Rio Chama, New Mexico, US
|Usual Difficulty||I-III (for normal flows)|
|RIO CHAMA NEAR LA PUENTE, NM|
|usgs-08284100||400 - 4000 cfs||I-III||28d15h54m||189 cfs (too low)|
This is a great run. The river goes through a nice canyon and there are no roads or river access
for much of it. There are many huge boulders in the river channel and some great play along the
way. There is a tricky putin in the town of La Puente but I recommend putting in at the NM 95
bridge as there is better parking and less chance of trouble in a very tiny town.....
The takeout is at a boat launch on the north end of El Vado Reservoir and comes after a
long flatwater paddle out. I would recommend taking out at a fishing access point (under
the footbridge) and following a steep but relatively short path up the canyon wall. This take out
is just upstream of the Heron Reservoir Dam. You really don't miss much from the alternate
takeout to the "official" one, except some boring flatwater.
The shuttle route is rather strange. You start on one side of the river and make a U-turn over it and come down on the other side to reach the takeout. For information, see New Mexico Whitewater, by NM State Parks, & Rivers of the SW, by Fletcher Anderson. For more beta, check out Boating Waters, by NM State Parks.