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Old 03-23-2016   #1
dillon, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 4
New Mexico Rafting - multi-day?

Hi all, we live in CO and struck out totally on the permit game this year, so we're looking to expand our horizons a little and try something new. We've done Deso for years, San Juan a couple times, Ruby/Westwater, etc, so we have all the necessary gear and experience for a "Deso-like" trip, and I was hoping to pick the brains of some New Mexico buzz users.

We are thinking NM because it's semi-close to home, but none of my group have any significant experience rafting there. We are a good group, we follow the rules, we respect the water and the land and we always try to leave camp cleaner than we found it - I realize that may not mean a lot, but I wanted to appeal to whoever might have this information that we are not a bunch of idiots and we will respect your backyard.

We're looking for multi-day (like 5-8 days), semi-chill river, some rapids, but nothing too sphincter-clenching, more for scenery than excitement. Northern NM is preferable (closer), but we'd entertain any ideas. No motors, just people-power, maybe a couple duckies, but mostly rafts. No kids, no dogs. (as in we don't have kids or dogs)

A sincere thank you in advance, I really appreciate any information or help anyone can give! Good river karma to you all!

8hrstoradium is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-23-2016   #2
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Paddling Since: 2011
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 75
NM doesn't really have anything that long that is reliably raftable.
I would call the Taos BLM office and look into cancellations for the premitted wilderness section of the Chama River.
A chill 3 day trip. Be wary, the flows are dam controlled and can rely on "recreational releases" from El Vado Dam.

Running racecourse (class III) and LTB (IV) laps can be grand also while camping along the Rio Grande.

desertSherpa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-23-2016   #3
lmyers's Avatar
Buena Vista, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 4,207
The closest thing to what your looking for (without hiking in or out) is probably White Rock Canyon. Class II-III for the first half, and class flat for the second half (paddling out on backwater)....but, it borders Bandalier National Monument and has several worthwhile hikes with potential layover spots. Camp sites aren't really anything special though...

White Rock Canyon low water TR

Another option would be possibly starting as high as Alamosa on the Rio and go down as far as the Lee Trail which is the put-in for the class IV-IV+ Razorblades just above the Upper Box, but this would involve packing your gear out up a steep 1/4 mile trail (switchbacks) to the parking lot.
GARNA’s mission is to foster stewardship of the resources of the greater Arkansas River region through education, volunteerism and experiences.
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