WATER LEVELS RIO GRANDE
The Rio Grande goes through a variety of water levels during the course of a season. The volume of water flowing down the river is measured as cubic feet per second or CFS. If you’re standing on shore and imagine a line going across the river to the other side, every second you would see X amount of water going by that line. The Rio Grande average is about 500 CFS. Spring flood average is about 2500 CFS. In our experience we have rafted the Rio Grande at 10,000 CFS. Officially anything above 3500 CFS is considered extreme high water. Classifications of rapids can be bumped up a whole level in this infrequent occurrence. Average Highwater is usually considered 1000 to 2500. Moderate water would be 600 to 1000. Low water 300 to 600 CFS. Extreme low is below 300. The lowest we’ve ever seen and run is 147 CFS. Low but still fun!
Highest water is the spring flood. Depending on how much snow/ water the snowpack contains will greatly influence the water levels in the Rio Grande. Spring melt usually starts in March. River levels rise until April 1 when irrigation starts in the San Luis Valley of Southern Colorado. Farmers in Colorado can take up to 90% of the river or more. This year they should only be taking 75%. This could mean good water flows through the “Taos Box” and other sections of our Wild & Scenic Rivers until the end of June. Every year is different. There is no way to know for sure.
All water levels are fun and exciting. We have a variety of styles and sizes of inflatable rafts to accommodate your needs , desires and abilities in the changing water levels of the mighty Rio Grande.
The best time to go? When you can make some time in your busy schedule. If you’re trying to catch the Highwater excitement, late April through early June is a good guess. If you want the warmest weather, kid friendly water levels, mid June through August. Wanna come when it’s not so crowded, mid August through mid October.
Now in our 51st year of operation we have the experience and the knowledge to match you with the right size boat in the best section of river with a professional, safety conscious, fun loving guide. Call now to set up your adventure With New Mexico’s first, best and most experience rafting company.Because its fun!
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