Wild Rio Grande 2-day
The maximum Rio Grande wilderness rafting experience. Two days in the spectacular Rio Grande Gorge, the nation's first Wild and Scenic River: a basalt canyon plunging more than 800 feet to river level, dotted with ancient junipers and ponderosas, alive with the cries of falcons and eagles. And echoing with world-class whitewater.
The trips begins with a hike down into the remote Middle Box section, where you will find your boats awaiting you. After a day in this pristine wilderness, running challenging rapids and lunching beside a rock covered with ancient Indian petroglyphs, we enter the Taos Box and camp just below the first rapid, Ski Jump. Watch the constellations wheel overhead in the narrow strip of sky between the canyon walls, breathe in the cool, sage-scented air, and let the roar of the river lull you to sleep with promises of the white-knuckle whitewater day to come.
Two days, with almost no sign of human civilization. And some of the most exciting rapids in the US. Two days to remember for the rest of your life.
WHITEWATER RATING: Class 4+
RECOMMENDED MINIMUM AGE: 12 (14 in high water, 16 in super-high water)
MEET: 8.45 a.m., Los Rios boathouse (mile marker 40 on Hwy 68). Return to your vehicle approx 3-5 p.m. on Day 2.
SEASON: Variable. Usually April-July – sometimes later! Best in May and June. Check with us. Available 7 days a week.
PRICE: $395. No hidden extras! Does not include tax and federal user fee.
WE PROVIDE: All rafting and safety equipment including life-jacket and helmet; waterproof jacket and pants; all camping equipment including freshly laundered sleeping bag, luxurious 1 ½-inch thick self-inflating sleeping pad and one four-person tent per couple or single guest; drybag for your personal items; transportation to and from meeting place; all meals from lunch on the first day to lunch on the last day.
We need a minimum streamflow in order to raft the big rapids of the Taos Box. Because the water level is unpredictable -- it depends on snowpack, weather, and the irrigation practices of farmers upstream -- and can change at very short notice, it is our policy to book all trips through the Taos Box as a Mystery Tour. That means we reserve the boat and guide for your party, and if the Box is runnable and suitable for your party, that's where we'll go. If not, you choose one of our other rafting adventures of equivalent duration (see FAQs below).
2-DAY OVERNIGHT: SAMPLE MENU
Day 1, lunch: chips and salsa, build-your-own sandwich deli-style buffet with a variety of breads, meats and fixings, fresh fruit, cookies, soft drinks and juice
Day 1, dinner: hors d'oeuvres; mixed grill of steak, chicken and fish, rice, steamed vegetables, salad, freshly baked cake, soft drinks and juice
Day 2, breakfast: omelets to order with choice of onions, ham, cheese, peppers, mushrooms, spinach; bacon or sausage; biscuits or tortillas; fresh fruit; orange juice, milk, tea and fresh-brewed coffee
Day 2, lunch: chips and salsa, chicken Caesar salad wraps, fresh fruit, cookies, soft drinks and juice
We are not licensed to serve alcoholic beverages. You are welcome to bring your own.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS – WILD RIO GRANDE 2-DAY
Will I be in an oar boat or a paddle boat? The most intense thrills are in a paddle boat, where participants power the boat following the guide's instructions. Most people prefer a paddle boat. You will be in a paddle boat unless you request an oar boat, where the guide is in full control of the boat and you can choose to paddle or just hang on. There is a surcharge for oar boats on the Wild Rio Grande trip.
Do I have to know how to swim? We prefer participants to be able to swim, especially in high water. Risk is higher for non-swimmers. You must be able to assist in your own rescue in the event you fall out of the boat.
Am I going to fall out of the boat? It’s possible. We try to avoid it. Good paddling will help keep you in the boat. The average number of people who take an unscheduled swim is probably well below 10%.
Do I have to wear a helmet? Yes, helmets are compulsory on Class 4 runs.
Can you run the Wild Rio Grande 2-Day no matter what the water level is? No. We need a certain minimum streamflow to get a raft through the big rapids of the Taos Box. Because water levels on the Rio Grande are unpredictable and change at short notice, we book all trips through the Taos Box as a "Mystery Tour." We reserve a boat and guide for your party, and speak with you the day before the trip. If the Box is runnable and suitable for your group, we will do the Wild Rio Grande adventure. If not, we will move to the Chama or do a Middle Box Funyak Overnight or a Middle Box / Lower Gorge combo.
Doesn't the whitewater rating go down in low water? No. The rating is a measure of difficulty, not water. Some rapids are much tougher at low water levels.
Can my child go if he/she is below the recommended minimum age? Maybe. It's a recommendation, not a rule. If your child is well-grown, adventurous, and a good swimmer, we will consider it. Please phone to discuss it with us.
What if the weather's bad? We don't cancel because of rain: usually it doesn't last long. Early season trips are subject to our weather policy: if the high temperature is predicted to be less than 50 degrees, we give you the option of cancelling at no cost to you. This decision will be made no later than the morning of the day before the trip.
Do you have flush toilets and showers at your campsite? No. We camp in the wilderness of the Taos Box section. We bring a "groover," with a toilet seat and sanitary supplies, which is set up in a screened area for privacy.
Will I be cold at night? Not if you dress correctly. Polar fleece pants, top, and hat are recommended. The sleeping bags we provide are appropriate for the temperatures we’re most likely to encounter.
Does everyone camp together? The campsite has trails through the sagebrush. It's easy to find privacy.
Do we have to sit on logs or on the ground? No. The great thing about camping by raft is that we can bring all kinds of stuff to make us comfortable. We have folding armchairs, tables, four-burner stove, etc.
Do I need to let you know if I'm bringing wine and/or beer? Yes, please. That way we can make sure we have enough coolers to carry it.
What if I'm vegetarian? Just let us know, and we'll cater accordingly. Vegans too. We can also provide all organic food (an extra charge will apply).
MAJOR RAPIDS OF THE WILD RIO GRANDE 2-DAY
The Middle Box
|La Junta||Class 4|
|Horse Thief Shorty||Class 3|
The Taos Box
|Ski Jump||Class 3|
|Yellowbank||Class 3 (4+ in low water)|
|Dead Car||Class 3 (4 in low water)|
|Power Line Falls||Class 3+|
|The Rock Garden||Class 4+|
|Boat Reamer||Class 3+ (4 in high water)|
|Screaming Left Turn||Class 3+|
The Boulder Field
inc. the Gut and Corkscrew
|Class 3 (4 in very high and very low water)|
|Sunset||Class 3 (4 in high water)|