Project Description

Whole Gorge Three Day




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  • SEASON: This section is flow dependent, though assuming an average snowpack generally April 1 – August 1
  • 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, and a 1-mile downhill hike on an easy trail.
  • CRAFT: Guides will do the navigating paddle rafts, or those who wish to hold on and ride along may request an oar boat. On day three you may request an inflatable kayak or stand up paddleboard.
  • COST: Adult: $550.00   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.

Beginning with a one-mile hike, accompanied by pack animals, into the remote depths of the Wild Rivers section of the Rio Grande National Monument, this trip is like no other multi-day whitewater experience in New Mexico. Our Wild River Three-Day begins near the town of Questa, and follows the corridor of the Rio Grande down through 40 miles of rugged canyons, spectacular high-desert scenery, incredible wilderness, and some of the best Class III-IV whitewater in the American west.

Launches available April 1-Sep 30


Save 10% on trips in May and June by booking before April 15

Use coupon code “riogrande10” at checkout or over the phone

Day 1:

We will meet at the Far Flung office at 8 am, where customers will be provided with all the rafting and camping equipment they need and have requested for the trip. After a short 40-minute shuttle to the Little Arsenic Springs trailhead, we will meet with our horse packer, load the gear onto the animals, and begin our descent into the Gorge. The ½ mile trail offers an interesting exploration of local environments as we descend from the sagebrush and juniper grasslands seen at the rim, and down into the canyon to the rivers edge, an area of tall pine, spruce and fir. We will launch just below the Class VI Little Arsenic rapid and quickly drop into the class IV La Junta rapid, formed at the confluence of the impressive Rio Grande and Red River canyons. From there our trip will take a slightly more relaxed tone, as the remainder of the day will be an off and on, splashy, Class III float through the heart of the Wild and Scenic section of the Rio Grande National Monument. In the afternoon, after meeting up with our gear boat and floating past several hot springs and a few more rapids we will camp riverside at Ski Jump Canyon, a wonderful beach looking downstream at the steepest and most narrow place in the canyon, as well as the Taos Gorge Bridge.   Day 1 will primarily be in what is called the Middle Box (link MB), a section known for its solitude, Indian petroglyphs, pristine wildlife, and healthy populations of German brown trout. Fishing trips are an option for those anglers in search of an exciting whitewater fishing trip through an unspoiled wilderness (link fishing)

Day 2:

You will wake up to an excellent breakfast and hot, fresh coffee to start your day. After a leisurely morning we will load up the rafts and head downstream into 15 miles and 15 class III and IV rapids of the world famous Taos Box. Beginning at the top of the nearly vertical “Powerline Falls”, we will descend through the steep canyon and constant busy-water through better-known rapids such as “The Rockgarden” and “Screaming Left Hand Turn”. While crashing through the final class IV of the day, “Sunset Rapid”, a photographer will capture some snapshots of your run. Following Sunset Rapid the canyon abruptly widens as we enter the tranquil Orilla Verde section. We will camp riverside at one of the beautiful Orilla Verde Recreation Area campsites, which will allow our camp some basic amenities like running water and restrooms.

Day 3:

Our final day will be comprised of a trip through the Lower Gorge. Our morning will begin with a leisurely float through the gentle oxbows beneath the ever-widening volcanic gorge towering above and around you. The morning will consist of beautiful scenery, wildlife, and a few mellow rapids. This day’s midpoint is the village of Pilar, New Mexico where we will observe a quiet zone to minimize the impact of our passage through the farmlands of this historic, pastoral New Mexican community. Below the village, we will enter the Rio Grande Racecourse, a section of Class III whitewater with rapids like “The Narrows” and “Sousehole”, where you will again have your splashy descent captured by photographers. We will take out at County Line Recreation Area and have you back to your car by 3:00-4:00pm after about a half-hour drive to our office.

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. You will also receive this list as part of your confirmation email. As part of the trip we will provide tents, waterproof dry bags for all of your personal items, and camp chairs for fireside relaxation and enjoyment. Pads and sleeping bags are not included though if needed we provide a sleep kit (1 sleeping bag and sleeping pad) for an additional $12/night. We also have a deluxe sleep kit available for $20/night (1 cot, sleeping bag, and sleeping pad).

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.