Project Description

Upper Gorge Three Day





  • SEASON: Closed in the spring for raptor nesting season, this wonderful and exhilarating trip is available June 1-September 30
  • PARTICIPANTS:  We welcome beginning rafters 12 years of age and older. You should be in normal good health and prepared for the moderate exertion of paddling, possible swimming, a one-mile hike on a rocky trail and a steep half-mile hike on a well maintained trail.
  • CRAFT:  Guides will do the navigating paddle rafts, or those who wish to hold on and ride along may request an oar boat. For the first two days you may request inflatable kayaks.
  • COST: Adult: $525.00   50% Deposit Required

  • CANCELLATION POLICY:  Reservation cancellation more than 2 weeks before trip date receives a refund minus 10% of trip cost. Less than two weeks before trip date forfeits deposit.
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Sample Itinerary

We are very proud to be the only company to offer this incredible trip. Our first two days are spent between low basalt walls on the easy rapids of the Ute Mountain section and our third day on the steep whitewater of the Class IV Razorblades section.

This is a fantastic wilderness trip that provides archaeological sites, star gazing, wildlife, and awesome whitewater. This summer will be the first summer that we offer these sections in combination and we are the first company to run this trip. Be one of the first people to experience this special glimpse into the wilds of New Mexico. The option to inflatable kayak or stand up paddleboard on the first two days is a great idea for anyone looking for a more adventuresome experience.

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.

A Ute Mountain trip provides outstandingly 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 nesting season. The recently reintroduced river otter is thriving here, making sighting much more probable than other stretches of the river. Elk, deer, and rocky mountain bighorn sheep also call the area home.

The Razorblades section (day 3) is an exciting and isolated section with intermittent Class II-III rapids for the first part of the day that then ends with 1 ½ miles of solid, continuous Class-IV whitewater.

Day 1:

Just down from the put-in we will visit the remains of an ancient Indian village. Dream of the past as you view large petroglyph groupings surrounded by the short walled ruins of a Ute Indian settlement that looks out over the canyon of the Rio Grande and the distant snow capped peaks of the Sangre de Cristo mountains. This first day will take us across the state line from southern Colorado into northern New Mexico. We will end early the first day to allow time for an easy scenic 1/2 mile hike up Costilla Creek to the rim of the gorge, where we will camp for the night in the wide open plains and take it the normally fantastic sunset.

Day 2:

After a beautiful morning and hot breakfast we will head back down Costilla Creek, keeping an eye out for the numerous petroglyphs along this once perennial stream. As we descend deeper into the wilderness the riverbed steepens and we will splash through our first Class I and II rapids, explore hanging canyons, and take in incredible views of the Sangre De Christo Mountains towering in the distance (a rarity to be seen from the river). We will camp once again on the rim of the canyon, but this time only 200 yards up from the river’s edge.

Day 3:

The day will begin with a refresher on safety, as day three will take us into 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 and a half is where the section gets its name, and will be non-stop whitewater and a series of technical drops and boulder gardens.

We will finish the day at either Big Horn Sheep Trail or Chiflo Trail depending on water levels, each will be a steep half mile hike from the river to the rim of the canyon. From the parking lot at the top it will be about a 30 minute drive back to our boathouse and your vehicle.

Camp Scene:

Get ready to pitch a tent, sling a hammock, throw down a pad, and relax! Every day we will prepare and serve you a delicious riverside lunch, not limited to, but often including an array of home-roasted sandwich meats and homemade dips and salsas (see some of our recipes here). In addition, our camp dinners and breakfasts are a classic staple of the Far Flung experience, as 40 years in business has not only taught us the principles of reading white-water…but also of cooking and camp ambiance!

***Please let us know ahead of time about any allergies or special food requirements***

Camp Gear:

Following is a list of required and recommend items for this three-day camping excursion. As part of the trip we will provide waterproof drybags for all of your personal items and camp chairs for fireside relaxation and enjoyment.

Please click here to look at a more in-depth list of required and recommended camp gear: Going Camping? Here’s what you’ll need.

If needed, we provide sleeping bags and sleeping pads for an additional $12/day.