Rio Chama New Mexico Scenic One-Day River Rafting Trips
The Rio Chama in Northern New Mexico is America's Newest Wild and Scenic River. A dam-controlled stream, impounded by El Vado Reservoir, the 10 mile Rio Chama river rafting trip trip begins near the tranquil setting of the Christ in the Desert Monastery and ends at the head of Abiquiu Reservoir on a silty desert river, rolling among the rainbow cliffs so typical of the Four Corners region. Located in one of the most beautiful parts of New Mexico, sandstone cliffs from the Triassic and Jurassic ages surround us on our 30-45 minute drive.
One-day river rafting trips are available to groups of 4 or more April through early September. Click here to reserve a rafting trip down the Chama River.
We welcome first-time rafters 6 years of age and older. You should be in normal good health. Most people prefer paddle boats or an individual inflatable kayak on this Class II river.
$115 per adult/$100 per child, 50% advance deposit required. For an inflatable kayak add $13.00.
We meet at 11:00 AM at Ghost Ranch. You’ll find Ghost Ranch 15 miles north of Abiquiu, New Mexico on US
Highway 84 at mile marker 227. After a 45 minute drive along multi-hued sandstone cliffs, we near the Christ in the Desert Monastery where we put in the Rio Chama. We encounter our first rapid, Meandering, followed by a lively whitewater run (Class II) consisting of Skull Bridge and Gauging Station, into the headwaters of Abiquiu Lake. Taking out at mid-afternoon, enables us to return you to your vehicles around 5 pm.
Head south on Highway 68 to Espanola. In Espanola turn right (west) and then head northwest on Highway 84 past Abiquiu. Allow about two hours for the drive from Taos.
From Santa Fe
Head north on Highway 285 & 84 to Espanola. In Espanola bear left (west) and then stay on Highway 84 northwest past Abiquiu. Allow about 90 minutes for the drive from Santa Fe.
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Our 11 AM meeting time enables travelers lodging the night before the trip in Santa Fe or Taos to easily make the 11 AM meeting, In Abiquiu, try the Abiquiu Inn 800-447-5621, abiquiuinn.com . For our favorite great vacation homes try Casita De Chuparosa (they have a fully stocked gourmet kitchen with yummy breakfast items)or abiquiucasitas.com for Casita De Chocolate,(Mmmmm), located in the Plaza in Abiquiu. abiquiuvacationhomes.com has many wonderful homes to choose from as well.
In Chama, terminal for the Cumbres-Toltec Scenic Railroad, several comfortable lodges are available, including the Spruce Lodge (505) 756-2593. Consider combining your Chama trip with the old-fashioned, high mountain train ride. For information or reservations, phone Cumbres-Toltec R.R. (505) 756-2151.