Saturday, August 1, 2009

July Be Gone

Our big boating month has come and gone in Durango. That doesn't mean we stop boating, however. Mountain Waters Rafting is tentatively planning to stay open throughout the month of August. Our primary trip will be the two hour economy trips through the town of Durango. This trip is basic at low water and offers one class two rapid near the end of the run.

Due to our decrease of water levels, and the Animas-LaPlata Project sucking water out of the river for Lake Nighthorse, going beyond Santa Rita Park in a raft has become a quite the chore. Nonetheless, floating through the North side of town, through downtown Durango, and taking out right in the middle of town continues to be an excellent way to cool down on a hot August day.

Don't be shy. We'd love to hear from you. If anyone is starting to think about going boating with us on the Upper Animas or the Piedra next season, give us a call or post a reply on this blog. You don't have to commit to anything, but we'd like to get your name, number, and when you think you might be interested in going. Upper Animas trips are tough to book because you need a good size crew with you while you're up there. So, if we know you're interested now, we can start piecing together the crew and be ready to go when you get here.

If you're going to be in Durango next summer and if everyone in your party is over the age of 16, you really should consider at least looking into these two great sections of river. Both runs are world class, each river and each canyon are amongst the most respectable and magnificient canyons in the country. We'd absolutely love to have you on board, and we think you'd absolutely love being in our boats.

For more information on these two rivers and for a video of us in each canyon, scroll down through the blog. Last season we gave each a rundown and added a video. The previous post has a listing for a video from an Upper trip we did just a few weeks ago. If you scroll to the bottom, and click on "older posts,"go back two pages, you'll find last years videos that we're actually created by us. Check it out. Hit reply to this blog, and leave us a message. We'll make it easy. We'll get in touch with you.

Enjoy the rest of the summer. If you're in town, swing by and see us. We're located in the Albertson's parking lot, just west across Camino Del Rio from the train station.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A weekend Video from Needleton Bar and Grill

The men from were in town a couple weekends ago. While in town, they allowed us the pleasure to take them on an overnight Upper Animas trip. It was pleasure having them and we can't wait to see them again next year. The food was awesome, the boating was great, and the weather was....well, pretty normal.

I can't say it any better than the video they put together. Visit their website and check out the video of the weekend they spent with us. It's professionally done and very insightful into the Needleton lifestyle.

Although the Upper Animas season is over, unless we're blessed with good rain in the next week or two, we're still running and booking Rockwood trips. Check out the video from last season for a peak into the walls of Rockwood Gorge.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Fourth of July 2009: 11 mile hike for 14 mile fun

Alright, so this just in: Iris and I, Sachi, have just hit the booth after 11 miles of hard-core hiking. OK, well maybe it wasn't that hard-core. A few switchbacks here and there, maybe a steep hill, but when you leave behind 14 river miles of Needleton to Tacoma magic for a five hour stint of....well, work, you get a tug at the heart strings that only a mother leaving her young has endured. Yeah, I know I might be going over the top a little but come on...

Have you ever done the Upper Animas?

If you have than you know what an amazing adventure it can be.

I have to say for a private trip we had a bit of a struggle in terms of motivation. But when all was finally said and done we managed to get six members of the Mountain Waters Team, and two of our most faithful supporters, up the mountain and down the river.

The water was not as high as it had been in the last few weeks but we made it work with a cataraft, a raft and a mini-prototype boat that "looks like we bought it at walmart." Yeah, and I'm sure Iris will concurr with me when I say: "This looked like a really bright idea."

So there we were at the Silverton put-in, saying our good-byes, and rigging some boats --all in preparation for only ONE day of mountain water rafting. I know that one day trips are fairly common in this business but let's put it all in perspective. Iris and I were going down the river in a boat -- that all but had the Fisher-Price logo on it -- through all the major rapids and hike out ELEVEN MILES all for the sake of boatin', campin' and hanging out with our friends.

That's love.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Boating Update

A recent increase in both water level and temperature has got all of us boaters in a frenzy to be on the water.

Heavy rains over the last couple of weeks have blessed the Four Corners area with much needed water, and with the temperature finally reaching its hand into the low 90's, the river is looking pretty enticing.

The town of Durango is bussling as well now that we're into the middle of summer, and it's a great time to come visit.

Check out our video blogs while you're cruisin' around the sight. A few of our guides put together some great footage of what an on-the-spot flip looks like. Another video shows how a standard day here at Mountain Waters looks.

In news out of Silverton, we had a brave group of four tend to business on the Upper Animas with us last week. We had excellent water levels, pretty good weather, and whole lot of fun. Matt, Neal, Carrie, and Annie showed up the night before and we got dialed in and ready to boat. We all got together and went over a detailed safety speech, got the crew all geared up, and then the four of them aced the swim test. From there it was off and running towards two days of class five boating, and a night of fun in Needleton.

We also Dave Shively, an editor for Canoe and Kayak Magazine, and Scott Smith, a professional action photographer, on board with us for the trip. It was a pleasure having both of them in our boats and in our camp. You can check out Scott's work at It could be a while before photos of our trip are posted, but we'll keep you updated.

Mr. Dave Shively, a professional boatman himself, was in the Four Corners for a three week boating thrill ride while test driving and reviewing gear. It was great having Mr. Shively back in town again. He's a classy man and he's always welcome at Mountain Waters. You can follow his gear reviews and opinions of boating online at

Come see us. We're fired up and ready to boat.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

A Day in the Life

For most of the guides here at Mountain Waters, rafting is part-time work and full time fun. Often times, our guides may be boating all morning and waiting tables all evening to stay afloat here in Durango, and loving every minute of it.

When our guides are out there rigging up and drivin' down boats, they're out there working hard. Not every day in the life of a raft guide is blessed with lazy floats. Guides check in for trips the evening prior. Our customer service associates set a rotation the night before based on current reservations, they leave a detailed guide message for the boatmen to check before bedtime. Then it's cuddle up and sweet dreams, tomorrow they go boatin!

Guides meet at our boatyard 45 minutes before their trip to get the trailer and boats rigged up. Often times, walk-up customers add numbers to our trip and guides with boats are added in last minute. Once we're all loaded up, we cruise the bus down to our booth to pick up the day's customers.

A short bus ride and safety speech prelude the fun, then we're off and running. For the duration of the trip, being a boatman is mighty free and easy. But once we're off the water, the work starts again.

Boats need to be loaded on the trailer, then we're off to the booth to drop off the customers. After arriving back at our boatyard, a quick derig ensues and the boating day is soon over.

We've got a close knit crew here at Mountain Waters and often times we'll all be huddled over the same fire in the evenings, waiting around for another day of boating.

Come ride with us. We look forward to having you.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Boating Season is ON!

Mountain Waters is up and running! The booth is set up, the boats are full of air, the guides are primed and ready.

Our lower Animas season is yet to hit full swing, but trips are going out daily and we welcome you and yours anytime between now and mid-August. As of the last week, the water flows have remained stable at around 5,000 cubic feet per second. With rain in town and snow in the high country this weekend, waters level should remain at a fun level for quite some time.

Our Upper Animas and Piedra seasons have also begun. If you're looking for a more technical adventure and a little more water come join our World Class guides for a class Four/Five adventure. Spend a night in Needleton at our five star wilderness camp, eat hearty meals, then go boating again!

Check out our video posts for a closer look at the trips we offer.

We can't wait to see you.