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Animas River Flow Data. Animas River Flow Data.
The Animas River Flowing from high up in the San Juan Mountains the Animas River has become legendary for its scenic beauty, raging white water and world class fishing. In 1765 explorer Juan Maria Antonio Rivera was sent north from Santa Fe looking for gold, Indian settlements and evidence of European activity. When he reached the river he logged it in his journal calling it "Rio de Las Animas" The River of Souls and such is its name today. The headwaters start very near the ghost town of Animas Forks where the San Juan Rocky Mountains quickly transform it from a small creek to a river by the time it flows through the town of Silverton. This northern section is commonly called the "upper animas" and is extremely popular for rafters and kayakers. Some people say the upper animas is the best stretch of white water kayaking in the United States. Not just because of the challenging rapids but also for the length of the trip and the sheer beauty.  From the Silverton put in to the Rockwood take out is about 28 miles which kayakers "can" make in a day but two to even three days are recommended. A word for the wise, the upper animas is not for the novice boater and several sections are class IV and V. When the water is running really high it is sometimes too dangerous to attempt at all and if you have never floated it before it is a good idea to consult a guide.  The river below Rockwood flows through an extremely deep and narrow gorge that fills with dangerous log jams and should not be boated under any conditions.  The animas is about 126 miles long and is one of the major tributaries to the San Juan which in turn empties into the Colorado River. In the lower Animas Valley the river settles down with nice slackwater and slowly meanders its way toward the town of Durango. Passing through lush green meadows with ranches and farms it picks up speed again near 32nd street at the north end of town. Water is life and the river has brought life and soul to Durango. In fact, the word "Durango" means "water town" and it has played a major role in the cities economy. It has been utilized past and present for drinking water, agriculture, mining, electricity, and logging. It helped cut a path through the San Juan mountains for the Durango to Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. This in turn provided industry jobs for people moving to the area. The River of Souls has changed over the last century but it is still a boon for Durango's economy. Attracting rafters, kayakers and fisherman by the thousands each season and there are fun rapids that run within the city limits. There are plenty of rafting guides to choose from and there is an Animas River Map  on this site that shows put in and take out points for boats. There is also a calendar of events page for local competitions and events that visitors can utilize for more information.  There is also a well maintantained trail that parells the river through the down of Durango for a map of the Animas River Trail click here. The Animas River is renowned for being world class fishing and is one of only of a few rivers with sections classified as "Gold Medal Waters". The Colorado Wildlife Commission only gives these designations to streams with outstanding fishing opportunities, great habitat and water quality. Currently in Durango the sections of the animas that are gold water are from the Lightner Creek confluence to the Rivera Bridge. (See our Map) For state fishing regulations please visit their website for more information. Fish that are commonly caught here include: the native cutthroat trout, rainbow trout, and brown trout. Our fishing page and fish species page will have more information on fish in this area.  The chances of catching decent size fish are high and if you have the patience there are some monsters lurking in the water just waiting to be brought up.  The Animas River is the soul of Durango and makes it the best water town in the southwest so grab your inner tubes bring your friends and Go Outdoors!