Testimonial, 6-13-18

“The absolute best! We took our family with 5 boys and had the BEST time. Orlando and Britt are so kind and super fun!”

Sumer Linder and family did the New Wave No Wave Float trip on 6-13-18. Guides Britt Runyon and Orlando Torres keep putting smiles on people’s faces!

Cholla cactus and funyaks on the river

The Rio Grande Recreation Area (formerly known as Orilla Verde) is part of the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument, and is where we do our New Wave No Wave Float trip. And, yes, those cholla cactus are blooming right now.


You might see an otter. This photo was taken in the Rec Area.

Bighorn sheep ram

Or a bighorn sheep. Also taken in the Rec Area. Or a coyote.

The New Wave No Wave Scenic Float in the Orilla Verde Recreation Area


You can ask to use a funyak, at no extra charge.

Kathy, at Taos Ski Valley

The only thing you can’t do is go skiing!

Cholla Cactus Blooms in Rio Grande del Norte National Monument

Early June is when it happens. The cholla cactus blooms, transforming a menacing large cactus into a marvel! This cactus was photographed on 6/9/18, alongside the Rio Grande, in the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument. New Wave Rafting Co travels this stretch of river in both its New Wave No Wave half-day float trip and its Monument full-day float trip. Do you want to do a sunset float trip? Just ask!

What else? Our half-day Racecourse and full-day Rio Grande Gorge trips, with optional funyaks at no extra cost! If you want to try a funyak – which are very easy to master – be sure to mention it to us when booking your trip. The river water is now warm and great for swimming. With summer temperatures here, the river is the best possible place to be!

The first photo shows the Monument Float trip section of the Rio Grande. Below the Monument Float, at Pilar, is the Rio Grande Wild and Scenic section, with the Racecourse Rapids. We’ve got it all!

The second photo is of a mayfly that landed on my hand while I was out fishing. Trout love mayflies, along with caddis flies, which are especially numerous this summer. They eat the immature (underwater), as well as the adult (on the water surface) stages of these insects. The mayfly shown here is a “Rusty spinner”, named because the mating adults spin around in a cloud above the water.

Cholla cactus and funyaks on the river, in the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument

This is a mayfly – trout food!

Funyak Season Arrives on the Rio Grande, July 1, 2017

When the Rio Grande drops below 600 cfs (cubic feet per second) we pull out our smaller rafts and our funyaks. While we will miss the Taos Box, which. because it is so steep and rocky, requires more than 600 cfs, we look forward to the fun of funyaks and our sport fleet. “Does the lower water level make the river easier?”, you may ask. Well … yes and no. The lower water is safer, in that you are not being rushed pell-mell downstream if you fall in. The water is warm and clear now , as well – 65 degrees warm as of 7-1-17 – making it much more fun for swimming. Yes, we do a lot of swimming during this part of our season.  But the “no” part of the answer is that, while we have fewer big waves in the Rio, the lower water has allowed more rocks to break the surface – and we now have to maneuver around those exposed rocks. This makes the river more “technical” – meaning more rafting/funyakking technique is required. Either on the part of the guide, who may be shouting paddling commands at you, one after the other, or on your part, as you dodge between the rocks. Of course, everything else being equal, a funyak can thread the passages with greater ease than a raft. And, funyaks are more much stable and user-friendly than regular hard kayaks. We rent funyaks for 4 hr. unguided trips on the Class 2 Orilla Verde stretch, with shuttle included, and we provide funyaks on our regular trips at no extra cost, but you have to request them beforehand. Are you handy? Then you can likely handle a funyak.

Funyak, on the Racecourse in typical mid-summer conditions

Funyakking the Racecourse

One of our smaller rafts, on the Racecourse

Double funyak on the Racecourse section of the Rio Grande

Swimming a little fast water at After Five, photo by Jeff Heveron

Allison and her dad in a double funyak

Funyak negotiates Big Rocks Rapid, on the Racecourse

A gaggle of funyakers?

New Wave Rafting Company Article

Outdoor reporter Karl Moffat has written a very informative article on the current status of rafting in New Mexico, which article features New Wave Rafting Co VP Steve Miller. Unexpected amounts of water have showed up in the Rio Grande since the Memorial Day weekend, allowing rafting companies to run the Taos Box, and experience considerably more excitement on the Racecourse. We don’t know, of course, how long this extra water supply will last, so now is the time to go rafting!

Thanks Karl! Here’s a PDF of that article: Extra water making NM rivers even more fun | Albuquerque Journal News

Powerline Falls

Powerline Falls

Rainbow Trout Ranch on the Racecourse

The Rainbow Trout Ranch is located in southern Colorado, not far from the Rio Grande river, near Taos, NM. We take their guests on a Racecourse raft trip once a week in the summer. These are photos of their staff getting an orientation trip, before they send their guests down.

On the Racecourse run on the Rio Grande river, near Taos, NM, with guide Adrian

On the Racecourse run, with guide Adrian

On the Racecourse run on the Rio Grande river, near Taos, NM

Smiling faces

On the Racecourse run on the Rio Grande river, near Taos, NM

A raft and funyaks

On the Racecourse run on the Rio Grande river, near Taos, NM, with guide Adrian

A big wave at Sleeping Beauty

On the Racecourse run on the Rio Grande river, near Taos, NM

Guide Joe, with the funny hat

On the Racecourse run on the Rio Grande river, near Taos, NM

Bouncing around in a raft and funyaks

On the Racecourse run on the Rio Grande river, near Taos, NM, with rafts and funyaks

That’s the Toilet Bowl, in Big Rocks rapid, behind the funyaker