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Rafting the Rio Grande

September 25th, 2017

The Rio Grande in the United States, also known as the Río Bravo, travels 1,885 miles (3,034 km), and the fourth longest river system in the United States.  The Rio Grande rises in high mountains and flows for much of its length at high elevation. In New Mexico, the river flows through the Rio Grande Rift from one sediment-filled basin to another, cutting canyons between the basins and supporting a fragile Bosque ecosystem in its floodplain. But before that runoff settles down to a placid river, it rumbles through far northern New Mexico.

New Mexico, autumn scenic, Rio Grande Gorge and Sangre de Christo Mountains near Taos, underlit dense cirrus clouds at sunset

The Rio Grande flows out of the snowcapped Rocky Mountains in Colorado from its headwaters in the San Juan Mountains, and journeys through New Mexico, Texas and Mexico to the Gulf of Mexico. It passes through 800-foot chasms of the Rio Grande Gorge, a wild and remote area of northern New Mexico. In 1968, the Rio Grande and Red River were among the first eight rivers Congress designated into the National Wild and Scenic River System to protect outstanding resources values. Whitewater rafting on the Rio Grande is the most fun and important outdoor activity to be enjoyed in Northern New Mexico during the spring and summer months.  There are few other rivers that have the historical importance as the Rio Grande and also contain incredible whitewater that can be accessed in a single day.  From the Colorado border down through the Remote Razorblades section, the iconic Taos Box canyon and finishing through the latter part of the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument and finally the famous rapids of the Racecourse.  There are new sections of this incredible river system to enjoy year after year for our millions of visitors.  From family floats to world class whitewater, the Rio Grande continues to deliver incredible outdoor adventures for those seeking Taos Whitewater Rafting.

Unfortunately, the whitewater rafting on Rio Grande continues to be negatively targeted in the news, both local and national, as we have seen lower water seasons due to below average snowpacks and unscheduled and under regulated irrigation draws from our neighbors to the north.  It seems that these days, the only news worth reporting is bad news.  What most people don’t hear is that, unlike almost every other whitewater destination in the West, the Rio Grande has runnable flows year around.  And even though we have seen some lower flows recently, we always have a great section of whitewater to enjoy for all of our visitors, regardless of the water conditions.  Whether it be in rafts, Stand Up Paddleboards or Kayaks, the Rio Grande offers multiple sections of river to enjoy throughout the spring, summer and fall when our weather is absolutely gorgeous. Just contact a professional about which section of the Rio Grande might be best for you and your group or family and get out there and enjoy one or multiple days on this incredibly beautiful and challenging river!

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