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Rio Grande Racecourse Half Day

Rio Grande
Half Day
Mild to Moderate
Minimum Age
$56 Adult
$46 Child

About the trip

The Racecourse Rafting in New Mexico is our most popular half day trip on the Rio Grande. Although river trip times can always vary, most trips last a total of 3 to 3.5 hours from the time you arrive at our Headquarters to the time you leave.

  • The most popular half day trip in New Mexico
  • Spectacular whitewater for all ages
  • Located just a short drive from our Headquarters
  • Great swimming opportunities

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.

» Read all Rafting FAQ

» Plan Your Trip

» Trip Forms

  • 5 star rating

    I took the half day racecourse trip today and had such a great time! Gwen was an excellent guide!! It was thrilling and beautiful!! What could be better than sunshine, water & nice people.

    I will definitely book another trip....maybe the full day next time!! This was my first river rafting trip but I felt I was part of the team!

    The company is very organized from booking to reminders to secure parking, restrooms, changing rooms...every detail was well thought out and efficient! The staff is friendly and they really seem to love what they do!!

    Susan T.
  • The whole family had such a great time doing the half day Racecourse tour! Everyone from my 5 year old son to my 70+ year old parents! Shout out to Luke for being a great guide, super professional and skilled in getting us through the rapids!

    Charleen Miguel
  • 5 star rating

    NMRA a great group to river raft with! We had a great time on the Race Course, even with the water at a low point. DEVIN is the best!!! Personable and very knowledgeable. Next time we will plan to come earlier in the year to do the Box and get some class 4s.
    I highly recommend using New Mexico River Adv. Easy to get to, clean and comfortable facility with secure parking. Great staff.

    Nancy G


This trip has it all and is perfect for the whole family! This is a classic trip and its located a mere 1 mile away from our headquarters. If you’re looking for a memorable addition to your vacation in Northern New Mexico, stop by our headquarters or reserve your space for this wonderful whitewater rafting experience.

Starting the Racecourse

We start at our headquarters where you’ll meet your guides for the day who will outfit you with all the gear necessary for the day on the river. At the headquarters, you’ll find safe secure parking, clean restrooms, changing rooms, shaded picnic tables on our patio rooms and any last minute items you might have forgotten including sunscreen, water shoes, hats and much more. This is the perfect place to start your adventure.

The Racecourse Float

The Racecourse Rafting is the perfect trip for first timers or those whitewater enthusiasts who only have a limited amount of time available. It is class II-III (IV at high water) and absolutely perfect for everyone. Although rare, when the water levels are especially high (usually in late May and June), we do raise the minimum age as this section grows into an extremely fun and continuous section of class III and IV whitewater. Please call if you have any questions about water levels or our minimum ages for any of our trips. We’ll tackle rapids with names like The Maze, Eye of the Needle, Big Rock and the infamous Souse Hole.

Racecourse Trip Availability

The Racecourse rafting trips are available EVERY DAY starting in March through September. When the river levels are low, the adventurous may choose, at no extra charge, to do this trip in inflatable kayaks. All trips meet at our Headquarters. Morning Trips meet at 8:30 AM. Afternoon Trips meet at 12:30 PM. On busier days we also have a 9:30 AM and 1:30 PM departures. All availability can be seen online. Please feel free to book online or call us anytime, 1-800-983-7756, to reserve your space.

*Racecourse whitewater rafting now available as a private trip! Visit our private trips page to learn more about custom adventures tailored to you.

Why New Mexico River Adventures?

Our guides are the best in the business, focusing on safety and guest service as a top priority. All are extremely knowledgeable about the area’s geology, ecology and history and just love being on the river. Many with experience on rivers all over the country and across the globe, I know you’ll enjoy each one as much as we do and will certainly help to make your day on the river the best possible.


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