Then there’s the designated river put-in at the Durango Community Recreation Center, where tubers will also find a free pump to inflate their tubes. (The Durango rec center is only two blocks from our hotel, by the way.) The preferred take-out is on Ninth Street at Schneider Park. Don’t forget the city’s trolley transports tubers up and down Main Avenue; tubers can park at the downtown transit center or Schneider Park, ride the trolley along with their deflated tube to the rec center where they can inflate their tube and hop in the river.
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 downtown trolley to catch a ride back to the Quality Inn or rec center. Then you can either head to your hotel room for a shower or get back on the river to repeat your float. The city’s 7-mile paved Animas River Trail runs alongside the river’s edge, so tubers can easily walk or bike back as well.
Remember: inner tubes are not recommended on Smelter Rapids in Durango’s Whitewater Park, which can be dangerous for inexperienced boaters. Also, 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.
- Be Safe – River-goers should always wear a life vest. Officials also recommend helmets and secure footwear for individual water crafts.
- Be Prepared – It’s Colorado, and as they say, “If you don’t like the weather, wait a minute.” Weather and water conditions can change rapidly in any season, so be prepared. Inappropriate or inadequate clothing and footwear can result in injury, hypothermia, dismemberment or death.
- Be Careful – Remember, you’re on a wild river — not a water park’s lazy river. Tubers will encounter rocks, logs and strong currents as well as manmade obstacles.
Tubers can access the Animas River at the following points:
- 33rd Street (limited parking)
- 29th Street at Memorial Park
- Recreation Center (tubing put-in)*
- 9th Street at Schneider Park (tubing take-out)*
- Santa Rita Park
- Cundiff Park
- High Bridge
- Dallabetta Park
While you’re in town, remember fun stuff can be free stuff. Book your room at the Quality Inn Durango today, and we’ll provide you with free tubes and easy access to the Animas River for your tubing adventure.