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Difficulty I-II
Length 15 Miles
Gauge RIO CHAMA NEAR LA PUENTE, NM
Flow Range 200 - 2000 CFS
Flow Rate as of: 1 month ago 23.6 [CFS]
Reach Info Last Updated 07/15/2017 4:05 am

River Description


WARNING! A PADDLER HAS RECENTLY (May 2003) STATED THAT THERE ARE 8 NEW BARBED WIRE FENCES ACROSS THIS STRETCH OF RIVER. PADDLE WITH CAUTION!

This is a pretty run, from the 64/84 bridge just south of Chama to the NM 95 bridge near Tierra Amarilla. There is an alternate takeout at the Fisherman's Access a few miles south of Chama on the west side of 64/84. Don't expect too much play although there are a couple of spots. This is mostly a float trip. The best play spot is a nice wave train that forms around 400cfs just north of the NM 95 bridge (visible from the road). It is possible to park at the bridge and walk 100-200 yards upstream to surf and play.
We ran into a fence across the river one year but it was easily negotiable and was gone the next year.

Rapid Descriptions

Comments

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Matt Muir
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15 years ago

There is a report of several barbed-wire fences along this section. "We floated his pretty description this week and there are eight barbed wire fences along that entire 15 mile section. It is extremely dangerous with no signs posted. The wire fences are hard to see and one turned over our raft."
Please be very wary of this reach until it is known that the fences have been removed; in fact, be wary of this reach, period! As the Disclaimer notes, "All information on these and associated pages, including (but not limited to) descriptions of rapids, levels, directions, and weather, is subject to change without notice." Take heed and pursue this reach with due caution!

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n/a
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2 years ago

Would appreciate any new beta on this run to both the Albuquerque Meetup.com paddlers group and to New Mexico State Parks who is trying to keep good beta on all runs in the state as well. www.nmparks.com Send any new beta on this run to stephen.verchinski@state.nm.us Thanks

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Adam Hill
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2 years ago

My apologies, I beleive I left a comment here that I intended for the Los Ojos to Elvado section https://www.americanwhitewater.org/content/River/detail/id/1219/ I have never run from Chama to Los Ojos and obviously can't speak to any hazards that may be present in that section.

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Adam Hill
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2 years ago

There have been a few of us running this the past couple of years. As of right last weekend (April 30, 2016) there were no fences and no wood in the big rock rapids flows are rising though. The paddle out is still short as the lake level is currently low, but that is growing as the lake fills. You still needed to hike over the hill to the North boat ramp on El Vado Lake, but the gate was finally open so you could get your vehicle there (don't count on that in April). It's a beautiful class III paddle, I have done it overnight and as a day run in an IK 6 times in the last 2 years.

Gauge Description


Gauge is south of actual run. 420cfs = good surf. 1250 = big!

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Directions Description


We have no additional detail on this route. Use the map below to calculate how to arrive to the main town from your zipcode.

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Member Message - Thanks

2007-10-11 00:00:00-04
Ben Van Camp

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Mark Blakemore

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Kestrel Kunz