the rivers

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Here is a brief description of rivers in the Four Corners region. Click on the link to get a more detailed description. This will be under construction for a little while.


The River of Lost Souls begins its free flowing journey from high in the San Juans North of Silverton, CO. The river has two very different sections popular with boaters. thumbnail of Upper Animas

upper animas

The first section, known as the Upper Animas or simply “The Upper”, begins in Silverton, CO and flows 28 miles of continuous class III, IV and V whitewater to the Rockwood takeout. Get the details on the Upper Animas.

lower animas

The Lower Animas flows through Durango Colorado and contains class I and II water with a couple class III man-made rapids in Santa Rita Park. Details coming soon.


thumbnail of Piedra River

Piedra means 'stone' in Spanish and there are plenty of them for your enjoyment. The box canyons of the Piedra feature 19 miles of scenery and several distinct class III and IV drops, plus a V the is often portaged thrown in for good measure.

The Piedra River flows anywhere from March to early June. There is an intermediate access point which is usually closed due to snow early in the season, and if that is the case you will need to run the whole thing (darn). Get the details on the Piedra River.


The best mile of boating in Colorado?

Vallecito Creek is some tough stuff. If your game is on, read on. Get the details on Vallecito Creek.


thumbnail of Dolores

Dolores is a name that means 'sorrow' and there is good reason to be sad about this river. The powers that be at the Bureau of Reckless Damnation have let out only a trickle for the last three years. Due to a 160% of normal snow pack this year (2005), they have decided to let some of the water 'spill' that would normally be used to irrigate the desert to grow beans. Anyway its a good run so I'll see you out there with every other yahoo.

upper dolores

This is the only section you are guaranteed to get every year - but its only class II so boo hoo hoo. Details coming soon.

bradfield to slickrock

This is a fun section with a nice class IV rapid. Details coming soon.

slickrock to bedrock

I have only run this section once a long time ago so I don't remember much - except that its easy. Details coming soon.

rio grande

The Rio Grande near Taos offers something for everyone, from flat to hair raising. Evil desert farmers in Colorado can suck away up to half of the flow before it even gets to New Mexico, but this year should provide more water than they can handle so ha. There are a few distinct runs which we will attempt to describe here.

thumbnail of Upper Taos Box of the Rio Grande

upper taos box

The Upper Taos Box is hard. It contains sieves. You have to carry your boat into the canyon and quite possibly around a rapid or two. Its class V boating at its finest. If you are still reading, then go get it tiger! Details coming soon.

lower taos box

The Lower Taos Box, many times refered to as the Taos Box, is a great class III/IV run with good scenery and some fine whitewater. It makes a great multi-day add-on to the Upper Taos Box or the Pilar section downstream. Catch it in May or June for peak flow. A self registration permit is required. Details coming soon.

pilar racecourse

The Pilar stretch is a bit less scenic (it parallels the road) and a bit easier than the Lower Taos Box above. Still, there are some good rapids especially at higher flows (2000 cfs or more). Its also shorter and can be done twice in one day. Details coming soon.


The Colorado River is the lifeblood of the West. There is lots of good whitewater and flatwater on this river and you can go for a long ways save for a couple of worthless dams.


Gore Canyon is a sweet class V run at the headwaters of the Colorado. More than one person has been on the receiving end of an ass whoopin on this run, including myself a long time ago. Details coming soon.

thumbnail of the Grand Canyon


Westwater Canyon is a classic desert whitewater run. Unfortunately all the whitewater is sandwiched in the middle four miles between 13 miles of combined flatwater. Oh well its worth doing anyway, if you can get a permit. Details coming soon.


Lots of flat then ends with a bang. Details coming soon.

Grand Canyon

What can I say, the Grand is the one trip you have to do before you die. If you are invited on a private trip, drop everthing and go. Both times I went I gave up a job. My only advice is to do it right and don't use motorized boats! My other advice is to bring sunscreen. Details coming soon.