New Mexico Rafting - White Rock Canyon of Rio Grande - Mountain Buzz
 

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Old 03-27-2017   #1
 
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Paddling Since: 2011
Join Date: Feb 2016
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New Mexico Rafting - White Rock Canyon of Rio Grande

Hey All! I am hoping to take my 14.5' raft down the Rio Grande from Buckman Mesa - Cochiti Reservoir the weekend of April 8 - 9. Does anyone know if there is a river map in existence? Flows are between 4 - 5,000 cfs right now, does anyone have feedback on the two rapids at this level? Any updates on the run, rapids or camping would be much appreciated! Any fellow boaters that want to come along, pm me. Cheers!

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Old 03-27-2017   #2
 
Issip's Avatar
 
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Paddling Since: 2011
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 216
Paul Bauer wrote a good Rio Grande guidebook that covers Whiterock. There has been some changes since it was published - the trail/possible takeout at Frijoles Canyon is gone - washed out in a flood, but that shouldn't affect you much unless you were hoping to hike there.

Ancho Rapid can be pretty nasty, I've never seen it higher than ~2k CFS, but it's much more challenging at 2K than 1K CFS. The other rapids are pretty straightforward, at least at the flows I've seen them. I may make a trip this spring, I usually do Whiterock in the autumn because the winds are worse in the spring and my biggest concern with that run is high wind on Cochiti Lake for the paddle out. If winds are predicted over 20 MPH be very cautious and/or try to hit the lake early in the day.

It's a beautiful run, have fun!
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Old 03-29-2017   #3
 
Los Alamos, New Mexico
Paddling Since: 1983
Join Date: Oct 2007
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Both times I have done it the flow was around 4000cfs. Ancho is pretty rowdy at that level, but still just solid class 3. The one other real rapid above it (Water Canyon I think) has some big standing waves at that level, but is pretty straight forward.

Below Ancho Canyon it can be flat water all the way to the takeout on Cochiti Reservoir so be ready. This actually depends more on the level of the reservoir than the river flow. If the reservoir is full, there pretty much no current below Ancho. Issip's comment about the possible wind in the spring is right on. Our usual plan is to camp on river lift about 6.5 miles below Ancho. There is a fairly nice campsite that has good access at that river level. I would not try to camp much below that since there is really nothing available. Then we would get up early and row/paddle out to the take out first thing in the morning before the wind picks up.

The upstream winds on a spring afternoon can be pretty vicious. On one trip, even with a flow of over 4000cfs I was rowing steadily to make progress. Plan to start as early as possible each day.

Definitely check out the Bauer guidebook if you can. It is very well done. I put together my own homemade river map a number of years ago that you can print on 8.5 x 14 water proof paper and spiral bind at a copy store. Message me your e-mail if you want it.

If you are not aware, you also do not want to leave a vehicle at the Buckman Rd put in. There have been numerous stories of vehicle vandalism and the area is a know party spot.
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Old 03-29-2017   #4
 
Los Alamos, New Mexico
Paddling Since: 1983
Join Date: Oct 2007
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Also be aware that the next 3 or 4 miles past Ancho are Bandelier National Monument land on river right and you technically need a backcountry permit to camp there. There is little chance of running into a ranger, but you never know. There is camping on river right at Ancho, but that is Department of Energy land. Pretty much no chance of anyone bugging you, but better to know.
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Old 03-29-2017   #5
 
Los Alamos, New Mexico
Paddling Since: 1983
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Posts: 179
sullyP-

I sent you a message with a Dropbox link with the homemade river map.
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Old 03-29-2017   #6
 
Espanola, New Mexico
Paddling Since: 1988
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 10
You can pick up the Rio Grande River guide book at the BLM bookstore south of Santa Fe. It has the maps you are looking for and it is all on waterproof paper.
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Old 03-29-2017   #7
 
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Paddling Since: 2011
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 9
@gbmaz @GSdave thank you for all of this intel! Really helpful. I ordered the Rio Grande guide book so should have that ready to go. Along with @gbmaz's maps, we'll be set! Thanks, guys!
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Old 03-29-2017   #8
 
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Albuquerque, New Mexico
Paddling Since: 1985
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 226
Watch for snakes, and petroglyphs.
Also a nice swim spot at Pajarito creek on Red Dot trail (below White Rock) river right.
Scout Ancho rapid from sandy beach river right.
The East Cochiti ramp may still be closed, meaning a bit longer paddle to main/west marina.
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Old 03-29-2017   #9
 
Livenswell's Avatar
 
Edgewood..., Not New...Not Mexico
Paddling Since: 0930
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 71
Here's some good details:

https://www.mountainbuzz.com/forums/f...-tr-45148.html

and some others:

https://www.mountainbuzz.com/forums/f...tle-62726.html

Sounds like a great run, I have been dreaming about myself, but I think I would prefer running this section in the late summer early fall when the wind is less of an issue, oh and the cottonwoods might be aglow by then too
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