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+), andRio Embudo (Class V+).
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.
June 14,2009. We're running this next weekend. Will update on return. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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For the first time in 34 years, the Gila National Forest is revising their forest-wide Management Plan. On Friday, January 17 they officially released the Draft Plan and Draft Environmental Impact Assessment (DEIS) for a 90-day comment period ending on April 16. Forest Plans are vitally important as they are the blueprint for resource management and they provide an opportunity to secure better protections for rivers and their surrounding landscapes. As part of the plan revision process, the Forest Service is required to rely heavily on public input to inform management direction, plan components, and new designated areas. Read more for a complete schedule of Public Meetings that are happening this week!
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