Ziplining Across Durango’s Animas river — 10 Times!
The Animas River is, for many people, a prime reason to vacation in Durango, Colorado. The Animas is a hub for whitewater rafting, tubing, fly fishing, and sightseeing in general. And the only place in Durango where it is possible to zipline across the river is at Soaring Treetop Adventures — and during a day at Soaring, our guests cross the Animas on 10 different ziplines.
The 27 unique lines which make up the zipline course at Soaring are located in what is arguably one of the most beautiful spots in the United States. Located deep in the mountains of Colorado (so deep in fact that there are no roads to the property, only the rails of the historic Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railway come here) the property is 180 stunning acres of virgin Pondarosa Pine forest, through which runs the mighty Animas River.
The Animas has its headwaters in the mountains of nearby Silverton, Colorado, whose melting snows trickle down through layers of rocks to eventually form the river. As that snow melt comes together and goes crashing down the valleys originally created by the animas Glacier, it creates beautiful scenes and provides world-class rafting opportunities. (There is a very good reason that there are several rafting companies in the town of Durango!) The river seems to have two distinct personalities, which is why locals refer to the Upper Animas and the Lower Animas.
Where the river passes through the town of Durango the waters are calm and slow-moving. The Lower Animas is perfect rafting for beginning rafters or those who wish the raft with children. It is also a great section of water for some gentle tubing.
The Upper Animas, on the other hand, is a wild and wooly section of water — miles and miles of raging rapids and fast-moving water — perfect for rafters who are looking for the thrill and adrenaline rush of Class 4 and Class 5 rapids.
It is on the Upper Animas that Soaring is located. The course (the largest zipline course in the world) is located on a parcel of land known as an in-holding, which is a privately owned piece of land which is completely surrounded by a National Forest. Not only is the Soaring property located in a beautiful and undeveloped area of the Rocky Mountains, since the property spans both sides of the river, Colorado law allows us to cross that river with our ziplines.
And we do just that–10 times!
As mentioned earlier, this type of remote location (there is not a highway in sight!) and the crossing of the Animas River are unique to Soaring Treetop Adventures. Soaring is the only place in Durango where you can zipline across the river, and we do it at one of the most scenic sections of the river’s route.
Ten of our 27 different ziplines cross the Animas and these lines are consistently named as favorites by our guests. Most of the river crossings are also pretty long ziplines. In fact, many of these crossings are in excess of 500 feet long — making these individual lines longer than many of the ziplines that you will find in Colorado– with the very last river crossing traversing a whopping 1400 feet (a quarter of a mile)!
A common question that we get from our guests is just how do we get the lines across the raging river during the construction process? The answer is that since the Animas is made up of snow melt, by the time Fall rolls around the water level has dropped substantially, allowing our team to wade across safely with cables in tow. From there we can hang the cables up in the old-growth Ponderosa Pines on that side of the river.
So if you are considering a trip to Durango to take in some fun activities along the Animas River (whitewater rafting, fishing, etc.), come up on the train to our private property — the only place in Durango where you can zipline across the river — and Soar across 10 times!