The average Rio Grande white water rafting season in New Mexico begins in mid-March and goes through October. Although, times differ from year to year depending on the weather patterns that year. Rafting has the best rapids during the months of April and May, but the air and water temperature is cooler than it would be if you went in June. If you plan your rafting trip during the earlier months, it is recommended to wear a synthetic base layer even if the company provides wetsuits.
If you’re looking for some of the best white water rafting in the west, then Taos County is where you need to look. Here are a handful of places we recommend to book your white water rafting experience.
- Los Rios River Runners in Taos is the oldest, largest, and most experienced rafting company in New Mexico. They have been rafting the river canyons throughout Northern New Mexico since 1972. They offer half-day and 3 day excursions.
- Sitzmark Sports and Lodge offers Pilar Canyon Rafting which offers half days and full days for both children and adults. Taos Box Rafting is also offered, but only on Sundays and Mondays. Taos Box Rafting is famous for its Class III-IV whitewater rapids and is a 16 mile stretch of the Rio Grande. When you book a full day raft with Sitzmark Sports your package includes your guide, gear, transportation, and a snack.
- Red River Offroad offers both challenging and mild whitewater trips down the Rio Grande. Half-day tours are available for both trips and are offered to depart in the mornings and right after lunch. Red River Offroad supplies the rafting equipment, life jackets, wetsuits, dry bags, and an experienced rafting guide. You must bring any extra items you may need such as sunscreen, hat, quick-dry clothes or a bathing suit, as well as tennis shoes.
- Red River Angler and Sport offers one of the best guided white water rafting experiences in the west. Guided kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding is another fun activity you can enjoy with your friends and family while exploring the mountainous area. Whether you are looking for an extreme class 4 or a beautiful class 2 scenic float, RRAS has your back. Their signature full-day Rio Grande Gorge trip is perfect for the whole family. This trip travels 12-16 miles with numerous class 2 and 3 rapids. A hot chicken fajita lunch is served riverside halfway through the trip.
- New Mexico Adventure Company is located in Red River. Rafting is offered everyday of the week, with weekend prices being just a little bit more expensive than during the week. You will see beautiful views of the Sangre De Cristo mountains as you raft down the Rio Grande. Call or visit BigHorn Sports and Rentals website for more information and to make reservations.
Keep in mind that Taos Box is not runnable below certain levels and that changes every year. Don’t forget to ask about inflatable kayaks during the months with lower water levels. Make your reservations before you arrive in Red River to ensure you have a date and time booked for your rafting experience. Be sure to share your pictures with us so we can live vicariously through your rafting trip!