Tubing the Animas River in Durango

It’s been pretty frickin’ hot the past few days, and when summer heats up like this, it’s time to cool off with a float down the Animas River. The river runs the length of Durango, Colorado; heck, Durango’s main drag — Main Avenue — basically follows the river’s banks.

The Animas River couldn’t be any easier to access for a tubing trip, especially if you stay at the Durango Quality Inn. Our hotel is on Main Avenue, only one block west of the river, and we provide our guests with tubes.

Flexible Flyers Rafting offers tube rentals.
Flexible Flyers Rafting is one of several places that rent tubes.

The city offers free tube inflation (but it’s BYOT: Bring Your Own Tube) at the Durango Recreation Center river put-in, which is also only one block from our hotel. Tubers can float down the river about 20 city blocks, get out at the Ninth Street take-out at Schneider Park, then hop on the free (more free things!) downtown trolley to catch a ride back to the Quality Inn or rec center. Then you can either wash and rinse in your hotel room or repeat your river float.

Tubers can also walk back along of the city’s 7-mile Animas River Trail, the hard-surface, shared-use trail that hugs the river’s edge. (Although, we probably can all agree that long walks in wet shorts aren’t fun.)

But remember: Tubers shouldn’t go farther south than Dallabetta Park — the last public-access park on the river, about 5 miles south of our hotel — to avoid trespassing on private property. Plus, there’s no free trolley pick-up there.

So book your room at the Durango Quality Inn and enjoy easy access to the river and free transportation back to your room (and shower)!

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