To plan your whitewater adventures, it is good to know the New Mexico rafting season and available dates. The average Rio Grande and Rio Chama rafting season is Mid March to October. Of course, these dates sometimes vary depending on the weather patterns of any given year, but we can usually count on hitting the river during these 6 months.
We have been noticing warmer temperatures earlier in the season at our headquarters. This means that the Taos Box, Rio Grande Gorge Full Day and Racecourse trips have been starting a bit earlier. Rafting in March and April can bring great water levels, but the air and water temperature is still cool compared to June, so we always recommend a synthetic base layer and we provide wetsuits and splash gear at no extra cost.
The Taos Box is not runnable below certain water levels and it changes every season so that some years we can enjoy it until July 4th, and other years it is done May 15th. We usually have a pretty good idea of the how long it will last in March. The best thing to do is contact us in March to get an idea about the early conditions for the New Mexico rafting season and more accurate predictions about the Taos Box season and when the peak runoff may happen.
The Rio Grande Gorge and the Racecourse are unique in that we can always run these trips all spring, summer and fall! We are so lucky to have this type of river in our backyard! The higher water levels on these stretches are usually in the late spring as the snowmelt comes off of the mountains. During the middle to late summer months, the water levels get lower and the water temperature rises. These are great times for everyone to enjoy as the swimming is superb and the rapids still fun and challenging for all ages. For the extreme thrill seekers in the group, don’t forget to ask about inflatable kayaks during the lower water months. Check with New Mexico River Adventures anytime for more information on the exact water levels during your stay or what water levels would be the best fit for your family or group.
The Rio Chama is different from the Rio Grande in that it is a dam controlled river. There are a series of weekends in July, August and the beginning of September that are ‘guaranteed release weekends’ where we know we will have runnable levels on this stretch. The spring and early summer are also a great time to come on this stretch as they are usually releasing water to compensate for all the snow melt coming into the reservoirs. Please contact our office for more information regarding the New Mexico rafting season and water levels on the Rio Chama and availability for our awesome 1 day, 2 day or 3 day trips on this spectacular river trip.