Enjoy braving the rapids on a wonderful introductory river rafting adventure near Taos, New Mexico.
You will raft on paddle boats in the wild and scenic Rio Grande on the Pilar Race Course, where you'll encounter Class I to Class III rapids. High Flow Season (Mid-April through June) offers the biggest whitewater conditions.
Your skilled guides will teach you how to paddle, and you will be provided with rain suits, snacks, beverages, and all safety equipment, including lifejackets.
This adventure is suitable for ages 6 and up, during low flow season, and 12 and up, during high flow season.
Taos is located about 130 miles from Albuquerque.
2.5 to 3 hours
8:30 am & 12:30 pm daily (Mid April through September)
This is a wonderful introductory river rafting adventure, suitable for ages 6 and up during low flow season, and 12 and up during high flow season. Raft on paddle boats in the wild and scenic Rio Grande on the Pilar Race Course, where you'll encounter Class I to Class III rapids. High Flow Season (Mid April through June) offers the biggest whitewater conditions.
What to Expect:
This 2.5 to 3 hour tour begins at 8:30 am or 12:30 pm each day. Check in is 10 or 15 minutes before departure. You'll read and sign the waiver form, thus assuming the normal risks of participation in a guided outdoor activity. You'll park at a public parking lot, so you will need to stow and lock all valuables in your trunk.
At the river, a Personal Floatation Device (lifejacket) will be fitted to you. If you weigh under 100 pounds or over 200 pounds, please notify us ahead of time so the guides can properly fit you. Instruction in river safety and paddling techniques will be given and then you're on the river to navigate Class I to Class III rapids (easy to moderately challenging) with names like Big Rock, the Narrows and Souse Hole.
There's a "snack and stretch" break about two thirds of the way along the trip. Then you'll run some more rapids! At the end of the trip, the guides will return you to your vehicle and dry clothes!
What to Bring:
Before going on any river trip, each guest must read, understand and sign a Liability Waiver. Parents or legal guardians must sign for anyone under legal age.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need experience? -- This activity can be done by people with no experience at all. The Rio Grande Race Course is well suited for families and first-timers. The minimum age is 6 years at low flows and 12 years or 90 lbs. at high flows (3000 cfs and above). Your experienced team of New Mexico raft guides will teach you how to paddle as a team, as most of the rafts used are paddle boats. In all but very low water levels, they are able to take oar boats for those unable to paddle.
Am I going to get wet? -- Yes! The bigger the whitewater, the higher the river, the wetter you get. With the biggest rapids, especially at high water, you will get drenched. On the mildest trips, at least your feet will get wet. The guides will provide rain gear and wet suits as necessary.
What does your outfitter provide? -- They will provide all the rafting equipment necessary for your river trip. Meals are generally taken care of by the guides. For half-day trips, a small snack is served; on full-day trips, there's a deli-style, build-it-yourself lunch.
What if I forget to bring something I need? -- You might be able to buy what you need at the check-in point. You can purchase boating accessories, eyewear retainers or sunglasses. If you're hungry before or after the rafting trip, the facility offers burritos, sandwiches, fresh baked goods, snacks and drinks.
Is rafting safe? -- Whitewater rafting is an outdoor adventure sport with an element of inherent risk, so it is possible to be injured. Is it dangerous? No, but no reputable outfitter should tell you it is absolutely safe. The uncontrolled and sometimes unpredictable elements of a naturally flowing river are part of the thrill of whitewater rafting. The water levels and difficulty of the rapids are factors but, statistically, you are much more likely to be injured playing basketball or skiing. An experienced outfitter familiar with the varying conditions likely to be encountered can greatly minimize the risks involved. The use of alcohol or illegal drugs before or during a trip is both illegal and forbidden. Anyone under the influence will be removed from a trip without refund.
What preparations has your outfitter made for safety? -- They are thoroughly equipped and prepared to minimize the risks. They use quality manufactured self-bailing river rafts. Your river guides are all experienced professionals; guide qualifications include wilderness first aid, CPR and Swiftwater Rescue training.
What is your Cancellation Policy? -- All sales are final - no refunds. Trips are not canceled on account of weather, except in the most extraordinary conditions. If for some reason the guides have to cancel a trip which you cannot reschedule, a full refund will be provided.
What do I wear? -- You will be sent a gear check list with your confirmation. What you wear will differ depending on the time of year you raft and on the level of the river. Generally, the higher the river the wetter the ride. Passengers should wear clothes to keep you warm when wet. These will be clothes made out of polypropylene, pile, fleece, capalene and wool. These synthetic materials have the property to keep you warm when they are wet. Cotton is to be avoided! No bluejeans! When cotton gets wet, it wicks the heat away from you and will not re-warm like the synthetic materials noted. Any extra warm cloths you want to bring can be stored in dry bags that are provided. Spring and early summer will be cold and wet. Wetsuits and splashgear will be provided as needed. Half-day trips will be issued splashgear while full-day and multi-day trips get farmerjohn wetsuits, splash tops and wetsuit booties. Early to late summer, the temperature soars and the sun is hot. The day calls for shorts, T-shirts, sunscreen (very important), hat and sunglasses with retainer so you don't lose them. Fairer skinned people may want even more sun protection. Your guides will provide raingear for the occasional summer shower.
How do I get back to my car? -- The guides will provide transportation to and from your vehicle.
Can I bring my camera to take photos? -- The guides suggest not trying to take photographs during the raft trip. Not only is it difficult to accomplish, but whitewater rafting means there's a lot of water splashing about. Water and cameras don't mix very well! If you still want to try taking your own photographs, they recommend bringing a disposable/waterproof camera. Waterproof storage can be provided, but it is no guarantee against getting a camera wet. An alternative is offered. A professional photography company the guides work with will shoot you in the rapids and you may order pictures from them online at your convenience.
Do I need to know how to swim? -- No, but it is a valuable asset on a tour like this. Your PDF (personal floatation device, or life jacket) is US Coast Guard approved and is designed to keep you afloat should you find yourself out of the raft. A pre-trip safety orientation is presented before all trips. This orientation covers most situations you might encounter during your trip.
Is tipping expected? -- Tips are accepted and appreciated, but not expected or required. The guides are adequately compensated, but the difference between a good river trip and a great river trip is frequently the guide. If you are inclined to tip based on excellence of service, a good reference is how you would tip in a restaurant.
What is the food like? -- Your guides strive to provide fresh, nutritious, healthy, tasty and freshly prepared food. They do all the food preparation and are famous for their riverside meals. The table is set for all different appetites and dietary concerns. If you do have special dietary concerns such as allergies or you are a vegetarian just let us know when you make your reservation and the guides will pack accordingly. Lunch on one-day trips and on the first day of multi-day trips is a deli style spread with a variety of thin sliced meats and cheeses with all the garnishes. A freshly prepared pasta or potato salad is on the side depending on season, group size, and what quality ingredients are available. If you can finish all that, then it's time to break out the cookies for dessert.
What if I have special medical or physical requirements? -- This outfitter frequently accommodates individual dietary requirements, and is easily able to refrigerate special medications for guests on these trips. As for physical limitations, they have taken people with sight handicaps, paraplegics, severe arthritis, missing limbs and many other lesser handicaps. Please call to discuss options. There's probably a trip that will work for you! The guides are capable of delivering guests down the river with little personal participation other than holding on occasionally and making their way from boat to vehicle, boat to camp or boat to kitchen. Unfortunately, some people cannot easily perform these simple functions that most of us take for granted. However, with careful planning and the critical assistance of friends and/or relatives, they have been able to introduce guests with difficult physical challenges to the beauty of these river canyons.
What about toilet facilities? -- You're going to be out in the wild, so there are no indoor facilities. For "number one," no special arrangements are made - just "ladies upstream by the pink bush" and "gentlemen downstream by the blue bush." Right by or into the river is environmentally accepted and even recommended. For solid waste on day trips, the guides bring a small shovel and go a couple of hundred feet up from the river to dig an 8-10 inch hole. Your guide will issue small plastic bags for depositing toilet paper. No paper is left behind; even buried, animals may dig it up and leave an unsightly reminder of your passage for the next visitors.
River Rapid Class Rating System:
This tour does not include hotel pick-up.
There are no refunds. All sales are final.
If changes are allowed on a tour or activity, a $20.00 per reservation change fee will be applied for any change to a reservation. Please note that some tours and activities do not allow any changes. Date changes can only be made only if we can confirm availability on the new date. While we cannot guarantee any changes can be made, all change requests must be submitted a minimum of 24 hours prior to the tour departure and must be handled on an individual basis through our Reservations Center.
Use the form below to select the date for your reservation. Calendar defaults to first available date. Please verify your date selection prior to submitting your order.
If you are unable to select a date, it means the tour is unavailable on that date.