Animas, Colorado, US
|Usual Difficulty||V+ (for normal flows)|
|ANIMAS RIVER AT TALL TIMBER RESORT ABOVE TACOMA,CO|
|usgs-09359500||400 - 1400 cfs||V+||34h44m||963 cfs (running)|
First off - The access is tenuous at best so please check in with the locals for the correct
Secondly, lat/lng coordinates provided below do NOT reflect actual put-in/take-out, but are provided only to 'put it on the map'. As mentioned within the text below, check with locals for actual put-in/take-out.
From Colorado Kayaking: a little bit of beta a picture of Bakers Box Gorges and Grandma
From Shane Benedict:
I was still able to roll into Durango in the morning and the day's paddling was planned for the Bottom Box of the Animas River. This section had been done a bunch but hadn't been done a whole lot recently. In the earlier days the putin was higher and there was a horrible portage in the middle. The section was called the unrunnable gorge. The name sort of ran a few folks off for a while. Then recently people started finding new access to the lower part of the run below the big portage and now there is a killer 2+ mile run just 15 minutes from downtown Durango. The access is tenuous at best, so please check in with the locals for the correct trails and such so as to not mess that up for them. Check in at Four Corners Riversports--they may be able to help you out or at least point you in the right direction; and several of the locals have been on the run this spring so they have it dialed.
The Bottom Box is a very tight vertical-walled canyon with classic drops in it. We were in there pretty high. The Animas in town was running around 1800 so up in the canyon it may have been 12 to 13 hundred cfs. In several places the river was only a boat length wide so that volume was very active in that canyon. The rock was beautiful and you felt like you were miles from anywhere yet we knew otherwise.
The canyon feels very committing and if there was anything you didn't want to run in there it would be very hard to get out of some of the canyon but Dunbar had all the lines dialed so it was pretty chill as far as knowing where to go, but the rapids were solid no doubt. The locals were keeping track of the flows that people were going in there and this trip would be the highest anyone had been in there recently. On our trip it would have been fine higher but if something happens rescue would be pretty tough. If you do get out of the gorge it isn't a bad walk back to the road. : )
Anyway the rapids were for the most part very clean but powerful. There was one very swirly rapid that had whirlpools like a big river because the of tight constriction but they let us go on through. The other rapids you can mostly see in the video but they were mostly single move-rapids with the exception of a couple of them. The longer rapid that is in the video was deceptively powerful as you can see it handed me a little humility, but it was a great mix of technical, pushy, and spectacular sceneary. This one goes way up on my list. I consider it a very cool place on the earth.