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Upper Taos Box

3349 Views 8 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  eschlegel
I am the photographer/videographer of The Disappearing Rio Grande Expedition (Disappearing Rio Grande | The Texas Tribune). The two of us will be going through the Upper Taos Box around July 11/12. I don't paddle whitewater, but am wondering if it's possible to boulder scramble along the bank to shoot pics/video, then scramble to the next rapid and do the same through the Upper Box. Any info is helpful. Also looking for experienced local kayaker/s to join Colin McDonald, the expedition leader/writer along for the ride. Contact me on forum or here:
[email protected]

Our expedition is NOT about us running the river from source to sea, rather about issues regarding the river and the folks who depend on the river for their livelihood.

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There is a trail down to Little Arsenic you can even see it here!3m1!1s0x87170e191f082095:0x780d7c0b51428c12

Not sure you should try to scramble the entire river but maybe hike down to Little Arsenic and maybe you could walk up to Big Arsenic. Both of these will be somewhat seived out at these flows but at least partially runnable.
Thanks. I'm just trying to get as many photo/video opportunities without running it. I don't mind scrambling all day long, but if it's not possible, the trails down at Arsenic make sense.
Almost looks like on google map that I can scramble down from the top to every major rapid for shots and work safety
Call Matt at New Mexico River Adventures. He knows the UTB, and may have the resources to help you with your plan, if he is willing to undertake it.
White Water Rafting New Mexico | Santa Fe Rafting | Taos Rafting

Also since you are talking about hiking in there, be wary of poison ivy. It is all over in the Lower box, (Acres of it..!) and it is also up in the Red River canyon (upper box) and down in Pilar. It could really ruin your day if you're planning on lots of streamside work. also (sure you already know this ) but the Gorge is really rough, in between the sections with trails, and the walls are mostly cliffed out. any sort of rescue would be prolonged.

Not discounting your experience or ability level whatsoever, it sounds like a really cool project, and very relevant to us NM river folks. just maybe hard the specific way you are proposing. (to document the entire run top to bottom. not in a watercraft.) specific sections would be much easier to access as stated by Dana. Anything is possible tho.

One other suggestion to consider (maybe for the future) would be to try and convince some of the class V rafters who have done it (IF the water level is acceptable for rafting, which i dont think it is) to charter a trip with them. then you just have to carry the raft and all your gear down into the gorge, raft some sieved out class V, and get your footage.
Its rarely done in rafts because of the somewhat heinous logistics, and dangerous rapids, but that (more suffering, lol) makes it more of an adventure, right..? :mrgreen:

Lower Taos box will be much more feasible to access by boat when youre done with the upper, but the water levels could drop any day now. LTB can be kayaked down to 3-400 cfs, with 1-3 portages depending on how one feels about manky rapids. also its 16 miles long so please dont try to hike down that. its so much nicer to

Hope that Helps & good luck!
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Thanks Abron. I'll contact Matt. I thought about the raft option, and into the suffering/adventure bit, I just don't think there will be enough flow. If this was earlier in the season, I was going to try the raft option and shoot from it w water housing. I'll certainly have skin covered if I plan to hike in anywhere, although the ivy doesn't bother me as much as other folks. Gonna be an adventure either way I approach it. Thanks!
Hey good luck, and Great Photos so far on the blog...Beautiful stuff. I look forward to seeing your progress. shoot me a pm if you have any other questions on logistics for lower box all the way down to cochiti.... I have more experience with those sections.
cheers, Abe
We are all set w a plan. Thanks!
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