Lime Creek - 3rd Gorge Lime aka Cascade Creek



3rd Gorge Lime Creek aka Cascade Creek is a couple mile creek run that confluences right into the Upper Animas. Start off by hiking your boat down the Purgatory Flats trail near Durango Mountain Resort. The hike is about a mile and a half and mostly down hill. Put in and warmup on some class II/III before reching the first horizon line. Landslide rapid is the first rapid and the top half and is normally portaged on river left. When you see the horizon line eddy out on the right and then ferry to the one or two boat eddy on river left directly above the rapid portage over scree and put back in the runout and hit a fun boof then a slide sorta thing. About two hundred yards downstream is a pretty meaty hole the is best boofed center left or left. If you do get stuck in the hole keep paddling as the durangotangs said it will let you out! There are a couple more IV+ read and run rapids and sweet little gorge before reaching the Upper Animas. Keep an eye out for wood, as of 5/4/2013 there were two strainers that could be avoided pretty easily.

Once reaching the confluence with the Upper A you have 6 miles or so of class IV until you reach the Rockwood Box. Either portage Rockwood by hiking along the tracks (ILLEGAL) or paddle through the Rockwood Box (IV-V) and take out at the end. Hike up 400' vertical to your car following signs for rockwood trail.

2 Miles Cascade Creek/3rd Gorge

6 Miles Upper Animas

2 Miles Rockwood Box


Joshua Darnell
Class IV+ to V-
Current Flow Visual or Unknown
Recommended Flow Minimum:
Typical Season Begins: May
Ends: July
Recommended Use Kayaking: Yes
Rafting: No
Canoeing: No
Packrafting: No
Fishing: No
Primary Gauge VISUAL
Length 10.0 Mile(s)
Gradient FPM