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FAQ

Rafting

There is no experience required for any of our river trips. However, we encourage experience for our more difficult, Taos Box and Razorblades trips. Please feel free to call us with any concerns or questions about appropriate trips for your group.

We have packing lists for you to review for each of our different trip types. Remember that the weather changes dramatically throughout the New Mexico rafting season. It can be significantly colder during March-May we encourage our guests to always be prepared. We always have wetsuits and splash jackets available for you at no extra charge.  Don’t forget good footwear (no flip-flops), layers and a water bottle.

We have trips for almost everyone. Each trip page displays the minimum age for the trip as well as the difficulty rating. If you have any questions before you reserve your trip, please contact us for more information.

Our guests’ safety is our number one priority. We will always be completely honest when pairing our guests needs and expectations with the appropriate adventure on the Rio Grande or Rio Chama.

Most of our rafts have a capacity of 6 paddlers, however, some can accommodate more and during seasons with lower water levels, we might take less paddlers in each raft. Please don’t think or your reservation in terms of rafts, rather, reserve for as many people in your group and we will pair you with the right number of rafts when you arrive. Private charters and private rafts may be available for an additional charge.

It is recommended but not mandatory that all our guests know how to swim. All guests are given Type V, US Coast Guard approved flotation devices (lifejackets) that are designed to float you on your back, nice and high in the water. For all our class 3 and above sections on the Rio Grande, you will also be issued a helmet.

Absolutely! We are proud to have the best guide team in New Mexico and they are often requested by past guests. Just let us know at the time of reservation, either online or over the phone and we will do our best to accommodate your request.

While gratuities are not mandatory, they are very much appreciated. River guiding is just like any other service industry position that relies on gratuities. Like your servers at your favorite restaurant, a typical tip is between 15% and 20%

You must meet us at the appropriate meeting location described in your confirmation email. From there, all transportation to and from the river in included. For some groups who wish to customize their experience, we may be able to arrange a custom pick up and drop off at your hotel for an extra charge.We always recommend that all our guests visiting Northern NM bring or rent a vehicle as there are so many wonderful things to do that will require reliable transportation.

We will do our best! We have carefully crafted our menus to be inclusive of a variety of dietary preferences.

Alcohol is not allowed before or during your rafting trip. However, on all our overnight trips we will have coolers and space to carry your favorite alcoholic beverages in moderation. For our half and full day trips, we are located next to a brewery and several wineries for you to visit after your trip.

Whitewater rapids are rated on a scale of 1-5. We offer a variety of trips to choose, from Mild to Wild like our beautifully scenic class I-II Orilla Verde Half Day Float trip to our adrenalized class IV Taos Box Full Day trip.

While there is not a weight limit, we are restricted by the size of our PFD’s. We can only accommodate chest sizes of 52” or less. If you have any concerns, just let us know your height and weight and we can usually tell from that.

Please see our minimum ages listed on each individual trip page. Please note that on seasons with extremely high-water levels and usually only during the months of late May and June, we may have to raise some of our minimum ages. This certainly is not the case every year.

Like most rivers in the Western U.S., the New Mexico Rafting season varies each year according to the Rocky Mountain snowpack. Typically, we have lower water levels in March and April, higher water levels in mid-May to late June, medium to low water levels in July and our lowest flows in August and September.

Not necessarily. During our milder trips, typically, the only time you will fall in is if you choose to get out and swim. Please always ask your guide when it’s appropriate to do so. On our Wilder trips, there is always a chance, however, most people do not and if you listen closely to your Guide’s instructions and properly brace your feet into the raft, the chances become much slimmer.

There are virtually always opportunities on all our trips to jump in and swim. Although some of our more difficult section may offer less opportunities, always feel free to ask your Guide to point out an appropriate time to cool off in the river and remember to never enter the river head first!

We run our river trips rain or shine. We are used to having afternoon rains in New Mexico during our monsoon season of July/Aug. We have never in our history had any issues with thunderstorms on the river. Of course, our Guides are extremely conscientious and well trained to keep your safety as their number one priority.

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.

We provide helmets for all our guests on our Rio Grande trips class III and above, all inflatable kayak trips and all our SUP trips.

NMRA has an impeccable safety record with the most professional guide staff on the river. We place extremely high standards on our guides and equipment. The majority of our Guides far surpass the minimum training requirements and certification levels required by the BLM, our regulating agency.

On all our Rio Grande trips, you will meet at our Headquarters where you will have nice changing rooms to use.  You will be able to use your vehicle as your locker and we’ll keep your keys safe inside.  Don’t worry, we’ve never had any issues in our safe, secure parking lot and we don’t want you losing your keys in the river.

Multi-Day Trips

We will do our best! We have carefully crafted our menus to be inclusive of a variety of dietary preferences.

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.

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.

Stand Up Paddleboarding

It all depends on the time of year. Check the forecast before you come and contact us if you have any questions. We always have wetsuits and splash jackets available for you at no extra charge. Don’t forget good footwear (no flip-flops), layers and a water bottle.

No, we have everything for you. We use Sol inflatable paddleboards which are state of the art, stable and fun. Our instructors will teach you everything you need to know when you arrive at the river. If you have your own board and want to use it, no problem. We will transfer it to our shuttle vehicle/trailer when you arrive.

Kayaking

Often, people get confused between the two types of kayaking adventures we offer. The most popular is our inflatable kayaking trips which we run on some sections and at lower water levels. This is a great way to increase the adventure level and there is no experience necessary. We only ask that you are a good swimmer, looking for adventure and ready to oversee your own craft. NMRA also offers a full-service Kayak School where we can introduce you to the art of whitewater kayaking. This is usually taught in a calm pool and slowly progresses into calm currents. For more information about our custom kayak course, please give us a call.

Inflatable kayaking can be enjoyed on any of our Rio Chama, Orilla Verde Half Day and Middle Taos Box trips depending on availability. For those looking for some extra excitement during the lower water months later in the season, inflatable kayaks can be enjoyed on our class III Rio Grande trips as well.

Please follow our suggested packing list for whichever trip you are participating in. Just keep in mind that your chances of falling in while kayaking are much higher than rafting. Be prepared to swim and pack accordingly with warm/dry clothing waiting for you at the end.

Rock Climbing

No, our climbing instructors and guides will teach you everything you need to know and cater to each person’s skill levels independently. Put you trust in us to provide you with an unforgettable adventure.

Rock climbing becomes much more difficult in the rain and dangerous in any kind of electrical storm. We do reserve the right to cancel or postpone your tip due to the presence of prediction of inclement weather. If this case arises, we will offer you a credit for your trip or move you to a trip of your liking that is appropriate in inclement weather.

Horseback Riding

Long pants, clothes toed shoes and layers. It’s always good to check the local weather forecast prior to the trip and remember your rain gear. Please no sandals and backpacks and don’t forget a water bottle per person. Contact our trusted partners before your trip for more information

We go riding! Don’t forget your rain gear just in case. Contact our trusted partners before your trip for more information

No, these trips are available through our partners at Roadrunner Tours in Angel Fire (575-377-6416) or Red River Stables in Red River (575-754-1700). For further information and to reserve your trip, please contact them directly.

Fly Fishing

No, you will be required to drive yourself to the venue for the day. Contact our trusted partners before your trip for more information

No, you will need to bring your own snacks or lunch as well as plenty of water. Contact our trusted partners before your trip for more information

No, these trips are available through our partners at Red River Angler and Sport (575-754-1700) or High Desert Anglers in Santa Fe (505-988-7688). For further information and to reserve your trip, please contact them directly.

Professional Training/Instruction

Dates for all of our ACA certification courses in December and January and vary year to year. We usually offer courses in the Spring and Fall. Our custom courses are available at different times throughout the season, please contact our helpful reservation staff for more information and to reserve your space.

Our ACA courses have the opportunity to receive up to a level 4 certification in each skill. Certifications are determined by class participation, understanding of the material and skills.

All of our instructors are industry leaders with a high level of skill and experience. Their patient, knowledgeable approach to each skill will set you up for not only a fruitful but fun experience.