the upper animas is a beautiful, long, wilderness run. i recommend doing it in two days, however it is not to bad in one. it makes for a long day. i think it adds to the experience to do it in two days. it probably peaks around early to mid june at about 3000 cfs. i could be wrong about the peak flow. it is mostly big water class IV with a few meaty rapids. you can take out at tocoma and ride the train to your car(prearranged in silverton). or you can run the rockwood box which will be the meat of the run. scouting and portaging are tough to impossible for some of the rapids. if you are a class five boater, the box will be fun. if not, take out at tacoma.
The Black Canyon is a great run with high quality rapids. Many people complain about the portaging, but I personally think it is worth it to be in such a deep canyon. Most of the rapids are actually IV and aren't all that hard if you are and advanced boater. In my experience most of the portages are no-brainers; it's eather a clean line or a death run. I only remember 3 drops where the decision to run or not is a difficult one to make. I usualy save this one for later in the year - like august when nothing else is going. 700 to 900 is a good flow; although, it is still good at really low flows like 400. Be advised though, the waterfall is un-runnable at flows much less than 600 or so. This involves rappelling or jumbing off. For the portage - stay high on the right and don't cross the river until you have to. The portage can be easy or extreamly hard if you screw it up. Plan on spending the night, it is worth the weight. The poison ivy is no joke and is something to consider, and the paddle out takes fooor-friggin-ever. Enjoy, it is one of my fovorit Colorado rivers. :wink:
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