Ultimate Day for the Water Sports Lover

The best rafting, paddleboarding, and surfing in Durango.

24-Hour Durango Itinerary for the Water Sports Lover

Durango is well-known for its climbing, hiking, and biking, but after all that, you’ll want to cool off with a little kayaking or paddleboarding. Or maybe you’d like to take the plunge into whitewater rafting. No matter your preference, Durango has it. We asked Alex Mickel of Mild to Wild Rafting to concoct the perfect 24-hour Durango itinerary for water sports lovers.

Coffee at 81301 Coffee Roasters or Durango Joe’s

Mickel would start his day with coffee from 81301 Coffee or Durango Joe’s, two of the city’s favorite roasteries. Of 81301, he says, “81301 Coffee Roasters makes their own roast. It’s a really nice cup of coffee.” And Durango Joe’s is great, too, says Mickel: “Durango Joe’s is a great regular stop for me. It’s an awesome local roastery.”

Durango Whitewater Park

No day of Durango water sports would be complete without a visit to the city’s flagship whitewater park. Mickel explains, “Durango Whitewater Park was one of the first whitewater parks in the state. It’s had a series of updates that have made the surfing and rafting there just incredible.”

Lunch at The Palace Restaurant

After some time at the park, Mickel suggests heading over to The Palace for a lunch with a retro atmosphere. “I’d have lunch next to the train depot at The Palace. It’s a fantastic local restaurant and an iconic Durango place because it sits rights next to the train. It really has an idyllic, old western feel. You’d think you were sitting there in 1895.”

SUP the Animas River

For standup paddleboarders, especially those who want to try it for the first time, Mickel recommends the quintessential paddleboarding spot: the Animas River. “The Animas Valley has tranquil water coming in,” he says. “It’s great for first time paddleboarders learning and enjoying the serenity of a peaceful river.”

Raft the Piedra River

For rafting, Mickel says his favorite spot is the nearby Piedra River. “One of my favorite day trips is the Piedra River. It’s a great day hike to secluded hot springs and rafting.”

Steamworks Brewing

Mickel would finish up his day at his favorite area brewery, Steamworks. “Durango is a brewery town, and Steamworks is one of the best,” he says. “It’s owned by really creative, talented entrepreneurs.”