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.
Big smiles! How about a trip down the Racecourse for you and your missus ( or Mr.) in a double funyak? They don’t call them “funyaks” for nothing! This photo was shot yesterday, 7-21-2014. Photo by Britt Runyon.
Double-funyak with your kid! On the Racecourse stretch of the Rio Grande. Available everyday at 9 AM and 1 PM. Photo by Britt Runyon.
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
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.
The Rio Grande river is now warm (70m degrees!), which makes rafting, swimming and funyakking extra fun and refreshing. If you’re fit and not all thumbs, you too can funyak. The photo shows the most exciting moment on the Racecourse section, at the “Slot”, at Big Rock Rapid. You can request a funyak on our New Mexico Rafting Racecourse trip, at no extra charge.
Here’s a new fun photo by Britt Runyon