## What Season River Rafting Start in Durango Colorado?

### Introduction

Durango, Colorado, is a popular destination for river rafting enthusiasts, offering thrilling whitewater adventures amidst stunning scenery. The Animas River, which flows through the heart of the city, provides an exhilarating rafting experience with Class III and IV rapids. The rafting season in Durango typically begins in May and continues through September, with variations depending on water levels and weather conditions.

### Factors Influencing Season Start

The start of the river rafting season in Durango is primarily determined by the following factors:

– Snowmelt: The Animas River is fed by snowmelt from the San Juan Mountains. The timing and amount of snowpack in the mountains significantly impact the river’s flow rate and water levels.
– Weather: Heavy rainfall or snowstorms can influence the river’s conditions, leading to higher flows and potential closures.
– Water Releases: Water releases from dams upstream can augment the river’s flow, allowing for rafting at lower water levels.
– River Conditions: The river’s volume and clarity determine the safety and accessibility of certain sections for rafting.

### General Season Timeline

– May: The rafting season usually starts in May when the snowmelt increases the river’s flow. This time offers a fantastic opportunity for high-volume rafting with exhilarating rapids.
– June: Water levels typically peak in June, providing the most challenging and intense rafting conditions. This is also the busiest period for rafting, so reservations are essential.
– July-August: The river levels gradually subside during these months, offering a balance of thrilling rapids and beautiful scenery.
– September: Rafting continues through September, with more moderate flows and a chance to enjoy the breathtaking fall foliage along the riverbanks.
– October: The rafting season ends in October when the water levels become too low or cold for safe rafting.

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### Additional Tips

– Check with local rafting companies for specific season dates and water conditions.
– Make reservations in advance, especially during peak season.
– Consider your skill level and choose a trip that suits your experience.
– Dress appropriately for cold water and changing weather conditions.
– Pack a small backpack with essentials such as snacks, water, sunscreen, and a camera.
– Listen carefully to your guide’s instructions and follow all safety protocols.

### Popular Rafting Trips in Durango

– Animas River Half-Day Trips: These trips range from 6 to 8 miles and offer a mix of whitewater and scenic floating.
– Animas River Full-Day Trips: Cover longer distances (up to 18 miles) and include more challenging rapids.
– Weminuche River Trips: Explore the scenic Weminuche Wilderness on a full-day or multi-day rafting adventure.
– San Juan River Trips: Journey through the remote and rugged Canyon of the Ancients National Monument on a multi-day rafting expedition.

### Conclusion

Durango, Colorado, offers an unforgettable river rafting experience with various trip options from May through September. By considering the factors influencing season start and following these tips, you can plan a thrilling adventure on the Animas River that fits your interests and abilities.

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