Located within the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument, the Ute Mountain run is a place of wild natural beauty, traces of early native peoples, and thriving wildlife. Join the Rio Grande as it begins its gradual descent into the deep basalt walls of 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.
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 great thing about these dates is that they are literally one day after this area is opened back up to the public. Due to the tremendously high density of bird life, especially birds of prey, this section of river is off limits from March-May for the raptor nesting season. There are also a ton of river otters, big horn sheep, and some great archeological sites along the river corridor!
The first 2 people to book before March 15th can save 10% using promo code “ute10”
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 3/4 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.
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). Our ending point on day two will be just south of Ute Mountain in Sunshine Valley and will be a short and steep 200-yard hike up to the rim from the rivers edge.
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***
Following is a list of required and recommend items for this three-day camping excursion. You will also receive this list as part of your confirmation email. As part of the trip we will provide waterproof drybags for all of your personal items and camp chairs for fireside relaxation and enjoyment. Tents, pads and sleeping bags are not included though if needed we provide a sleep kit (1 two man tent, 1 sleeping bag and sleeping pad) for an additional $12/night.
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.