Rio Grande, Pilar and Racecourse sections Beta - Mountain Buzz
 

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Old 03-13-2018   #1
 
pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Paddling Since: 2004
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Rio Grande, Pilar and Racecourse sections Beta

Hi Buzzards! I'm doing a trip on the Rio grande. Id like to do the pilar and racecourse sections and would like to camp at one of the many sites along that stretch. I'd like any beta on good campsites and hot springs nearby if any. We plan on double dipping the section this week. Thanks in advance.

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Old 03-13-2018   #2
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Weld county, Colorado
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La Nina years are not good for the southwest. I would check the gauge at Taos junction before going. On dry years like this the Rio may not go over 300cfs. You can still have fun in a ducky. Sleeping beauty will still be a fun play wave. The box is pretty mellow at that level too if you want to put a ducky in at the Hondo bridge. There are hot springs right on the west bank at the Hondo bridge and another river left a little ways into the canyon.
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Old 03-13-2018   #3
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Weld county, Colorado
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Checked the gauge. It's at 500. No one is irritating yet. I've camped down near Taos junction in April and it was a quiet cold night. Bring a warm bag.
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Old 03-13-2018   #4
 
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Buena Vista, Colorado
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Hey Gravity!

Normally I would say "do your own research", but you have been a Buzzard for awhile so I will give you the low down.

You didn't mention the Box, which takes more water, AND you didn't mention when you would be arriving...... so MY SUGGESTION would be to camp at Rio Bravo or Arroyo Hondo and just put in from your campsite and boat to County Line. If the water is really low you might want to launch from Quartzite instead of up in the Orilla Verde area, but with good flows you can start as high as the Taos Junction bridge (take out for the lower box).
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Old 03-13-2018   #5
Pieter Porcupine
 
Salida, Colorado
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We are headed down on Friday, float Saturday. Would like to coordinate shuttles?
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Old 03-13-2018   #6
 
Flagstaff, Arizona
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My daughter has been down the past few weeks for her guide training. She rowed a 18' boat, and has run several 14' rafts. She says its fun, low water but fun. I am jealous that she has been getting out and I haven't been. Have fun
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Old 03-13-2018   #7
 
Apache Junction, Arizona
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There are tons of campsites all up that road. It runs the whole length of the river so you shouldn't have a problem finding one. Its a really easy shuttle to set up. I have run it the last 3 years.
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Old 03-14-2018   #8
 
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Albuquerque, New Mexico
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I may be there Saturday as well. As stated before there is a lot of easy camping, especially this time of year as competition for spots is low.

The nearest hot springs are near the John Dunn Bridge (Black Rock Hot Springs or Manby Hot Springs) about 45 minute drive for TJB, or the Spa at Ojo Caliente about 30 minutes from TJB.
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