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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 […]

Looking for Paddle Boarding in Florida?

December 17th, 2012

Ever wished that you had a place where you can enjoy almost every paddle board condition? Lucky for us a Bare Life, Tampa offers some of the best waters. Stand up paddle board in Tampa is unique to say the least. Being a peninsula, Florida is surrounded by water on three sides. On the West coast we have the smooth, flat, and chill Gulf of Mexico. On the East coast, we have the waves, beauty, and party atmosphere of the Atlantic ocean. To the South we have crystal clear waters and amazing fishing found in the Keys. Between the three, lies countless river and springs. Truly the best of both worlds. For days that we are tight on time, we love traveling on the Hillsborough River. Being only 5 minutes away from this peaceful body of water, we are on it at least three times a week. Tampa is not known for our rapids. Instead we have slow moving rivers that are filled with amazing wildlife. I always find it a little unsettling when I am on the river with me 12 foot paddle board and I see an alligator close to the same size. I have a very healthy […]

Fall Trip on the Rio!

October 26th, 2012

There is an an undeniable chill in the air that will soon end the spectacular fall colors we have been having in the Rio Grande Valley.  Last week, this prompted us to load up the inflatable kayaks and head to the Bosque section and enjoy all the shades of yellow and even a bit of red!  The put in for this float trip is at the County Line River Access (the take out for the Race Course) and the take out is at the old Embudo Station Restaurant.  Matt’s dad, Bob Gontram, and his wife Sharyn joined us for the afternoon trip and we all had a great time.  We followed a gigantic Great Blue Heron, enjoyed a coyote drinking from the river as well as a beaver swimming up on shore to check us out.  To go along with all the gorgeous colors in hanging off the trees, we also encountered hundreds of apples floating along shore that sweetened the smell in the air, what a treat!!  The weather has cooled significantly today and will through the weekend, but then we expect the temperature to rise again and you can bet we will be out there paddling!!

Rio Chama-Rama!

June 20th, 2012

The Rio Chama is one of a kind.  Whether you choose to do a single day trip or a multi-day trip, you will be blown away by the beauty that the canyon holds.  With the lower water levels we are experiencing on the Rio Grande, the Army Corps of Engineers has been running a fantastic amount of water through the Chama to help out with irrigation and the ecology downstream. All of our Rio Chama trips meet in Abiquiu at Bode’s general store (great breakfast burritos) where we hop into our vans and make the drive to the put-in.  The daily trip drives to Chavez Canyon, just below the Christ in the Desert Monastery, and floats the 9 mile journey to Big Eddy take-out with fun class 2 and 3 whitewater in between.  The wilderness section begins outside of Tierra Amarilla just below El Vado Dam and runs down to either Chavez Canyon or Big Eddy depending on the length of your trip. This sections holds great wildlife sightings, spectacular views as well as a few fun rapids. We are proud to also include two specialty trips this season, a beer trip with the folks from Marble Brewery and a […]

For the love of Inflatable Kayaks!

May 20th, 2012

It is warming up in Northern New Mexico which means it is time to go rafting!  One of our favorite ways to run the river is in an inflatable kayak (IK).  The river levels we are anticipating throughout the summer are absolutely perfect for these spunky little crafts!  We offer one and two person New Mexico inflatable kayaking for the same price as a riding in a raft.  The Rio Grande Gorge Full Day trip is dreamy in an IK.  The morning starts off with an extensive safety and instructional talk about handling the craft.  The morning is spent floating through the Orilla Verde section that allows you to observe all the gorgeous birds while honing your paddling skills.  You can also paddle from bank to bank in search of the largest frog or turtle on the Rio Grande.  After a stop for lunch, the whitewater rapids are waiting!  The class 3 Racecourse is more than manageable for any adventurous spirit.  There is a perfect buildup of smaller rapids in anticipation for the the first big one, Albert’s Falls.  While the chances for falling out of the IK is a bit higher, you will find that getting back into the them […]