About the trip
Rio Chama Cultural History Join Us and our good friends at Southwest Seminars for 3-days and 2-nights rafting the Rio Chama led by Dr. Tim Maxwell as we learn about the native history of the river and its valleys that served as a natural corridor from north to south for millennia.
- Explore the iconic Rio Chama Wilderness
- Retrace the paths of the ancient Puebloans
- Amazing meals prepared by your guides starting with lunch on day 1 through lunch day 3
- A variety of crafts available to suit you and your group
This trip meets at Bode’s General Store, an iconic landmark in Northern New Mexico. Bode’s has offered safe parking for Rio Chama rafters for decades. Bode’s is in the heart of the artists village of Abiquiu, NM which is a mere 1 hour drive from Santa Fe and 1.25 hour drive from Taos. Plan on arriving early to enjoy their famous breakfast burritos and grab any last minute items you may be missing including beer and drinks.
For directions to Bode’s General Store click here!
Can you accommodate my dietary restrictions?
We will do our best! We have carefully crafted our menus to be inclusive of a variety of dietary preferences.
Do I need my own camping equipment?
No, although lots of guests choose to bring their own sleeping bags, we can provide you with a sleeping bag, sleeping pad and tent to share with other members of your group for no extra charge. Just be sure to indicate on your individual trip registration form what gear you would like us to provide and we’ll make sure your covered.
What is the cancellation policy?
Our cancellation policy for groups of less than 18 people, for all Half and Full Day trips is that we do not offer any refunds less than 72 hours before your scheduled trip time. For our Rio Grande overnight trips and for groups of more than 18 participants, no refunds are offered inside of 14 days before your trip date and for our Rio Chama overnight trips, no refunds are offered within 30 days of your scheduled trip date. If you cancel outside of these time frames, you will be eligible for a full refund.
I highly recommend New Mexico River Adventures! We did a half day race course on a Monday afternoon in August. Although the water was low it was a great experience and wish we had done a full day. Our guide, Erin, was wonderful! She had a great sense of humor, taught us a lot and made the whole experience even better! We now have a new love, appreciation, and respect for the Rio Grande. Thanks to NM River Adventures we have found a hobby our whole family loves and will continue to pursue.Monica McCaslin
Just want to say thanks to the entire team at NMRA for an amazing half day adventure on the river on 9/7. John Michael, our guide, was knowledgeable and friendly and the front desk staff were accommodating and helpful. (Special shout out to the gal who emailed me my photos after I lost the thumb drive). From the moment we walked in the door, I knew we had picked the right place! Highly recommend if you're looking for something exciting to do.Rebecca N.
WHAT TO EXPECT
Learn about the history of the Early Paleo and Folsom people traveling the Chama River Valley thousands of years ago and their high-quality chert for stone tools was found on the prominent Pedernal Peak. Learn about nomadic residents living 3,000 years heavily used the region as evidenced by obsidian spear points and ancient living sites. After the depopulation of Chaco Canyon and Mesa Verde, new people entered the area and created communities along the river and its tributaries. By the mid-1300’s they built some of the largest prehistoric pueblos in the ancient southwest by using a rock and gravel mulch grid gardens. Learn about the settlement by Spanish colonists, Native hostilities and the floods of the raging Chama River and the dams that finally tamed the river. Visit a grid garden on the last day of the trip.
Dr. Maxwell will share knowledge of the native peoples, history, and the agricultural field systems of the Rio Chama. He is Director Emeritus, New Mexico Office of Archaeological Studies and conducted extensive mapping of Chama River cultural sites and the agricultural field systems of the Rio Chama.
We will follow the Rio Chama for a 33-mile mellow whitewater rafting adventure from Tierra Amarilla and float through stunningly colorful sandstone and limestone walls and hidden canyons. The trip ends near Christ in the Desert Monastery and includes a visit to a nearby grid garden. We will view the spectacular red, yellow, and purple multi-hued cliffs captured by artists such as Georgia O’Keeffe and Ansel Adams. For more information about this trip, please contact Southwest Seminars.