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Rock Climbing And Rafting in New Mexico Full Day

Rio Grande
Full Day
Minimum Age 12

About the trip

Rock Climbing at Dead Cholla Wall As the Rio Grande has carved out its canyon, it has left countless areas in the volcanic basalt rock suitable to be explored by technical rock climbing.

  • Climb in the heart of the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument
  • Perfect for all skill levels
  • All equipment included except technical rock climbing shoes (not required)
  • Amazing wildlife sightings from bighorn sheep to golden eagles

This trip meets at our private, Rio Grande Headquarters which is conveniently located 1 hour north of Santa Fe and 30 min. south of Taos. Our fully stocked Headquarters and Outfitters Shop is in the heart of the Rio Grande Gorge right across the street from the river, less than 1 mile from the finishing point of the most popular trips and offers safe, secure parking in our private parking lot.

For directions to our Rio Grande Headquarters click here!

Do I need to know how to swim?
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.

What do I need to wear?
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.

What if it’s my first time, do I need experience?
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.

Can I bring my dog?
Unfortunately, we cannot bring our furry friends on our river trips. We ask that you leave your pets at home before heading to our headquarters.

Can I leave my dog with you?
We do not have a secure area to keep your dog at our headquarters. Moreover, the temperatures get extremely hot during our season, because of this, you will NOT be able to leave your pets in your car. We ask that you leave your pets at home before heading to our headquarters.

» Read all Rafting FAQ

» Plan Your Trip

» Trip Forms

Do I need to experience?
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.

What if it rains or we have a storm?
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.

» Read all FAQ

» Plan Your Trip

» Trip Forms


Our rock climbing trips near Taos NM take place in the heart of the Rio Grande Gorge just above the Wild and Scenic Rio Grande. The Dead Cholla Wall is an established rock climbing area featuring over two-dozen climbing routes just below the rim of the Rio Grande Gorge. We will enjoy the famous route, aptly named “Fun” with the stunning southwest backdrop of the Rio Grande Gorge and the Sangre de Christo Mountains. There is a short and well maintained trail to this remote and pristine climbing location. No experience is necessary for this trip and is available to all ages, abilities, and levels of fitness.

Your guides will provide the safety equipment and instruction in rappelling and climbing technique to help you safely challenge yourself on this 50 foot vertical cliff overlooking the river. Depending on your fitness level, we will choose from the routes available to find the right amount of challenge to help you get the most out of your experience in this “slab” climb. This style of climbing requires thoughtful footwork instead of powerful upper body movements. Through the help of a detailed orientation at the climbing site, your guides will provide you with a solid foundation to tackle your first route with just the right amount of difficulty for three to four hours in the morning.

New Mexico River Adventures’ professional guides are the best in the business and have introduced rock climbing in New Mexico to countless outdoor enthusiasts. Minimum age for Rock Climbing trips is 12 years old.

Lunch and Float

After the morning of climbing it’s time to head for the river. Your Guides will prepare a famous Chicken Fajita lunch on the banks of the river while we prepare the rafts or kayaks for a beautiful float through the latter part of the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument. You will have a choice to raft or kayak.  Your river kayaking trip begins with a placid float through one of the most scenic parts of the canyon with great opportunities to see a variety of wildlife including mule deer, river otter, beaver and many different birds of prey. This Orilla Verde Kayaking Trip also affords us time to practice paddling techniques, swimming and simply enjoying the Rio Grande. Toward the end of the trip, we will float through the historic village of Pilar before continuing through some fun class II rapids and on to our take-out. Or you may choose to raft the famous class 3 rapids of the Rio Grande Racecourse section.  This is a great option for those looking for a more adventurous river portion of the trip. After the river trip, we will return to our Headquarters where there are changing rooms, restrooms, and our shaded patio to enjoy at the end of the day.


Related Trips

Rock Climbing with New Mexico River Adventures

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Rio Grande Racecourse Half Day

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$70 Adult
$60 Child