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2013 Season has started!

April 8th, 2013

New Mexico River Adventures has just finished its first week of the 2013 New Mexico rafting season with a bang!  We have had wonderful spring weather here in Northern New Mexico and our guests have been taking advantage of it.  Just last week we ran daily trips on the famous Racecourse and Rio Grande Gorge sections of the Rio Grande. Water levels have remained steady at 500cfs (cubic feet per second) which is the perfect springtime level for the Rio Grande.  We are looking forward to some more intermittent storms throughout the month of April which will boost our snowpack and provide us with significantly more water than last year and great water levels for all of our trips, including the Taos Box, throughout the months of April and May.  After the spring runoff peak in June and throughout the rest of the season, we are looking forward to steady, great water levels and weather to enjoy spectacular rafting adventures on the Rio Grande and Rio Chama. Our guides our extremely excited for the 2013 New Mexico rafting season and can’t wait to see you all sometime throughout the spring and summer for a spectacular adventure!  Call our friendly staff […]

The Rafting Classification System

April 5th, 2013

Whitewater rafting involves a lot of stamina and knowledge of how a river flows. Rivers can vary between difficulties, so when planning a rafting trip it’s important to know what level of difficulty you’re going to be experiencing. There is a rapid classification system used to compare river difficulty that is arranged into six classes. The system is not exact as rivers don’t always fit easily into one category and a rafter’s experience and knowledge of a river might classify it as a different level of class, but it’s a good starting point for knowing what to expect from a river. Class I is fast moving water with small waves. Little training is required and there is little risk to swimmers. This level of rapids is perfect for floating down the river in a tube. Class II involves wide, clear channels that are easy to maneuver. Assistance is rarely needed, although those with little to no experience in rafting might benefit from assistance in paddling and maneuvering to learn the proper way to raft. Class III has moderate, irregular waves that can be difficult to avoid. This level requires complex maneuvers involving fast currents and good raft control in tight […]

Paddleboarding on the Rio Grande

What Sets NMRA Apart From The Rest

March 6th, 2013

In 2011 we decided to make some big changes and offer a new experience for river enthusiasts in New Mexico.  We changed our name to New Mexico River Adventures and built a brand new headquarters just 1 mile from the take out of the most popular stretch of Rio Grande rafting.  We wanted to create a full service facility because we believe that each guests adventure starts the minute we meet you before the trip.  These are just some of the ways we are setting ourselves apart from the other rafting outfitters in New Mexico. Private, Secure Parking From the minute you arrive at our new headquarters you’ll be greeted by one of our many friendly staff in our gated, private parking lot.  You won’t have to park in a public parking lot and look around for your rafting company’s representative.  With NMRA, you meet at our headquarters and don’t have to worry about theft or your personal belongings going missing. Full Service Retail/Souvenir Shop We know that sometimes you might forget little things like sunscreen, water bottles, eyeglass retainers or hats.  Our headquarters have you covered with all of the small items as well as stylish rafting t-shirts and […]

Relaxing above Sipia Falls

International River Trips: Rio Cotahuasi

February 18th, 2013

At New Mexico River Adventures and Global Descents, we are constantly looking toward incredible river experiences.  Whether it be rafting the Rio Grande or traveling to southern Peru to descend the deepest canyon in the world.  Our goal is to spend as much time on the river as possible and have a great time doing it! This is yet another amazing whitewater journey that we offer, which takes you through the Ancient Incan World. At over twice the depth of Arizona’s Grand Canyon, the Cotahuasi is the deepest canyon in the world! Measuring 11,587 feet from river to rim, this scarcely-explored Peruvian wilderness remains one of the most pristine environments on Earth. The Cotahuasi River Canyon features a rare glimpse into the Incan world; a geologic, floral, and fauna paradise; and a river-runner’s dream! Draining the western slope of the Andes Mountains, the waterway courses 100 miles over a continuous series of Class IV and V drops, making it one of the most gripping stretches of commercially run whitewater anywhere. Visitors to the Cotahuasi encounter some the rarest and the most extraordinary Incan archeological sites, visit a quaint Peruvian village replete with natural hot springs, spot enormous Andean Condors, and […]

Fresh snow at the Boathouse

Spring Snow!

February 10th, 2013

After a fairly dry January, Northern New Mexico is looking forward to a very different February.  The beginning of the month brought a strong southerly system through Arizona and New Mexico.  Arizona saw a very wet system of higher temperatures leaving much of their drainage with rain on top of higher elevation snow.  This storm saw some extremely high flows on the Rio Verde and its many tributaries.  At it peak on the last days of January and the first of February, the Rio Verde above Horseshoe Dam reached approximately 17,000 cubic feet per second.  Quite an exciting time for Arizona boaters who were willing to dodge the many trees and large pieces of debris traveling downstream at the same time. Luckily, the system arrived in Northern New Mexico with much cooler temps and left a nice addition to our high elevation snow pack and specifically water content.  As we look far into the future, forecasting for the entire month has been predicted as WET, making this good news for New Mexico rafting season 2013.  Normally, I trust these long term forecasts about as far as I can throw them.  However, with optimism driving me through the spring, I’m happy […]

Aluminum shaft and plastic blade oars

Paddles and Oars

February 5th, 2013

Ah Yes…The age old question of what kind of paddles and oars are the best.  As with all river gear, the shapes, styles, weights and materials of paddles and oars have evolved tremendously since the days of the Anasazi in the Southwest, the Aleut people in Alaska and other ancient river runners around the world.  Blade shapes have continually changed, increasing and decreasing surface areas as well as overall lengths as new river runners have emerged and new rivers have been run. Of course, in the beginning the only material used was wood, usually whatever type was readily available.  Hand carved on the banks of the river and when they broke, no worries, just hike a short distance to find a new tree to make a spare.  To this day, the boatman on the Zambezi river use these large and heavy style oars harvested from trees on the rim of the Batoka Gorge below Victoria Falls. In the last 30 years, technology has helped the paddle and oar industry with a variety of new materials offering lighter paddles and oars with interchangeable parts to alter lengths and change out blade designs and shapes.  This new generation of river running equipment […]

Sunset on the Rio Grande

Help Restore The Rio Grande

January 29th, 2013

The life of the Rio Grande has been drastically altered over the past one hundred years…the river has been dammed, diverted, channeled, and, in some stretches, gone completely dry. The river’s needs have been sorely neglected, which has in turn had a significant impact on the lives of the fish, birds, and other creatures that rely on the river and the bosque for habitat. “All over the West, rivers have been manipulated,” said Steve Harris, director of Rio Grande Restoration.  “I can’t think of any river system that doesn’t have a long list of extirpated or extinct species, or ones on the endangered list.”  Healthy rivers are essential to the livelihoods and wildlife of the interior west. In an era of growing demand for freshwater and climate change impacts to water supply, there is one organization that has led the charge, working to assure that the Rio Grande will again flow as the Great River, with a restored ecosystem.  This organization is Rio Grande Restoration and deserves your support! A high level of water extraction for agriculture and increasing domestic use threatens the Rio Grande. Most of the major tributaries and many of the lesser ones support substantial agricultural production.    […]


International River Expeditions: Rio Futaleufu

January 22nd, 2013

Chile has a large variety of amazing rivers to raft but one stands alone at the top, the Rio Futaleufu.  It winds its way through the lush Chilean rain forest and is corralled only by sleek granite cliffs. The Futaleufu boasts one Class IV-V rapid after the other… if you’re ready for exciting whitewater, a lost frontier culture and pristine landscapes, you’re ready for rafting in Chile on the Futaleufu River. The Rio Futaleufu originates high in the Andes from a series of lakes just across the border in Argentina.  It slowly meanders its way into Chile where not long after if crosses the border, it begins to carve its way through on of the most stunning valleys in Patagonia.  With peaks and glaciers towering overhead some 6000 feet protecting this stunning, turquoise colored  river. Starting with the infamous and most difficult section of the river, Infierno Canyon.  Here the Futaleufu enters a sheer walled canyon with virtually no escape for rafters except downstream.  This is true class V rafting at its best with rapids like Entrada, Dancing with Angels and Salida, this section is an incredible reward for the adventurous commercial rafter and expert kayaker.  After exiting the canyon, […]

NMRA guide, Garret Schooley at the top of Sipapu Ski Resort

New Mexico…Skiers Paradise

January 14th, 2013

Not everyone knows just how good the skiing is here in Northern New Mexico.  Well guess what…It’s spectacular!  Within a 50 mile area around the New Mexico River Adventures boathouse and the Rio Grande Gorge lies 5 New Mexico skiing areas offering up something for every skier’s taste.  From the incredible fun and steep terrain at Taos Ski Valley to the family friendly and extremely affordable Sipapu Ski Resort, northern New Mexico is a skiers paradise! If you’re seeking out some of the most interesting and challenging lift accessible terrain in the country, come to Taos for New Mexico skiing.  The only area I can think of in Colorado that could compare is Crested Butte which is renowned as the FreeSkiing capital of the U.S.  That being said, you can’t find the diversity of landscape, culture and food to the degree you can here in Taos anywhere else in the country.  This truly puts the area at the top!  If you have the flexibility, wait for storms and make the trip.  The hard working Ski Patrol here does a great job at opening terrain in a safe and timely manner so come see for yourself why so many enjoy this […]

A Snowy Novenber Day at New Mexico River Adventures Headquarters

Winter At New Mexico River Adventures

January 2nd, 2013

Winter is brewing here at New Mexico River Adventures.  It’s been cold recently and we’ve started to see some wet storms.  In the last three week we’ve had close to 12 inches of snow at the boathouse and more than 4 feet in the mountains.  Not only does this mean the ski areas are happy and constantly opening up new terrain, but it also means that are snow pack is building for the 2013 season.  We’ll keep praying for snow and looking forward to an exciting rafting season to come on the Rio Grande and Rio Chama. One thing is for sure, the landscape around the NMRA shop and boathouse is just as stunning in the winter as they are in the summer.  With the exposed rock peaking through the snow across the ridge lines and the canyons, we are truly lucky to live in such a beautiful part of the world.  Red chile ristras litter the porches and the candelarias are still out as Christmas passes us by and the 2013 commences. As the winter continues and the snow falls, we will be keeping you posted on all the new trips and developments with New Mexico River Adventures.  Also […]