Upper Animas Questions - Mountain Buzz

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Old 05-13-2004   #1
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 11
Upper Animas Questions

AW describes the shuttle as very long. I punched up the driving directions on Mapquest from Durango to Silverton and its only 48 miles (1hr10min). Is there something I'm missing here? I was planning on having soemone drop us off and meet us at the Railyard for p/up anyway.

It's not like its the Westwater shuttle or something. I've never done the run though. Is the take-out at the Tacoma Power plant @ the Rockwood railyard obvious or marked?

Last question,
24 miles is alot of WW, but what would you expect the flows to be over Memorial Day weekend and how long would you estimate it would take to do the run at that corresponding level?

Anyone interested in going along on the trip?

Thanks for the help,


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Old 05-13-2004   #2
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 113
bone, it's been a while since I paddled the Upper A but I think the takeout (just above the Rockwood Box) is the rr bridge just downstream from the Tacoma plant (which is obvious). It was around 1500-2000 cfs when we did it, we put on around 9:00 a.m. and were off the river around 5:00 and the another hour to walk the two miles out on the rr tracks. We didn't do the Box as none of us knew the lines.

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Old 05-13-2004   #3
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 28
The shuttle is long if you don't have a driver, I think from Rockwood its closer to 30 or 35 miles. Time wise I would say it depends all on the level. 3 hours is the shortest I've done it (4k in town gage), and its faster to run rockwood than to hike out before. Rockwood is pretty much read and run, but you don't want to miss the signs for the take out.
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Old 05-13-2004   #4
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 11
If you take out at the first railroad trestle that the Animas crosses thats the Tacoma Power plant, and then its a 2 mile walk down the tracks to the Railyard?-sh&t!

So you cannot have a vehicle at the parking lot of the power plant? No access?

In other words you have to run the box to be able to take out at your vehicle? I'm confused now.
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Old 05-13-2004   #5
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 28
These are your options.

1.) wait and pay for a train ride back to Rockwood station from the Tacoma power plant.

2.) go 1/2 mile down to the next bridge and hike on the tracks 1-2 miles back to rockwood train station

3.) run the box and hike 1/3 to 1/2 mile uphill to the rockwood train station.

You can't drive down to the river to the best of my knowledge
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Old 05-13-2004   #6
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 245
I don't wanna steal your thread, but I'm interested in the hartsel hot springs, and wondered if there's much boating nearby?? anybody familiar with the springs or the runs??
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Old 05-13-2004   #7
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Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1984
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 1,890
Upper A Logistics

There is no road access at Tacoma, only the train. If the level is high (above 3.5' on the Tacoma gauge-ask at Four Corners), and I'm guessing it will be on Memorial day, you might want to skip the Rockwood gorge. If you have a guide and you're feeling strong after paddling big water heads-up class III & IV for 24 miles, then you can check out the Box but it shouldn't be taken lightly. Not overly hard, but not much access once you're in there and if you swim it's cold and a short distance to a deadly cascade below the takeout. Competent boaters have lost control in there and have been swept into the Lower Box.

Here's what I recommend- arrange to have your boats and gear to be picked up on the afternoon train (I recall around 4pm)- they'll leave a box car for you, and it's only about $15 to take it to the Durango station and you can pick it up that evening. Then you can hike out on the tracks to Rockwood (2 miles) or you can hike directly uphill of the power plant to a parking area behind Haviland Lake Rd. If it's been rainy, the parking area can be a bog. Shorter time to hike, but it's a steep trail.

A ride out on the train with your gear to Rockwood is about $15 pp, which is probably worth it after a long day. You can flag down the train to get onboard yourself, but it's best to get a reservation just in case it's super-full.
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Old 05-14-2004   #8
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Huson, Montana
Paddling Since: 1988
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,214
flaco's exactly right
the last time we did it we took the train out rather than running the box and it worked out fine
if you hike the tracks watch out along the highline
if a train or popcar comes there is nowhere to go
if you run the box watch for a drainage and a sign on the right this is the must make takeout
its good to have a babysitter that knows the lines and where to scout
rip it up
"You're gonna be doin a lot of doobie rolling when youre LIVIN IN A VAN DOWN BY THE RIVER"
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Old 05-14-2004   #9
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Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1984
Join Date: Nov 2003
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LSB is a Hairy Mound of Poop whose 2 year old logs more time in the seat of his boat than he does.

And he's old.

Happy 40th, Billy Joe.
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