In the valley north of Durango lies a kayak run in a tight and deep gorge...the Middle Box and Baker's Box sections of the Animas River. In here you'll find tight and twisting turns, steep drops, boulder gardens with many lines and many boofs, along with pushy rapids leading into sieves. Yeah...it's committing yet with this commitment, a great sense of accomplishment always follows.
For years, these runs were off limits. The first descent crews had horrific stories of sieves, gnarly rapids, and horrific portaging so the local paddling crews stayed out fearing the worst. With enough time, advancements in boat design and outfitting, and people continuing to push it, these gorges were looked at again. What happened was the opening of some of the best whitewater in Colorado.
This run is not for everyone though. You gotta be on your game and your crew needs to be dialed with their safety. The gorges are deep with steep smooth walls and once you're in, it's pretty hard to get out. In some places...impossible. Some of the rapids are totally walled in with no way to scout so you should definitely go with someone for the first few runs to get your lines down.
The only way into the Baker's section is via a 200ft rappel. Hike to the lip of the canyon, clip your boat in and lower it down. Then grab the rope and rap into the gorge. Like I said once you're in....you're in. The first four drops are totally blind with the biggest being Plunger. Without divulging much more, all i can say is that it's full on.
I hope you enjoy the pics.