Our Upper Gorge Three-Day is a Far-Flung exclusive and we are proud to be the only company to offer this incredible trip. This out of the ordinary experience will allow you to visit the most remote portions of the upper Rio Grande and see sections of river that even long-time locals have not been down.
This is a fantastic wilderness trip that provides archaeological sites, wilderness camping,wildlife, and awesome whitewater. This is a unique trip and will allow you to be amongst a small group of people to experience this special glimpse into the wilds of northern New Mexico and the Rio Grande Gorge.
This trip begins in southern Colorado in the open plains between the San Juan and Sangre de Cristo mountain ranges, where the Rio Grande begins its gradual descent into the deep basalt walls of the Rio Grande Gorge. From there you will descend into a deep rift valley and watch the river change in character from a tranquil stream to a steep and technical whitewater river.
The Ute Mountain section is known for remarkable wildlife viewing opportunities: The shorter walls and relative inaccessibility in the northern section of the Monument form a perfect aerie habitat for eagles, falcons, hawks and owls. This section is seldom paddled and is closed to the public from February to April to allow for an undisturbed raptor nesting season. The recently reintroduced river otter is thriving here, making sighting much more probable than other stretches of the river. Herds of elk, deer, and rocky mountain bighorn sheep also call the area home.The Razorblades section is an exciting and isolated section with fun and challenging Class III/IV rapids and a mile long Class-IV section of whitewater to end the trip
Day 1: Just down from the put-in we will visit an ancient Native American petroglyph site.Dream of the past as you view large petroglyph groupings from an ancient Ute Indian settlement looking out over the river and the distant snow capped peaks of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. As this section sees less use that other portions of the river, guests can expect smaller and less maintained campsites. We will go roughly 10 miles on our first day and camp around Ute Mountain.
Day 2: After a beautiful morning and hot breakfast we will make our way downstream. If time allows, we will stop for a short side hike at Costilla Creek to look for the numerous petroglyphs that adorn the walls of this once perineal stream. As we descend deeper into the wilderness the riverbed steepens and we will splash through our first Class-II rapids. You will have opportunity to explore hanging canyons and take in incredible views of the Sangre De Cristo Mountains towering in the distance (a rarity to be seen from the river). We will plan to camp at the beginning of the Razorblades section, at whichpoint large beaches and campsites become readily available.
Day 3: After another beautiful river morning we will pack up and head down the Razorblades section of the Rio Grande Gorge. The river will continue to dig itself deeper in the canyon, which once again will increase the intensity of whitewater that we see. The day will start out leisurely with large scenic float stretches and fun and splashy Class II-III whitewater, then towards the end of the day we will start to see out first Class IV’s. The final mile is where the section gets its name and is non-stop whitewater through a series of technical drops and sharp boulder gardens. The day will end at our takeout at Chiflo Trail, which will be a short and steep quarter-mile hike up out of the gorge. As an added plus to the adventure, the trip will be met by pack animals at the bottom of the takeout trail and gear will be packed up on them. Guests will be expected to carry their personal items and maybe some light group gear if they are able.
Join us for an adventure that you will never forget!