Originally Posted by jones72
I didn't think anybody replied. Turns out my email notifications were hitting my spam filter.
So anyway, glad I checked, there's a bunch of great info here. Thanks guys! Definitely some places I didn't think of that I should look into... minus the 5 day portage
Time to hunker down and start doing some research and make a decision.
Yetigonecrazy... as for the Rio G... I really don't know. I was just looking for something down south as it is a part of the country I had not experienced much. So, I was just looking for something different... spotted it on the map.. and then read this... Colorado Whitewater Rafting & Kayaking by Rivers - Rio Grande River - The Colorado Directory
It was the last 2 or 3 paragraphs of that page that I was referring to (Middle Box, Orilla Verde and Racecourse).
I've also always really want to do Dolores canyon. But I think that's bit longer drive than I was looking for and maybe too advanced for this noob anyway.
I think the pumphouse and horsethief are great suggestions. Also, I -love- the Moab and Canyonlands country. You guys also mentioned some things I never heard of, so I'll google those. And yeah, I agree some more experience would be a good addition to the trip.
I'm thinking somewhere around the April/May timeframe.
Dumb question... but how do guys usually handle the logistics of getting back to your starting point? Take two cars & drop one off at the take-out point? Or are there sometimes shuttles you can take back? Or just hitchhike?
(I did that one time near state bridge... stuck vehicle... made for a LONG day).
Well, I'm sure I'm not done with my questions yet, but I have a starting point now. Glad I found this board!
Well, let me tell you this first: find a different site. That site you were looking at is LOADED with inaccurate information!! None of those stretches is even IN Colorado, theyre all in NM, and the information they have is a joke.
"The most commonly rafted section of the river is the Rio Grande Gorge, which runs 68 miles through southern Colorado and New Mexico. The gorge contains the most and best rafting in New Mexico. Surrounding you will be the rugged basalt cliffs, which plunge 800 feet to the river, dotted with juniper, cedar and sage, as well as ravens, falcons and eagles. The river is more difficult the further upstream you start."
-> its actually the other way around, the further south you go, the harder it becomes. the Rio G is flat from colorado until about Ute Mountain, which is the start of the "Razots" run, which has difficult logistics and is solid class IV.
"The first section, The Taos Box, runs 16 miles through intense and challenging class IV+ rapids. With names like Dead Car, Pinball and Sunset, this is the state's premier whitewater run. You may miss the beautiful scenery, as all your attention will be focused on navigating your way through your exciting adventure. The Middle Box runs 18 miles through class II and III rapids. This section runs through remotes and rarely visited pristine wilderness. Many kayaks and canoes travel this section of the river."
-> ?????? They have this all confused. The UPPER Taos Box begins at Chiflo C.G. and ends a handful of miles down, and it is hike in, hike out, solid class V boating through several scary rapids, where the rock is shaped like swiss cheese and the rapids are chock full of sieves. Rapids like Big Arsenic and Hell Hole are the norm here. The LOWER Taos Box is 14 miles long, and runs from John Dunn Bridge to Taos Jct Bridge. While it is mostly class III, its long and committing, and several of the rapids approach class IV rating, including the big boy Powerline, which is a solid class IV at most levels. The rapids mentioned as being in the "above" box, Dead Car, Pinball, and Sunset, are all actually in this stretch. I would not want to take a canoe down that river.
"The Orilla Verde is a more mellow and scenic part of the river with towering bluffs and buttes. Along the way you will see Indian petroglyphs as well. This 10-mile section floats you through class II rapids. "
-> Orilla Verde is 4 miles long and contains one class II rapid, and there are no petroglyphs. It's still in the basalt gorge, so the "towering buttes and bluffs" are no where to be found.
"Last, the Racecourse section of the river runs through 5 miles of almost constant action of thrilling and rollercoaster rapids. The walls of the gorge around you rise 1,500 feet throwing you through class III rapids. This is the most popular section of the river to raft."
-> This is the Pilar section, and this entry is about the only one that is correct, although the canyon halls have pretty much been 1500 hundred feet deep since about John Dunn bridge upstream.
If you want some solid, positive, boater driven beta, check out these two sites:
on EddyFlower, click on the "Rivers" tab just below the title, and then click on the state of Colorado or New Mexico. on AW, do the same thing except click on "River Info -> National River Database", and click on CO or NM again. Both of those sites have lots and lots of CORRECT info about the things you are interested in. Browse around there and get a better picture of what you're looking for and we can help from there.