Rio Chama - 03. Los Ojos to El Vado Lake

Rio Chama, New Mexico, US


03. Los Ojos to El Vado Lake

Usual Difficulty I-III (for normal flows)
Length 15 Miles

Looking upstream from Big Mama Chama scout

Looking upstream from Big Mama Chama scout
Photo taken 05/22/10 @ high runnable

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
usgs-08284100 400 - 4000 cfs I-III 01h03m 59.9 cfs (too low)

River Description

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.





StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2017-07-15 04:18:35


Rapid Descriptions

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