New Mexico's Whitewater Rafting Season starts in mid-April, as ski areas close down and the snow begins to melt. This is the beginning of the "High Water" rafting season. The early season until mid-June offers the biggest excitement and whitewater features. Increasing temperatures and declining water levels as summer progresses lead to New Mexico's technical late season runs. This is a great time for families to go rafting in New Mexico and lasts through the first week of September in most years.
The "Box," perhaps the premier one-day wilderness trip in the US, contains the best whitewater in New Mexico. This 17-mile trip starts just northwest of Taos. We float through relatively calm water for a few miles, practicing our teamwork and paddle strokes for the demanding rapids downstream, including Ski Jump, Dead Car, and Powerline Falls. As the gorge deepens and the white-water increases, we'll still take time to look around at the beauty of northern New Mexico, possibly spotting a bald eagle high on the cliff-tops or a great blue heron on the river's edge. The last two-and-a-half miles of the "Box" are known as the "Rio Bravo," or wild river, section. We challenge one class III or IV rapid after another, then catch our breaths, before dropping into the grand finale, Sunset Rapid. This trip is demanding but unsurpassed in its combination of excitement and wild beauty. A fresh, all-you-can-eat buffet lunch is included, as well as polar fleece tops and full splash suits to keep you comfortable. Minimum age on the Taos Box is 12, although at some water levels we advise that guests have the physical stamina to fully participate.
Trip Length: Full Day
Minimum Age: 13
Season: May - July Intensity Level: Class IV
The Racecourse section is our most popular New Mexico rafting trip, ranging from a wild class III+ ride during the spring high-water to a more technically-demanding run as the water goes down and the rocks come up in July and August. In spring and early summer, be prepared for cold water, big waves, and plenty of excitement. As summer continues, your guide will be depending on you to help maneuver the raft through many tight slots. In addition, the water warms up and there is more opportunity for warm-water fun, such as swimming and boat surfing. The Racecourse is a great trip for beginning whitewater enthusiasts, as well as experienced rafters looking for a quick adrenaline fix. Minimum age is seven, although Kokopelli Rafting Adventures reserves the right to raise the age limit during extremely high water. At lower flows and warmer temperatures typical of later spring and summer new mexico rafting, you will have an opportunity to swim and splash around in the river. This trip travels five miles through a quartzite and basalt gorge near the northern new mexico town of Pilar. Site of the historic Pueblo revolt of 1854.
Trip Length: Half Day
Minimum Age: 7
Season: April 15 - September Intensity Level: Class III