to wash back up to the top of the eddy, and paddle hard.

If you do flip, which is very very common, roll FAST.  At the bottom of the room, on river right is a sieve,which the river is pushing to.  The sieve is called The Tunnel of Love, because of how many people have gone through it.  Don't take that fact to mean that it would be okay to find your self in there.

Once navigating the Plunger, you will find youself locked into this impressive sanctum, marking the lower gorge.

The next major rapid is simply called, Long Rapid.  It can be scotted river left, and it should be.  It is made up of a series of boofs, the crux of the rapid, which as the name suggests is fairly long, is navigating a triple set of stacked holes, each one increaces in power and termanility. 

A section of manky class IV follows, the steepest of these rapids is dubbed Midget Wrestler.

After this not so casual boogy, you will reach Boof Or Slide.  Again this dropped can and should be scotted on river left.  This drop has lot of possible doors, but only one of these lines doesnt end in a sieved out landing or slot.  So be careful, and sick to your line; at all costs. Another reason this section should be considerd guide mandatory.

After some more cruising, you will find yourself at the exit rapid of the gorge, and one of the more sketchy moves you will have to make.  The drop, named Wilson Falls, is not a water fall.  Rather a tight boof, through a very backed up and terminal room of doom.  All of the water is built up against the river left wall, and feeds dangersouly back into it self.  The boil is big and long, the room looks horrible; and rightuly so has its fair share of horror stories. 

The move it self is realtively simple, the lead in is very boiled out, so have speed and be determined to make that move! A clean boof will bring you home.

Soon after this you will exit the tight towering walls, and begin the short class III paddle out to Bakers Bridge.  Once at the bridge feel free to jump off in celebration of a complete decent of one of he cooler gorges in the state.

Have fun, be safe, and give this run the respect it deserves.

One last note.  Finding a guide is not easy, as the run is protected by locals due to the dangerouse nature of the whitewater, and the mandatory tresspasing.  If you are really jonesing to get this one, meet the right locals, and make sure they know your kayaking is up to snuff. 




StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2017-10-26 19:28:12


Stream team editor

Rapid Summary

Mile Rapid Name Class Features (Legend)
0.0Clam ShellIV+Putin
0.1The RacoonV
0.5The PlungerVPhoto
0.7Long Rapid VPhoto
1.0Midget WrestlerIV+
1.3Boof Or SlideVPhoto
1.6Wilson FallsV

Rapid Descriptions

The Plunger (Class V, Mile 0.5)


Photo by Spencer Huff taken 10/26/17 @ 1000 cfs

You have to run this one blind, so be smart and watch video before,

Long Rapid (Class V, Mile 0.7)

Long Rapid

Long Rapid
Photo by Chris Bear taken 10/26/17

Boof Or Slide (Class V, Mile 1.3)

Boof Or Slide?

Boof Or Slide?
Photo by Chris Bear taken 10/26/17

User Comments

Users can submit comments.

No Comments

Associated News