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History and Culture

The Trips

Rio Chama 3 Day

This is the signature multi-day rafting trip in New Mexico. Due to regularly scheduled releases from El Vado Resevior, we are able to enjoy this incredible canyon and three day rafting trip, most weeks from April through August. We raft 33 mile section of river outside of the the alpine town of Tierra Amarilla, NM. The trip consists of a float through the stunning and colorful sandstone and limestone walls of this amazing canyon and finishing up near the renowned artist village of Abiquiu. The upper reaches of the river are well known for gorgeous pine trees lining the banks of the river and spectacular views of the desert cliffs that border this area and that are so famous in many different artists works, such as Georgia O'Keeffe and Ansel Adams.

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Rio Chama 2 Day Rafting Trip

Bring the entire family and join us on the Rio Chama for the most scenic multiple day river trip in New Mexico. We begin the 21 mile river trip outside of the the alpine town of Chama, NM and float down into a stunning and colorful sandstone and limestone canyon finishing up near the renouned artist village of Abiquiu. The upper reaches of the river are well known for gorgeous pine trees lining the banks of the river and spectacular views of the desert cliffs that border this area and that are so famous in many different artists works, such as Georgia O'Keeffe and Ansel Adams. Red, yellow and purple color bands are painted across the desert as the river flows past towering sandstone cliffs. This stretch of river hides many treasures within the high reaching walls like hot springs, homesteads, ancient Indian ruins, and dinosaur tracks perfectly preserved in Jurassic era mud to name a few.

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La Junta Rafting

This trip is a rare scenic float through one of the most remote, pristine and little traveled sections of the Rio Grande. Only accessible by the 1 mile long hike down the La Junta trail in the Wild Rivers Recreation Area. The boats and gear are packed down by mules to our put-in at the confluence with the Rio Grande and the Red River. The whitewater on this section is calm with one class III rapid.

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Rio Chama Full Day

The Rio Chama has a wonderful single day section as the river emerges from the canyon. This wide valley has spectacular views of the desert cliffs that border this areas and that are so famous in many different artists works, such as Georgia O'Keeffe and Ansel Adams. The Rio Chama has a few moderate Class II and III rapids so is perfect for all ages and abilities. Day trips can be run in oar boats, paddle boats, and inflatable kayaks. Minimum age for this trip is 5 and we meet at Bode's General store at 9 a.m.

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A Cultural History Of The Rio Chama With Dr. Tim Maxwell

Join Us and our good friends at Southwest Seminars for 3-days and 2-nights rafting the Rio Chama led by Dr. Tim Maxwell as we learn about the native history of the river and its valleys that served as a natural corridor from north to south for millennia.  Dr. Maxwell will share knowledge of the native peoples, history, and the agricultural field systems of the Rio Chama. He is Director Emeritus, New Mexico Office of Archaeological Studies and conducted extensive mapping of Chama River cultural sites and the agricultural field systems of the Rio Chama.   The trip will take us through the 33 mile Wild and Scenic Rio Chama Canyon with our world class guides taking care of every detail of this amazing adventure.

Destination New Mexico

We begin your destination trip in New Mexico! Your trip leader will meet you this morning at 9 a.m. at your hotel. After a brief orientation, its time to start our week of history, culture and adventure with a walking tour of historic Santa Fe. Our local Santa Fe guides will provide you with a unique glimpse into the rich history of this beautiful city. After lunch in one of the many acclaimed restaurants in Santa Fe, it's time to travel the short distance to nearby Chimayo. On the way we will stop to visit El Santuario de Chimayo. This is quite possibly the most significant shrine in New Mexico built between 1814 and 1816, it is well known to believers who travel from afar to seek cures for their ailments. Don't forget your cameras here, as we will finish up our visit and head to our quaint bed and breakfast for the evening. Directly across the street is the famous Rancho de Chimayo restaurant where we will enjoy some of New Mexico's finest cuisine tonight in another historic adobe setting.

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