Where to Find the Best Rafting in the West

AuthorHiking Hanna

white water rafting New MexicoIf you’re up for an adventure and looking for the best rafting, look no further. Listed below are a few of the best white water rafting trips in the West. The setting and location of any all-inclusive rafting trip will give you a thrill like you have never had before, just ask the 22,000 people who go on rafting trips each year. You will find the perfect location, free from distractions and the best rapids you could want for your trip. 

White Water Rafting in Taos

The adventure in Taos, New Mexico tumbles out of the mountains and out onto the Colorado- New Mexico boundary. It’s long trip begins south through a pass that is so turbulent that it was designated the nation's first wild and scenic river! Located between Arroyo Hondo and Taos, “The Box” offers the best rafting in the West. Ranging from 15 miles long with over 60 rapids, and fifteen class- four rapids, this rafting trip will keep you coming back. This river is great for adventures of families of all ages and also has great spots to stop to swim and relax. One part of the river dips 13 feet in one drop, while another area drops 90 feet in less than a mile. This part of the river takes you through areas known as “Shark Holes”. As you make your way down the river you may see wildlife as well as the endless beauty of the outdoors. Visit Sitzmark website or store located on Main Street to book your rafting trip. 

Wild Rivers Recreation Area

Just northwest of Red River there is an access road to the Wild Rivers Recreation Area. The “Wild Rivers” as the locals call it, offers three different sections for rafting trips. Every raft trip requires a hike into the canyon down to the loading point. The most popular whitewater run in the area is called the “Razorblades”. This eight mile section offers challenging class four-rafts. The Blades is a series of pool drops that are easily run by kayakers and experienced rafters. 

As the Wild River continues downstream it enters into the Upper Taos Box of the Gorge, giving off class five rapids, and some of the most difficult whitewater rafting. The rapids in the Upper Box are long with powerful waves, not to mention the large rocks. The Upper Box ends abruptly when it meets the Red River, beginning the Middle Box, also known as the “La Junta” section, offering class three rapids. 

Rafting the Lower Gorge

The Lower Gorge, just a few miles south of Taos, has multiple adventures for rafting including fishing areas. This part of the river offers level 2 and 3 rapids, ranging 12 miles long. The Los Rios River Runners are highly experienced and dedicated to providing you with rafting tour experience.

Although these rafting trips book a year in advance, it never hurts to look for last-minute cancellations. Whitewater rafting is one of the most exhilarating water sports in the world, but these trips are much more than currents and rapids. So many different types of wildlife are seen while on these rafting trips along with making memories with your friends and family. These day trips are great to add to your Red River experience. 

Red River NM Fisherman's Guide