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Why Choose NMRA

Why Choose NMRA


We Set the Standard For Rafting in New Mexico

Our favorite question guests ask us before reserving their trip is “why should we choose NMRA?”  While we have many outstanding fellow outfitters in New Mexico, we love to talk about what sets us apart.  Sure, we are the #1 rated outfitter on Trip Advisor, Yelp and Google, but there is so much more than that.  Each year we come up with new itineraries, new offerings, improvements to our equipment, facility, and protocols.  You may see some very similar trip itineraries and offerings with other companies, and you know what they say, “often imitated but never replicated!”.  We never stop evolving in hopes to consistently remain the top choice for all river enthusiasts visiting or coming from New Mexico.  Below are some of the great things that we feel set us apart.


In 2011, NMRA relocated to a new property just 1 mile from the finishing point of the most popular trips on the Rio Grande.  We built a full service facility where we provide everything you need for your adventure, safe secure parking, a comfortable place to relax or enjoy a picnic before or after your trip, viewing area for your trip photos immediately upon returning from your trip and clean and nice dressing rooms and restrooms


NMRA has long been recognized as the leading Guide Training program in the area.  Safety,  Professionalism, Navigation skills, Interpretive knowledge and above all, Fun are all attributes you will recognize with NMRA’s exceptional crew of young professionals.  From the first call to our reservation staff, to your arrival at our Headquarters to your trip down the river, we hope you will see for yourselves.  Not only are they skilled navigators and knowledgeable individuals, but they’re also interested and interesting people that are dedicated to making your adventure with them unparalleled. 


We are a company that is owned and operated by lifelong river guides that know a thing or two about what a difference the right gear can make in the outcome of a trip.  We believe that equipment is one of the most important factors in a successful river trip.  Good equipment will always make you better no matter what you’re pursuing.  Therefore, we maintain 2 completely different fleets of boats for both low and high-water conditions.  Our boats are custom designed, state of the art rafts, specifically for the Rio Grande and Rio Chama.  Our inflatable kayaks are also chosen for the benefits they offer on our technical sections of the Rio Grande and Rio Chama like primary stability and maneuverability.  Our SUP fleet are 6-8” thick, stiff inflatable boards that are second to none.

When it comes to multi-day trips, you won’t find better, more up to date camping equipment than you will see at our camps.  ‘s easy to tell when you’re out on the river with us that our equipment stands tall above the rest!


NMRA was founded by career river guides with commercial rafting experience on some of the world’s most iconic and challenging rivers.  From day trips on the Cherry Creek section of the Tuolomne River in California to 16 day expeditions on the Zanskar River in Northwest India, we have experienced the best of rafting and strive to deliver that to all of our guests on every trip we run.   


One question we always get is, “What do you do in the winter?”  Well, we talk with guests about their plans for the next season, develop new trips and itineraries and constantly work on ways to improve NMRA.  We are dedicated to growing and evolving as the premier adventure company in New Mexico 


Our menu planning is one of the most popular topics of conversation in our office and boatyard.  We love to cook and prepare meals and we like to think that it shows on all of our trips.  In 2015, we were the first company to begin preparing a hot lunch for our guests on all full day trips.  We carry everything necessary, including stoves, to prepare delicious Chicken and Veggie Fajitas riverside.  But, you really must sign up for our 3 day Rio Chama trip to see the best part of our cuisine.  From thick ribeye and whole salmon filets to interesting charcuterie boards and amazing Dutch Oven desserts.  Don’t count on losing any weight on our overnight trips!


NMRA is a family-owned company, founded and still run by Its founders, Matt and Wendy Gontram.  But more than that, our staff of friendly, outgoing, fun and empathetic young professionals, always comment on how much it feels like a family.  From great camaraderie on and off the river to many get-togethers, private trips and reunions during the off season.  You can feel it from the minute you enter the Headquarters for your trip.

As for value, you won’t find better during your stay in Northern New Mexico.   There is no other outfitter that provides the same overall experience, service, and attention to detail that you will find at NMRA.  We regularly offer discounts and Specials throughout the year so make sure to see our Specials on the Homepage and keep in touch with us through our Newsletter and Social Media for all the latest news!