Rio Grande, New Mexico, US
|Usual Difficulty||III (for normal flows)|
|Avg. Gradient||12 fpm|
|RIO GRANDE BLW TAOS JUNCTION BRIDGE NEAR TAOS, NM|
|usgs-08276500||250 - 2500 cfs||III||01h04m||272 cfs (running)|
|Flows of 250 cfs are ok for floating from sleeping beauty to Souse hole without dragging.|
A fun run with some good play at just about any level...above 2000 cfs is a solid level...above 3000 Alberts is a mandatory scout due to a large river-wide hole. At high water, everything is pretty continuous with big random holes and waves, except for Big Rocks, which washes out on the right channel. Souse can be easily avoided at any level as long as you hug the left bank. The most popular playspot is between Big Rocks and Souse, called Sleeping Beauty. It plays better river right of the stack.
Logistics: The standard take-out is at County Line River Access (the Taos County and Rio Arriba County border) at Hwy 68 mile 24.0. An intermediate put-in access is available at Quartzite at Hwy 68 mile 28.2 for a short run. For the full run continue upstream to Pilar and at Hwy 68 mile 28.8 turn on to Hwy 570 that continues up river left. You will enter the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument and find several BLM Campgrounds that include Rio Bravo, Arroyo Hondo, Lone Juniper, and Petaca. At mile 6.0 on Hwy 570 you will reach the Taos Junction Bridge. River access on the downstream river left side of the bridge and camping on river right.
Other runs in the area:
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+).
|Mile||Rapid Name||Class||Features (Legend)|
|0.0||Quartzite River Access||N/A|