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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm and intermediate paddler with a pack raft (age 59, male) looking to join up with someone to run the Rio Chama from Highway 95 Bridge down to El Vado Lake, preferably on Monday, May 16. This sounds like a fun day run. After that I'm joining a group from Colorado that will be running the El Vado Dam to Big Eddy section with a May 17th launch date. Since I'm driving down from Colorado I want to experience as much of the Rio Chama as possible.

James
 

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Back in the 90's me and several buds were in the Chama NM area running creeks in CO and headed down to the Box in NM. I had a pamphlet called New Mexico White Water in my kit. We were parked off the highway at the 95 bridge when a local stopped. Very friendly and offered to show us the route to El Vado take out. We set shuttle and ran the creek. Big Mama Chama Rapid we were warned to scout. Not much there but a few easy to miss big rocks. We hit El Vado lake and the flat water was brutal with big time winds. My advice is find some New Mexico local boaters for current advice if this is the same run we did. None of us on that trip ever wanted to repeat the run due to the flat water paddle at El Vado. Maybe there are other take outs before the lake.
 

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I'm and intermediate paddler with a pack raft (age 59, male) looking to join up with someone to run the Rio Chama from Highway 95 Bridge down to El Vado Lake, preferably on Monday, May 16. This sounds like a fun day run. After that I'm joining a group from Colorado that will be running the El Vado Dam to Big Eddy section with a May 17th launch date. Since I'm driving down from Colorado I want to experience as much of the Rio Chama as possible.

James
We wanted to do this run last weekend in IKs and were advised to call the ranger at El Vado to get an update on the takeout situation. Apparently, the parking lot above the footbridge is blocked off for construction, and the gate to the North El Vado ramp is closed because the reservoir is so low. I was really looking forward to finally doing this run, but it sounded too grim to deal with. However, a pack raft would make walking out a lot more reasonable. Good luck!
 

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Is it possible to launch a raft from a trailer at that bridge? It looked like private property to me, but there was still snow on the ground when I looked at it. Where exactly is the put in? East or west side and upstream or down from bridge? I have a motor to get out across the lake, but I thought they were draining, or nearly draining El Vado for the dam repairs. I'd be willing to tote it along to push everyone out, but I cant do 15th weekend.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Is it possible to launch a raft from a trailer at that bridge? It looked like private property to me, but there was still snow on the ground when I looked at it. Where exactly is the put in? East or west side and upstream or down from bridge? I have a motor to get out across the lake, but I thought they were draining, or nearly draining El Vado for the dam repairs. I'd be willing to tote it along to push everyone out, but I cant do 15th weekend.
Update: A couple of paddlers from the Colorado group, who have packrafts, are interested in running this section on Friday the 20th, the day after we take out at Big Eddy. That plan looks like a go assuming the flow is not too high, i.e. not over 1000 cfs. We plan to take out at Fishermans Bridge, just before El Vado lake.
 

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I did not know about the Fisherman Bridge take out. Paddling / rowing El Vado Lake makes a big difference in doing his run.
Years ago but we put a 16 ft Aire cat in at the bridge plus 4 kayaks. We had plenty of help to move the cat boat.
Please post a trip report. Would be very interested in hearing about the run these days.
 

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Update: A couple of paddlers from the Colorado group, who have packrafts, are interested in running this section on Friday the 20th, the day after we take out at Big Eddy. That plan looks like a go assuming the flow is not too high, i.e. not over 1000 cfs. We plan to take out at Fishermans Bridge, just before El Vado lake.
Hey James, I shot you a PM w/ my phone #. I'd like to join your group on the 20th if possible.
Regarding flow, I'm more worried it will be <500 than >1000.
I'm also in the region for a Gorge run, permit is for 20/21st launch.
 
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