Originally Posted by bigweave
Looking for advise on rafting the Box Canyon in New Mexico. 14' self-bailer. Want to paddle but could oar. Any imperative info for a first timer.
I was in the lower taos box on saturday with a 14'er It's at a good water level right now and only getting better.
If you're planning on camping, there is some good camping around the takeout at Taos Jct. Bridge (you're not supposed to camp at the put-in). There are some developed sites downriver of the bridge and a bit of undeveloped camping on the hill upriver of the bridge. Before you leave to go upriver and start the trip, you may want to check out sunset rapid, just above the takeout. That rapid takes a bit of a technical move between a couple of big holes.
Once you get on the water, the first half + of the day is pretty straightforward...mostly class 2 and easy class 3 stuff. Once you see the powerlines overhead, be alert. Dead Car rapid has a sharp drop with a large rock in the middle of the left channel...you're going to have to make a strong move to miss the rock. I've pulled a few wraps off that rock, so take it seriouslly.
Below Dead Car you'll come to a horizon line at Powerline Rapid. This one is probably worth checking out beforehand. The drop itself is pretty straightforward, but we saw a few swimmers in the V-wave at the bottom of the drop.
Below Powerline, you'll enter the Rio Bravo section with a series of moderate drops. Some of these drops have some sizeable rocks and holes in them, but you shouldn't have too much difficulty reading and running as long as you stay alert.
Sunset Rapid kind of sneaks up on you...you'll come around a right hand corner and find yourself commited to the drop. This is where it helps to have seen the rapid earlier. Miss the big hole on the top right and push hard to miss the bigger hole on the bottom left.
The takeout is on the left immedately after sunset.