Difficulty III
Length 24 Miles
Flow Range 500 - 10000 CFS
Flow Rate as of: 42 minutes ago 773 [CFS] ℹ️
Reach Info Last Updated 07/14/2020 5:51 am

River Description

For information, see New Mexico Whitewater, by NM State Parks & Rivers of SW, by

The reaches of the Taos Box area are...

Ute Mountain (Class II),
Razors (Class III/IV),
Upper Box (Class V/V+),
Lower Box (Class III/IV),
Pilar (Class III/IV),
Otowi Bridge (Class III),
Red River (Class IV),
Rio Pueblo (Class V+), and
Rio Embudo (Class V+).

Rapid Descriptions


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9 years ago

According to the BLM, the put-in is now at Espanola 10 miles upstream. I don't know if Otowi Bridge is closed to put-in, or if the BLM is simply trying to discourage it. Be sure to look into this, it will add an extra day to the trip. The Otowi Bridge put-in is on the Pueblo of San Ildefonso land and is fenced off and locked up. Instead of the Espanola put-in, you can put in about 2-3 miles downstream where the Buckman Road intersects the river on National Forest land. I wouldn't leave a car there overnight, though! This will make your shuttle much shorter.

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11 years ago

June 14,2009. We're running this next weekend. Will update on return. Contact hulih20@hotmail.com

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Tim Johnson
16 years ago

The land surrounding Otowi bridge is on San Ildefonso Pueblo, so access is restricted, but there are several fun little class II rapids between there and the bottom of the red dot trail. After red dot, there are four class III's. The first two are one after another. Stay right for the second. Almost all the current in the third rapid goes over a big rock, we have had problems there before and haven't found a good way around it, it all depends on water levels. After the last rapid, which is pretty close to Ancho Canyon, it is really flat water all the way to Cochiti Lake and it seems to go on forever until you hit the lake and have to paddle a couple miles. I would recommend hiking out at the Bandelier falls trail. Overall, it is a very fun trip, lots of beautiful scenery and very remote, you probably won't see anyone on the river.

Gage Descriptions

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Directions Description

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No Accident Reports



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We Need your Help to Protect Paddlers’ Access to New Mexico Rivers and Streams

Kestrel Kunz

Rivers once promoted by the New Mexico State Parks Division in their publication “New Mexico Whitewater - A Guide to River Trips” are now being blocked by private landowners with barricades, cables and No Trespassing signs. This includes upper Chama and Pecos river segments. Privatizers have filed additional applications that would close several other river segments in New Mexico, and their lawyers are threatening an “immense wave” of constitutional “litigation” in the event that “any action by the Court, the Legislature, the Department, or the Commission… restrict[s] landowners’ rights to prevent the public from using their streambeds underlying public waters.” American Whitewater has been working with our local partners in New Mexico to ensure that this new Rule is rescinded. We need your support to win this battle. If you’re in a position to contribute, doing so will help us with legal expenses for our partners and outreach.

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NM Senators Introduce Wild and Scenic River Legislation - Help us thank them!

Kestrel Kunz

We are celebrating a great win today after New Mexico Senators Udall and Heinrich announced the introduction of the M.H. Dutch Salmon Greater Gila Wild and Scenic River Act. The Act, officially introduced on May 8, would protect over 440 miles of free-flowing rivers and streams in the Gila and San Francisco watersheds. If passed, the Gila and San Francisco Rivers and their tributaries would receive permanent protection under the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act - the strongest protection a river can receive. While the Gila legislation gives flexibility to existing uses and landowners, the free-flowing nature and outstanding values of these rivers and streams would be protected now and for future generations to enjoy. The main stem Gila and San Francisco Rivers offer some of the most remote and wild paddling opportunities in New Mexico and have been explored and loved by paddlers for decades. Please help us thank the Senators for their commitment to protect these rivers by filling out this super easy form! 


Kestrel Kunz


Thomas O'Keefe


Matt Muir


Revision #Revision DateAuthorComment
1208106 07/15/17 Kestrel Kunz
1214530 03/17/20 Thomas O'Keefe updated name
1215545 07/14/20 Thomas O'Keefe updated image position
1191019 08/10/05 n/a n/a