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Between Two Chollas – An Interview With Brad Hooker, River Guide

June 8th, 2017

JM: Today I’m interviewing Brad Hooker, one of our guides here at NMRA. Brad, What brought you into rafting? BH: What brought me into rafting? I did a Wilderness First Responder course and a lot of the people in that course had some great stories; just about things they’ve responded to out on the river, and rafting in general… and I met Wendy Meyer and Jamie Viers. The two of them were just these awesome women who had a lot of fun stories about it, and they pulled me into the rafting world.   JM: So, how long have you been professionally guiding? BH: About 5 years now. A good 4 seasons out on the Rio Grande, and 1 season out on the Gauley River in West Virginia. JM: What’s the most epic trip you’ve done? BH: I did a 16 day Cataract Canyon trip; that was pretty epic, in terms of being really long, and out in the wilderness, it was just wonderful. It makes me excited to get out there more… It’s between that and the first Class V paddling I ever did, it was up at the Burnt Ranch Gorge in California, on the Trinity River. That […]

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Mother’s Day Rio Grande Whitewater Festival 2017

May 11th, 2017

Every year since it was founded in the 1950’s by a LANL employee and Los Alamos paddle boater Jim “Stretch” Fretwell, a spectacular whitewater festival draws private and professional boaters to the Rio Grande on Mother’s Day. Held on a 5 mile stretch of rapids that runs along Highway 68, known as The Racecourse, whitewater enthusiasts flock to the roadside to see the competitors in the various races, or compete themselves.  Early on in the event’s history, it was supported by organizations such as Los Alamos’ Explorer Post 20, the Los Alamos Fire Department, and The Atomic City Citizens Band Radio Club. Eventually, the festival was taken over by the Adobe Whitewater Club, who oversaw it for better than 30 years. The Adobe Whitewater Club passed it to NMROA in 2008.   The festival lasts through Mother’s Day weekend, finishing on Sunday with the main event- the races! Though, there are so many great events to participate in throughout the festival, with camping, Dutch Oven cook-offs, a River Guide Rendezvous, and, a geology float featuring New Mexico’s top geologist, Paul Bauer. Here’s the event schedule for Sunday, May 14th: -8:00 – 10:00 AM General Race Registration. $15 for the First […]


2017 Whitewater River Guide School

May 1st, 2017

            We’re kicking off the first round of Whitewater River Guide School for the season! Time to plant our seeds, douse them in Rio water, and see what river guides we grow in our garden. Our students are in for the ride of their lives. They have a ton of information to absorb and apply, stamina to build, and new challenges to conquer.             Reading the river is a finely-honed skill. The water is a story of its own, telling the guides where there might be a rock hiding under the surface, where the current is strongest, or where the eddy lines lie. In this story, though, the same page can change from day to day and become a completely new tale. Our guides learn how to read the ever-evolving punctuation and tone of the river; and although the plot stays the same, no two adventures are identical. Every river story – every trip – is unique.             These whitewater pupils will be challenged, conditioned, and sharpened. They will learn how to think clearly and concisely under pressure. Experiencing flipped rafts and other simulated scenarios to help them learn not only what to do, but to keep their heads about […]


Kicking Off the 2017 Season!

April 3rd, 2017

March 8-9 was our 2017 Season Kick Off with a great group from Grace Community Church.  The water levels were at a medium-low flow, 650 cfs, allowing for plenty of Whitewater Action and splashes throughout the Racecourse section of the Rio Grande.  We expect the water levels to hover here if not rise slightly for the rest of march and early April.  Today we launch our first Taos Box trip of the season with more following all week.  The daytime temps have been holding steady in the 60’s and the sun feels marvelous!  It is shaping up to be a great Spring Break here in Northern New Mexico and we are taking full advantage of it on the Rio Grande Gorge, Racecourse and Taos Box. One of the great things about rafting so far this week is that we are one of the only companies out on the river. Now, the water levels ar up to around 2000cfs and the weather is just as nice.  The Taos Box is at a beautiful level and the the Racecourse is still just right for the entire family.  Take advantage of the wonderful water levels now!  The early season experience can be much […]


Top 5 Reasons to Go Rafting in New Mexico

February 26th, 2017

Aaaah, rafting in New Mexico. There’s so many amazing reasons to do it. Though much of New Mexico is high desert, we have an incredible community of rafting and river enthusiasts, as well as the beautiful treasures that our rivers are to us. It’s quite a magical experience to boat through the scenery here in the high desert. Here’s five excellent reasons to try out rafting here in The Land Of Enchantment. Reason #1: Come check out the new national monument! The Rio Grande Del Norte National Monument was decreed as such on  March 25, 2013 by President Barack Obama.  It’s comprised of 242,500 acres of public lands in Taos County, and The Rio Grande carves an 800 foot deep gorge through layers of volcanic basalt flows and ash. There’s excellent camping, fishing, and hiking to scout out while you’re rafting class I-IV rapids through the Rio Grande Gorge. Reason #2: Astounding geology. The Rio Grande flows through the Taos Plateau, which holds cinder cones and shield volcanoes; sheet flows of basalt and towering Quartzite cliffs are easily viewed from the river. This is all through the Rio Grande Continental Rift, where the crust of the Earth ripped apart some 29 to […]


Plan Your Next Group Adventure with New Mexico River Adventures

February 17th, 2017

As we exit the doldrums of winter and start to see more and more sunshine throughout the day, many of us are starting to plan those wonderful summer adventures.  New Mexico has always been one of the diamonds in the rough of summer adventure destinations.  With every bit of the alpine beauty one can find in places like Colorado and the Sierras of California and less than half the people and crowds,  Northern New Mexico is the place to be!  Let’s not forget about the amazingly unique and culture comparable to visiting another country.  And, of course, the culinary destination of Santa Fe, this is the perfect place to plan your family get together or company retreat. New Mexico River Adventures specializes in a wide variety of Group Trips including Church and Youth Groups, Wedding and Bachelor/Bachelorette Trips and School Outings before the end of classes. There are many reasons why beautiful Northern New Mexico is the perfect destination for your family, friends and colleges to vacation and meet. With many great all inclusive retreat locations and conference centers, its a breeze to accomplish everything you want along with some great adventure excursions like rafting on the Rio Grande.  Located […]


Join the NMRA Team!

February 3rd, 2017

It’s that time of year again when we start filling up the open positions on the New Mexico River Adventures Team.  This year we have openings for New and Experienced River Guides as well as Reservationists, Retail Associates, CDL Drivers and Photographers. Our tight-knit team consists of river professionals, teachers, students, adventure racers, parents and explorers. We are always looking for excited, hardworking and genuine people to join the team in a variety of capacities. If you are interested in becoming a river rafting guide with New Mexico River Adventures and feel that you share a similar passion for the outdoors and a high level of professionalism, please Contact Us at 1-800-983-7756. We are always looking for both experienced and non-experienced river guides. If you have no experience but would like to learn and eventually become a New Mexico river guide on the Rio Grande and Rio Chama, please visit our Whitewater River Guide School page for more information. If you have prior experience as a commercial river guide, please send us your professional resume.  The snowpack in the Southern Rockies looks great for the 2017 season and this will be a great year to get to know the many […]


Beers and Cheers With The Bosque Brewing Co. on the Rio Chama!

January 28th, 2017

Last year we added yet another fun and exciting Specialty Trip and twist to the normal Rio Chama 3 Day Adventure. It was a collaboration with one of New Mexico’s most acclaimed Brewery, Bosque. The folks at Bosque share the same passion for the outdoors, wilderness and great fun as we do and so it made for a perfect fit. It was also one of our most popular trips of the year. New Mexico River Adventures is proud to announce our second annual 3 day adventure on the Rio Chama with the great folks at Bosque Brewing Co.! The dates for this year’s annual Beers And Cheers trip are August 25-27. That’s 3 days and 2 nights out in some of the most exquisite scenery New Mexico has to offer. Our Outfitter provides all the camping gear and amenities to insure the most luxurious rafting and camping experience out there. Our guides prepare amazing meals to pair with the craft beers at the campsites, so you have the opportunity to explore on some side hikes, or read about and sample some of Bosque’s classic and new brews. To read further on our website, visit here! Since opening their original taproom and […]

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Otters on the Rio Grande

January 3rd, 2017

   ot·ter   /ˈädər/   noun 1. A semi-aquatic fish-eating mammal of the weasel family, with an elongated body, dense fur, and webbed feet. 2.  Any of various largely aquatic carnivorous mammals (as genus Lutra or Enhydra) of the weasel family that usually have webbed and clawed feet and dark brown fur. The North American River Otter, a social member of the weasel family, was a common resident on the Rio Grande for thousands of years, up until about 1953.  Because of unregulated trapping, pollution, and deforestation, these animals that once held the spot at the top of the food chain on the Rio Grande became all but non-existent for about 60 years. Between 2008-2010, there were 33 otters that were released back into the Upper Rio Grande, relocated from Washington state. The organization Amigos Bravos has set up an “otter-cam” near John Dunn Bridge on January 28th, 2016. They have been monitoring the growth of the otter population since the re-introduction 8 years ago. A huge effort by Amigos Bravos, New Mexico Friends of River Otters, USDA Wildlife Services, Taos Pueblo, and the U.S Bureau of Land Management has largely been a success to reintroduce the otters and increase the population here on […]