This run is very much a "creek" run in its character. Though most local boaters consider this a class 3 or 4 run, it is a shallow, fast, and continuous with small eddys and almost no flatwater. The run is also rocky and most recommend the use of a creek boat to be safer from pins. If you swim in this creek it is going to be bumpy and bruises and cuts often occur. This run is also subject to falling trees and has blind corners that should be scouted to avoid paddling into a surprise strainer. During the winter of 2007 several big trees fell across the river causing dangerous strainers. 2 of the three of these have been removed by local boaters. As of 2008 there is a river wide strainer just below the bridge to the monestary with the white statue on river left approximately 1/2 mile above the Soda Dam take out. Either portage or just take out here because the good part of the run is over by this point. The best eddy is usually below the bridge on river left.
This run includes several river islands that split the river and each side is lined tightly with overhanging sweeper willows. These can collect washed down strainers and it varies from year to year as to which side or both are runnable. In the past few seasons the best path on the last Island has been river right underneath the prayer flags that are strung across the river. A significant portion of this creek runs though private land so be courteous to the locals. I have had so far nothing but positive experineces with local homeowners and fisherman. It's a good idea if you encouter local fisherman, to ask if they know of any new trees down across the river.
For all the negatives this run is extremely fun and the shuttle is easy and fast to set up. If you judge it only by the small areas you can see from the road you are really missing all the good stuff in this run. The run changes character a lot from the brushy islands to rocky boulder gardens and sweeping corners. This almost always the first creek that runs in NM on any given year. It's a good fun warmup for the experienced and a step up challenge for those who have learned on the Rio Grande Race Course run below 1000 cfs.
6 years ago
by Rob Gauss
7 years ago
The online gauge gives flows after the confluence of the Rio Guadalupe and the Jemez. Therefore the online guage is not the cfs that is in the run below Battleship rock. There is a visual guage below Battleship rock that shows the actual flow in this run.
Normally the Jemez runs first somtime from mid March to Mid April. Often it flows for only a few days to a week. Later the flow from the Rio Guadalupe takes over and most of the flow is not in the Jemez run. It is quite possible in April to show 500 to 900 cfs on the online guage and there is not a runnable level in the Jemez.
Below are my notes for the visual and online guages.
Notes from 2005 season:
April 9 Online guage 350 cfs Visual guage 2.4 ft
April 15th Online guage 550 cfs Visual guage 2.9 ft
April 16th Online guage 700 cfs Visual guage 3.2 ft
April 26th Online guage 520 cfs Visual guage 2.4 ft
Notes from 2007 season:
Mar 17th Visual 2.6 ft
Mar 18th Visual 3.1 ft
Mar 29th Visual 2.9 ft
Notes from 2008 season
Mar 28th Online guage 550 cfs Visual guage 3.2 ft 1620 hrs
Mar 29th Online guage 500 cfs Visual guage 3.1 ft 1600 hrs
Run is very good from 2.9 ft to 3.2 ft.
Permits are not required for this reach.
We have no additional detail on this route.
Use the map below to calculate how
to arrive to the main town from your zipcode.
If someone gets hurt on a river, or you read about a whitewater-related injury, please report it to
American Whitewater. Don't worry about multiple submissions from other witnesses, as our safety
editors will turn multiple witness reports into a single unified accident report.
Log into the American Whitewater website and you can contribute to river descriptions,
flow and access tips, and maps associated with runs you've done. You can even add new
runs to the inventory!