The Animas Expedition

We all live in a watershed. The water we drink flows through them. The foods we eat grow in them. Our lives are influenced and sustained by them. A watershed’s health is connected to and shaped by humans. This critical synergy demands collective and individual contributions to them.

Professional athlete, 14er Ski Record holder, mountain guide, and former Navy SEAL Josh Jespersen floats his crew of rugged adventurers into the depths of uncertainty on the wildly remote Animas River. The team emerges downriver, albeit a little soggy, with water samples gathered along the way. The expedition’s contributions add to reclamation efforts and bring into sharper contrast the need for active participation in one’s home watershed.


“There is a healthy environment that can be preserved and protected. Move through it, flow through it, walk through those mountains, experience and learn to appreciate them. Because you’re not going to fight for something you don’t understand.”


The Animas River spills from the heart of the San Juan Mountains and drains the snowmelt of majestic peaks via a canyon deeper than the Grand Canyon. Packrafting the Animas River Canyon with skis and snowboards in tow, the Journey Lines crew seeks greater understanding through their complete immersion into the third largest wilderness in the contiguous United States.

The Animas Expedition intends to rally a larger army of diverse advocates in defense of the natural world. The film stresses that anyone, anywhere can be a champion of conservation and a staunch defender of wild places. An expedition into the unknown is but one way to engage in this fight. We all can do something, even if it is as simple as putting water in bottles.

Here’s how you can help.

Join our effort to designate rivers, like the San Juan and Gunnison river basins, as Outstanding Waters, an important tool to help advance conservation across the West. When a state makes this designation under the federal Clean Water Act, all future activities must protect, not lower, the water quality of the river and surrounding watershed. Outstanding Waters protects not just the water itself, but the land around and upstream of it.

Sign up below so our advocacy partner, Western Resource Advocates, can reach out for you to weigh in when it matters most!

Check out Adventure Scientists for opportunities to get involved with citizen science projects. The organization currently has volunteers measuring water quality in Wild and Scenic rivers across the US, collecting samples of Eastern black walnut to crack down on illegal logging, and surveying coral reefs along the Mexican Pacific coast. New projects will be posted as they arise.

A Special THANK YOU to those that have made this journey possible!

Big Agnes

Fish Pond



Western Resource Advocates

and our other supporters and collaborators @blueice @westonbackcountry @zealoptics @karakorambc @cilogear_official @ned @isaiahjboyle

About Josh Jespersen

In 2011, after serving in two war zones as a Navy SEAL, Josh decided to leave the military. It was time to get back to his roots in snowboarding. Josh’s obsession with the mountains is fueled by the friends he lost in combat. His dedication to live for them has pushed Josh to become the first and only person to climb and ski/ride all 54 of Colorado’s 14,000′ peaks in a single ski season, and co-found Mission Memorial Day. Josh is also very involved with Protect Our Winters, and is making an effort to create more advocates for the outdoors with his Journey Lines project. Follow Josh HERE

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