December 5th, 2013
The Rio Chama is a serene, flowing, challenging run that flows from south-central Colorado through the Chama Canyon. It has three major sections separated by the El Vado Dam, the Abiquiu Dam, and finally runs into the mouth of the Rio Grande. The variety of sections offer their own unique experience to rafters, paddlers, and boaters with rapids ranging from class I – VI.
Along this river, you will find beautiful landscapes, including the glorious walls of the Chama Canyon with multi-colored sandstone reaching 1,500 feet in height! One of the most popular Rio Chama rafting sections is the 31 mile stretch from El Vado Ranch to the Abiquiu Reservoir. This stretch takes you straight through the canyon and offers rapids of Class I – III.
Rafters and boaters can enjoy a vigorous Full Day float or a relaxing Multi-Day journey. Easy float trips allow you to flow with the meandering waters through beautiful landscapes and wilderness. Full Day Rio Chama rafting trips take about 5 hours. You can watch and interact with wildlife, witness the beauty of the canyon, experience drops and holes, and bounce around a little on the mild Class II rapids.
Multi-Day journeys will let you truly take in the vast scenery and truly explore the canyon. Families may prefer these trips as they will foster learning, relaxation, and memories that last a lifetime! Spend the days passing the sandstone and limestone canyon walls, viewing the spectacular pine trees lining the river bank, bask in the beauty of red, yellow, and purple hues on the desert cliffs commonly depicted by local artists.
You’ll get to spend two nights under the seemingly endless New Mexican sky camping out on the grassy camps or sandy beaches. Right on the river’s edge, you have the chance to explore with opportunities for hiking through the side canyons and vistas. Guides prepare amazing campsite dinners while you take in the sunset that looks like a painted sky with its brilliant pastel colors over the southwestern landscape.
This truly is one of the hidden gems of Southwest river runs and not to be missed and New Mexico River Adventures is the company to take you there! Please contact us at 800-983-7756 anytime for more information about this amazing trip and one of our friendly reservation staff can help to reserve space for yourself, group or family for the 2014 season
December 5th, 2013
If you’re looking for a fun and adventurous vacation idea that is something a little out of the ordinary, consider New Mexico stand up paddleboarding or white water rafting. These are great ways to experience the beautiful outdoors of New Mexico while also getting some exercise and excitement. You can go New Mexico river rafting down well known rivers such as the Rio Grande or the Rio Chama . There are many different options when it comes to SUP and rafting New Mexico so start planning your trip today!
New Mexico boasts one of the greatest river SUP trips available in the U.S., a three day trip down the Wild and Scenic Rio Chama. This is the perfect combination of SUP and a remarkable self support, multi-day river trip. Very few places offer the beauty of a desert river canyon with the perfect mix of calm waters and a few manageable class 2-3 rapids to challenge stand up paddle boarders of all skill levels. This trip can be designed as a 3-day instructional or a guided trip for the experienced paddler. A great trip for groups looking for the next best thing in the world of SUP. Please join us for the amazing experience in one of the most scenic locations in the Southwest. These trips are perfect for both Beginners and Intermediates and can be run as a 2 Day Trip or a 3 Day Trip.
New Mexico is home to multiple exciting white water rafting trips along the Rio Chama and Rio Grande Rivers. Whether you are looking for an outing that the whole family can enjoy, or a fast paced thrill ride, New Mexico’s rivers await.
For those seeking a more relaxing trip, the Rio Chama may be your best bet. This run offers a smoother ride, allowing you and you group to encounter calmer rapids while still getting the true outdoor rafting experience. Rio Chama rafting can be broken up into a full 5 hour day trip or can be a multi-day event. No matter how long you decide to raft, it is truly a wonderful time.
Many people want to take white water rafting to another level. For the more adventurous looking for Class IV rapids, Taos Box rafting is the trip for you. The Taos Box canyon is the heart of the Rio Grande Gorge is truly one of the greatest single day rafting trips in the U.S. This 17 mile stretch has it all. Amazing wildlife including big horn sheep, river otter and a large variety of birds of prey, spectacular whitewater and all of this contained in the depths of the Rio Grande rift. An amazing trip not to be missed!
New Mexico River Adventures is pleased to offer exciting paddleboarding trips and white water rafting in New Mexico. Learn more about these outdoor adventures and contact us today!
December 4th, 2013
The Mighty Nile River
The second half of our time in Uganda was spent on the Nile River just below Lake Victoria. There are 2 different sources of the Nile River, one in Uganda (the White Nile) and the other in Ethiopia (the Blue Nile). The White Nile has long been considered one of the greatest rafting and kayaking rivers in the world. An extremely high volume river with wonderful warm water, huge breaking waves and holes and most importantly, no hippos or crocs! There is enough water here to form several large rivers, and that is essentially what happens when the massive waterway splits into multiple channels over the course of a 70 kilometer run.
We were fortunate enough to spend almost a month rafting the Nile River in 2002. The biggest difference from our last paddling trip here was the completion of a new dam in 2011. This dam had been proposed for 6-8 years prior but always lacked funding. They were finally able to complete the dam in 2011 which inundated a good portion of the upper section of whitewater. We lost some of the greatest rapids like Bujogali Falls, Total Gunga and the legendary Silverback! However, below the dam, they are still able to enjoy a full day of rafting and kayaking through the lower section of amazing rapids with names like Overtime, Vengence and The Bad Place (does it get any better than that?).
During this trip we herd some horrible news from our friend Jumma. He has been kayaking and rafting on the Nile River since 1998 (the river was only first run in 1996). He is a native Ugandan and has seen the entire progression of the river life as it has become a major whitewater destination and everything that comes with that reputation. The Bujugali Dam was unthinkable to Jumma and the rest of the local paddlers. However, now they are faced with an even more unthinkable reality…a second dam. According to the locals, there is a second dam that is in the approval stages to be built below the existing section of whitewater which will completely end rafting and kayaking on the famous White Nile near Jinja.
This means that your time might be limited to experience some of the greatest whitewater on the planet…GO!
December 4th, 2013
We just returned from our most recent trip to the Dark Continent. This trip was and aberration from our normal trips down the Zambezi river with our sister company Global Descents. On this trip we focused on Southern Kenya and Uganda. After an incredible visit to the Masai Mara Plains and Nairobi, we made our way to the beautiful, lush landscapes of Uganda. It has been almost 10 years since we visited this amazing place and after this trip we realized that was far too long.
The first part of our Ugandan adventure was in the Bwindi Inpenetrable Forest near the Rwandan and Congo border. A short 1 hr. flight from the Entebbe airport delivered us to a small dirt airstrip deep in the forest. The views from 10,000 feet were amazing! Rolling hills of dense, bright green vegetation comfortably covered by a soft layer of mist. Very few inhabitants over all with a bit of terrace style farms and small clusters of homes. From the airstrip we started a 2 hr. drive through villages toward the border.
Driving through Eastern and Southern Africa in general, but especially Uganda is a great experience and it’s all about the children. Kids love to see Muzungos (white foreigners) and are always so curious and anxious to communicate with what is typically the only English word they know, “hallo”. Absolutely adorable and always with smiles from ear to ear!
Upon reaching the National Park, we were floored by the beauty and density of the forest. The following morning, we embarked on our trek into the dense forest in search of the gorilla group which we were permitted to see that day. The regulations here are very stringent and followed specifically in order to protect the gorillas. There were 3 different groups of gorillas known to reside in the area and a group of tourists, no larger than 8 people, were permitted to attempt to find the the group with the assistance of an armed guard, tracker and guide. The walk was not as strenuous and long as we were prepared for, or at least that was the case on our particular day. After about a 2 hour hike into the forest, we were informed by the Tracker that the group of gorillas was not far. We then proceeded, with the help of machetes, down a steep and through an extremely dense part of the forest until we had our first sighting.
These are absolutely amazing animals. They were very peacefully enjoying their morning in the dense vegetation as we made our first contact. The adults were lounging and eating leaves and branches while the juveniles were playing and showing off a little. We never got closer than about 20 feet or so and stood and observed. They are so human like with every gesture that it is truly incredible. We were able to stay with them and follow them through the forest for about an hour before it was time to leave. These are all rules implemented by the National Park and will hopefully help to preserve these groups of gorillas and the tourism to the area for many years.
The entire group agreed that this was by far, one of the greatest experiences for each and every one of us. If you ever have the opportunity, please don’t pass up an encounter with this endangered species. Visit Global Descents today to learn more about these incredible trips.
November 11th, 2013
For the longest time my life goal was to find the perfect place here in the U.S. to call home that offers the greatest rafting and kayaking all year around. My search has taken me to a lot of beautiful parts of the country and as I’ve grown older, my criteria has become much more detailed, making my search never ending. After living, boating and working on rivers all across the country, I finally learned the most important lesson that would help in my search for “home”. The lesson was that no place is perfect! Whether its work, cost of living, culture or some other limiting factor, the search for the perfect place will be never ending because it simply doesn’t exist. However, there is a bright side, there are a myriad of near perfect places in this country to choose from and I couldn’t be happier with our choice of beautiful Northern New Mexico.
I know that some people might think of New Mexico as dry desert with nothing but cactus and casinos. Those people have never been to this amazing place and furthermore have never experienced the incredible river running opportunities on the Rio Grande at all different times throughout the year. Of course, I was inspired to write this on Nov. 11th just before Wendy and I load our kayaks into the truck for a nice afternoon on the Racecourse section of the Rio Grande, which happens to be running at a healthy level of 650 cfs. Still, this is not an out of the ordinary in regards to the flows this time of year. We are in our freeze/thaw season where we will continue to see nice flows until it becomes absolutely too cold to melt anything during the daytime. Then we usually go through an extremely cold period at which time only the absolutely desperate or insane go out to enjoy the river which usually maintains a nice runnable flow. And then sometime in February we start to see the occasional warming days and renewed activity on the river all the way through to the next winter. Truly, we are lucky here in Northern New Mexico to have the mighty Rio Grande right here in our backyard to enjoy all year around. Come see for yourself and join us on one of our many great adventures from April 1st through Oct. 1st. when we are running the Rio Grande and Rio Chama everyday!
October 21st, 2013
No matter what trip you are running with New Mexico River Adventures, safety for all of our guests and guides is paramount. We give a thorough safety orientation at the beginning of each New Mexico rafting trip that is specific to the stretch of river that you are running detailing all scenarios that may come up during the day. The office staff does our very best to match the best trip for each guest over the phone, and we are very flexible should a group want to change their mind if they feel the trip is over the heads of some participants. Our goal is to expose as many people as possible to rivers and wilderness as we can in the safest manner possible.
Just ask one of our friendly reservation staff upon booking about which whitewater rafting, kayaking or stand up paddle boarding trip is best for you and your group. If you have specific concerns, present or prior medical conditions or just general apprehension, let us know and we can address any concerns you may have and make sure to pair you with the greatest and safest whitewater river adventure available.
Often times we are asked if it is possible to enjoy a whitewater rafting trip if a person does not know how to swim. No problem, we are asked this question quite regularly and it is not a prerequisite for rafting adventures. However, it might make a difference in which trip would be best for you. We supply type V life jackets that are designed to keep you afloat with no effort from you. The jacket is designed to keep you floating on your back with a floating flap behind your head. This will help keep your head out of the water in rough whitewater conditions. We also provide adjustable helmets for each participant on all trips with a higher difficulty rating and for all kayaking and stand up paddle boarding adventures.
October 21st, 2013
The Culture of tipping. Yes, in the U.S. we are just that, a tipping culture. From your server at your favorite restaurant to your baggage handler at the airport, we like to show our gratitude for exceptional service through tipping. There is no difference on river trips. Our whitewater rafting guides work very hard to show our guests the greatest service available in the state of New Mexico and while they don’t expect a certain amount of a gratuity from each person, it does let them know that they succeeded in providing each guest with the highlight of their vacation. A general guideline for tip amounts is 10-20% of your trip cost per person. We have a convenient box with envelopes where you can leave a tip for your guide located at our Headquarters or always feel free to ask one of our friendly staff to bring retrieve your guide from the New Mexico River Adventures boatyard to say goodbye.
August 24th, 2013
New Mexico River Adventures is freshly off of our annual overnight trip with the McDermott Scholars from the University of Texas at Dallas. For many of the incoming college freshman, this is their first venture into the wilderness made even more special considering it is by way of river rafting. We took them to the Rio Chama for a two day overnight trip that goes through one of New Mexico’s most beautiful areas.
The kids are some of the best and the brightest in the country with some of them already making big waves in their fields of study. Before the official school year begins, the students spend 10 days in New Mexico getting to know each other and the key staff that will be involved in their experience throughout college. Can you think of a better way to kick it all off and break the ice than doing an overnight trip on the Rio Chama?
We pick up the students at St. John’s College in Santa Fe and begin the journey to Cooper’s El Vado Ranch. The first stop on the river is at the famous hot springs where the students all happily dip their toes (or entire bodies for the brave) while the guides set up lunch. Camp that night is at Aragon, one of the best camps on the entire stretch of river. It is located right above the main rapid by the same name which lends the best sounds to lull everyone to sleep for the evening. The New Mexico rafting trip continued the next day through one of the prettiest sections of desert rivers in the west. The majestic canyon walls painted in pinks and oranges continue to get prettier the further downstream you go, leaving many mouths agape. The dinosaur tracks hike is always a favorite with this group and is a great opportunity to stretch everyone’s legs. After lunch, we finish up just downstream of the Christ in the Desert Monastery and load up in the bus for the trip back to St. John’s College.
One of the reasons that all of us at New Mexico River Adventures chose to pursue guiding careers is so we can share our love for rivers with people from all walks of life. This is a golden opportunity to educate and expose these young people to the many different aspects and importance of protecting areas like the Rio Chama. We always look forward to meeting the new scholars each year and catching up with all the fantastic staff, we are already looking forward to next year!!
June 23rd, 2013
Over Memorial Day weekend we welcomed our second annual Gourmet Wine tasting trip on the Rio Chama with Vivac Winery and Chef Ky Quintanilla from Lambert’s of Taos. This years trip was spectacular as we spent three days traveling through the Wild and Scenic Rio Chama Wilderness. Our trip this year was sold out with river, food and wine enthusiast alike. We had 4 rafts, 2 inflatable kayaks and 2 stand up paddleboards. Nearly everyone got an opportunity to enjoy the inflatable kayaks while the rest of us rode in the paddle boats with Matt and Bean as Sean and Susie rowed the gear boats. We all marveled at Sean and Katheryn’s abilities to negotiate each rapid and the wind on the stand up paddleboards with Jake leading the way.
As we settled into the first nights camp, Michelle and Jesse prepared the first sequence of wines for all to enjoy and started us off immediately with Vivac’s incredible Chardonnay. The guides set the table with awesome nice pine cone and flower center pieces put together by Susie and Bean and sat down for the first of 4 delicious courses.
As Chef Ky presented each course, Jesse and Michelle gave us all great introductions to the paired wines and interesting hints about tasting which added so much to the overall experience. I can’t tell you how much we, the guides, learned about wine over the three days…especially what good wine tastes like!!
The second day we enjoyed a couple of scenic hikes and a nice riverside lunch before settling into our second camp further downstream. Tonight’s dinner table was set up on a high bench in the Ponderosa Pines with a great view of the bright, red sandstone of “Tiger Wall” towering over us. We proceeded to stuff ourselves silly with wonderful salmon, duck breasts with apricot-chipotle glaze and fresh berry cobbler for dessert to name a few of the dishes presented. The wine, of course, was incredible and plentiful tonight as we all stayed up late and enjoyed a great night on the river!
These trips are truly a highlight for all of the New Mexico rafting guides each year and I know that everyone who comes will enjoy the greatness of this special canyon and the decadence of the gourmet, wine pairing twist to an already amazing New Mexico river rafting trip. If you are interested in this trip, please contact us about our second installment for the 2013 season with Chef Scott downs and Josh Johnson, winemaker from the acclaimed La Chirapada winery, also located in Dixon, NM. Call 1-800-983-7756.
June 23rd, 2013
Wouldn’t be wonderful if we could only design our weather and water to fit our needs each and every year. Unfortunately we cannot and with these uncertain climates, we enjoy everything that Mother Nature produces. Whether its low water, high water, windy, raining, snowing or bright and sunny, the river is always a great place to be. In the early spring, we offer wetsuits, splash jackets and warm layers for our clients to use at no extra charge. During the monsoon season, don’t worry if you forgot your rain jacket for the afternoon storm because we have you covered! Some years we have high river flows, some years we have low river flows, regardless of the season, we are lucky enough to be permitted on such a large variety of sections of the Rio Grande and Rio Chama that there is always a great option for you to have a great time whitewater rafting with New Mexico River Adventures!
Lately, the press seems to enjoy highlighting the fact that this 2013 season will be a disastrous drought and the a bad river season for whitewater rafting. Conversely, if this were a huge water season, you can guarantee that the press would be putting out countless articles about how dangerous the river is and how everyone should stay away from whitewater rafting.
Kayaking the Racecourse!
Very few people know just how great we have it here in New Mexico compared to our neighbor to north, Colorado. In Colorado and many other places, once the river levels drop to a certain point, they have to completely stop rafting and kayaking trips. They close! The Kern River in California is a great example this season. The companies on the Kern R. have no option but to completely close and not offer any rafting trips for the 2013 season. In New Mexico this is simply not the case! We are extremely lucky to have 2 different rivers that we can count on year after year from April 1st to Oct. 1st for spectacular river trips.
Fun For The Entire Family!
Our 2013 New Mexico rafting trips run everyday on both the Rio Grande and Rio Chama and our guests finding out everyday that no matter what the water level is, a day on the river is still a great addition to your trip to Northern New Mexico. Please contact us to discuss the various options for trips and let our friendly staff help to provide an incredible river trip and memories for a lifetime: 1-800-983-7756.