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Old 04-08-2009   #1
Carbondale, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 262
Lower Taos Box Beta and Dogs?

Thinking about heading down to Taos April 25 weekend for a little whitewater action...

I have a few questions on the Lower Taos Box:

1. Is it runnable in a 16 foot oar rig?

2. Are the IV's walkable? Reason I ask is that I would like to bring my dog but don't like him to be in the boat on anything bigger than a III so my wife would get out with him, walk the IV (and video tape our run) with the Marley dog and then get back in.

3. Any other beta worth knowing?

Thanks y'all!


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Old 04-08-2009   #2
TakemetotheRiver's Avatar
Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 05
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 1,477
The box is mostly read and run Class IV with steep sides for some, especially Sunset Falls at the end- not really a way to stop and look at it or let people/dogs out to walk. The biggest concern though is the Rock Garden/Screaming Left and Right which flow into each other at anything over 1500cfs and constitute about 4 miles of Class III/IV whitewater. It may be easier at lower flows.

It's definitely runnable in a 16 footer at 1500 or above.

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Old 04-08-2009   #3
Fort Collins, Colorado
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 213
We might be heading down to Taos box around then as well to do some boating if you are interested in meeting up and paddling let me know...were you planning on camping??
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Old 04-08-2009   #4
no tengo
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Baytopia, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1876
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Posts: 1,768
impossible. can't be run in a 16ft with a dog. it must be a 12.5ft boat and with a house cat. they make those cute little kitty pfds now they are so awesome!
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Old 04-08-2009   #5
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 328
The thing about the lower Taos box that a lot of people don't think about is the remoteness. While the water doesn't get any harder than a class IV (unless it is really really high) you just can't hike out of that canyon if you wrap your raft or something. I would leave the dog at home for your first trip. Also at higher water, the class IV section gets pretty continous for rafts and swimming dogs.
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Old 04-08-2009   #6
lhowemt's Avatar
at my house, Montana
Paddling Since: 2020
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 4,347
You might be able to find a "doggy day care" or kennel to watch the pup the day you run it? I agree, it is a good idea to run something once before you take the pup, so you can asses rapid size and walks yourself.
I am a river, babe - I've got plenty of time, I don't know where I'm going, I'm just following the lines..... - "We are water" by Shaye
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Old 04-08-2009   #7
Abron Cabron
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Santa Fe, Nuevo Mexico
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 594
Pilar... not LTB!

My take is LTB is not a good run for dogs. it is very commited, the banks are all jumbled basalt and poison ivy with no trails for the majority of the @17 miles, there is lots of potential sieves (not as many as the Upper box, but still...) and several long rocky rapids with good gradient. it goes in 16' boats pretty much any where above preference is 13-14'... all the way up to 5-6k then they feel pretty small.
There is ACRES of poison ivy in there.... Its mostly in first 6-8 miles, where you just have a nice view of it floating by in the flatwater, and in the last mile around the Rio Pueblo at sunset rapid. I am not down with that shite and wouldnt want my dog in it either.

there is a hiking trail from the bottom up to around screaming left/ rio bravo section. it starts on the west side if the gorge @ 1/2 a mile above TJB(the takeout bridge) on the road going towards carson. great view of the end of rio bravo.

on the plus side for pooches, there is camping in the state park, and that is a 5-6 mile float which is doggy swimming heaven. or if your dog prefers running with an occasional ferry from side to side,(like mine) the race course is 6 miles of roadside II-III. it is great.... unless- the water is high/snowmelt or they get tired/ scared and take off up the bank to the highway. or blaze after another trip.
i have had both of those occur.(my dog likes to chase the red boats from my company whether i'm on the trip or not) and another friends' dog who wasnt so bright and didnt like chasing my pooch ) I seriously only count on my dogs common sense to stay relatively near me (which is a marginal argument on paper) and cant vouch for any other dogs... it is controversial and has been debated for the safety of the dog and courtesy to other boaters vehemently on the buzz before...
so... little bit of a long winded with a change of subject but theres something to think about for your trip... have fun!
PS 16' is too big for the RC unless its above @ 12-1500 cfs.
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Old 04-08-2009   #8
DanOrion's Avatar
Indian Hills, Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 1,448
Is LTB worth the drive for a thirsty bunch of Denver kayakers looking for a little IV season warmup, or should we just head up to Cross Mtn?
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Old 04-08-2009   #9
no tengo
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Baytopia, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1876
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 1,768
so I have a story. one time i was guiding the racecourse back in the day and these private boaters had a dog on their boat. they flipped at souse hole at about 5000 cfs (most boats were flipping that day). dog drowned. turns out they had CHAINED it to the boat to prevent it from running off. worse off the were watching the dog for a friend. real smart.
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Old 04-08-2009   #10
Abron Cabron
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Santa Fe, Nuevo Mexico
Paddling Since: 1999
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Posts: 594
i would say its not worth the drive unless its over 1000cfs and combined with the other good runs in NM (UTB, Chama,etc...).most good paddlers really dont like the amount of flat water in a play boat... (Iam a class III paddler so i still appreciate the parts of the river that are friendly) LTB is pooldrop for 2/3 and then more continuous for the rio bravo section. Atom found a spot to rappel into the gorge @powerline if you want to get serious about eliminating flat water, but its got to be pretty sketchy vertical screeslope below the rappel.
it looks like the water has gone down to 625 for now...

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