Out of the Raft at Sunset Rapid (Movie), Rio Grande

Out of the Raft at Sunset Rapid, Taos Box, Rio Grande, New Mexico

Taos Junction Rapid (aka Sunset Rapid) ends the Taos Box run on the Rio Grande, in the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument. It’s called Taos Junction Rapid because it’s just upstream of Taos Junction Bridge – this bridge having been named for the reason that it connected Taos and the Taos Junction station on the Chili Line, a narrow-gauge railway that once ran west of the gorge. Also, it’s located at the “junction” of a major tributary – Taos Creek – and the Rio Grande, Taos Creek being the source of the boulders that make the rapid.

In this high-water scene, Taos Creek enters the Rio Grande from the left. The big wave seen right of center is created by a large boulder that was deposited into the river by  flooding in Taos Creek. This is the big wave  seen in the movie that follows. Kathy Miller photo.

Taos Junction Rapid (aka Sunset Rapid), after a flood in Taos Creek that narrowed the Rio Grande. Taos Junction Bridge is seen downstream. Steve Miller photo.

Taos Junction Bridge

Sunset Rapid of the Taos Box.

Taos Junction Rapid (aka Sunset Rapid). Photo courtesy of Southern Exposure Photography

Many folks ask about what happens if you fall out of the raft. My typical answer is that we usually find you. But, to be serious, the following movie shows a good example of how we get you back. Points to notice: the guest did not let go of her paddle, which she could extend back to the raft to help pull her over; she got on her back with feet up to fend off rocks; she positioned herself next to the boat so that she could be pulled back in on her back, which is much easier than trying to pull her in on her stomach; it didn’t take long to get to her and get her back in – usually the water calms down after a rapid making it easier to chase after a “swimmer”. Watch it now!

For reservations visit: http://www.newwaverafting.com/

Or call: 800-984-1444

Opening Day in the Taos Box, March 2017

Opening Day in the Taos Box, March 2017

The Taos Box team for opening day.

The video found below was taken on New Wave Rafting’s first Taos Box whitewater adventure of the 2017 season.

The Taos Box (short for “box canyon”) is the premier run on the Rio Grande – 16 miles in a vertically-walled wilderness gorge, with challenging rapids (Class 4+) guaranteed to get you wet. It is in the top rank of one-day wilderness whitewater trips in the country, and is included in the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument, New Mexico. And, by the way, we haven’t seen high water on the Box for quite some time, and believe that this will be the year when the run-off hits record or near record levels. How much water is that? In rafting parlance, that’s about 8000 cubic feet a second (cfs). Imagine the amount of water contained in 8000 boxes that are twelve inches on a side, going by in a second’s time. Or, 8 times the amount of water seen in the video below!! And the next question is, of course, when will that run-off start in earnest? Generally, the run-off peaks in the first week of June, but we’re betting that the river will stay very high throughout the month. In preparation for that, we’re getting our BIG boats out – our 16 footers – that can handle the very big waves we expect to see, such as in the photo below:

Powerline Falls in the Taos Box in high water

Don’t fail to watch this video of opening day on the Box. You’re just gonna love these guys. They are SO into it. Of course, that’s typical of our customers, who just cannot get enough. Are you that kind of person? Then what are you waiting for?

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Or call:  800-984-1444

Back to the Box

Back to the Box! We’re thrilled to have good flows for our Taos Box run, and have 7 guests there today (along with some Box guide trainees), who will enjoy 80 degree temperatures, bighorn sheep sightings and maybe even see the otters, or golden eagles, or migrating western tanagers … or who knows what? The Taos Box run is 16 miles of wilderness gorge, positioned in the heart of the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument, which has been set aside to preserve the land and riverscape of the Rio Grande Gorge of northern New Mexico.

We also have a boatload of guide trainees on the Racecourse run. Summer and whitewater action is here!!

Dead Car rapid, in the Taos Box

Dead Car rapid, in the Taos Box. Photo by Britt Runyon


2016 Season Begins with a Bang!

2016 Season Begins with a Bang! New Wave began its 2016 season on Saturday, March 12, with a Taos Box trip and a Racecourse trip. For the Box,the weather was nice to begin, but then the wind started to blow! The party saw an otter and lots of bighorn sheep. Britt Runyon guided the Taos Box trip, with 4 guests from New York (see photo below) . Britt got an assist from Mike Boren, who rowed a support boat. We never send a single, unaccompanied, boat down the Box. Here’s the Box crew.

Opening day in the Taos Box.

Our Box crew, at the John Dunn bridge Box put-in

Here’s the Esquivel family, from San Antonio, Texas, after their morning Racecourse trip, with guides Hendrix Johnston and Joey Coburn, who rowed a support boat. They wrote: “Steve, we had a great time today.  Hendrix and Joey were great guides and made the trip very enjoyable and memorable.”


The Esquivel ladies, at the Racecourse County Line take-out

Here is the Gonzalez family from Houston. Britt guided them down the Racecourse on Sunday afternoon.


The Gonzalez family, at the Quartzite put-in.

Another herald of spring is the blooming of the forsythia. Here’s our one forsythia bush.

Forsythia Mar132016_0666

Forsythia bush by the New Wave sign, at our Embudo headquarters

And, how about the water??  Yep, with all the early warm weather, the run-off has started, with a nice volume of water in the river. The flow is 946 cfs at the Embudo gauge, which means some good waves and splashing. We expect the peak to occur in late May or early June, with 2 to 3 times as much water as is in the river right now. The season is young! Come on out and get on the river. You can hardly have more fun. Say that you saw this post to get a 10% discount!



Final Taos Box Trip of 2015, 8/2/15

Final Taos Box Trip of 2015, 8/2/15. There’s lots to see and do on a Taos Box trip – 16 miles of Class 3 and 4 rapids in a wilderness gorge, populated with otters, bighorn sheep, eagles, muskrats, beaver …. The Taos Box is the centerpiece of the recently declared Rio Grande del Norte National Monument, which includes the Rio Grande Gorge and wild lands that spread out to either side on the surrounding plains. You can’t get a better one-day wilderness whitewater trip anywhere in the West. Shown here is our last trip of the season, with low water calling a halt to further activity in the Box. It just gets too rocky, as you will see. This fabulous collection of photos were shot by the very talented Britt Runyon, who is New Wave’s Operations Manager and official photographer. He was joined on this trip by guide Joe Cameron. As to next year, if New Mexico benefits from the predicted El Nino, we’ll see good flows in the Rio Grande once again. Think about reserving your Box trip for June, when we get the highest flows of the summer. See you then!!




Rio Grande Gorge High Bridge


One of the introduced bighorn sheep


Dead Car rapid


Young bighorn sheep


Power line Falls. Joe does raft gymnastics.


Powerline Falls


Rock Garden scout and sculpted rock


Rock Garden rapid, with the notorious Camel Rock smack dab in the middle


Boulder Field entrance


Fluted Boulder

Taos Box at 1555 cfs

My wife Kathy graciously offered to take over the office for the day so that I could do the Box. It would be a pity to miss out on this level, because it’s just so much fun, without being very hard. And, I (being 75 years of age) need the practice and exercise, since Kathy, myself, Britt and CJ are going to Peru in the Fall to run over 300 miles of the Rio Marañón (http://www.sierrarios.org/GuidedTrips/RaftTripInfo_Maranon.html).  We’ll be boating from the foothills of the Andes down to the jungle, and the trip includes Class IV and V rapids!

The Rio Hondo enters the Rio Grande just below the put-in at John Dunn Bridge

The Rio Hondo enters the Rio Grande just below the put-in at John Dunn Bridge

60 mph Rapid, in the Playground section. It got this name because a "60 MPH" speed limit sign had been propped (for a while) against a rock alongside the rapid.

60 mph Rapid, in the Playground section. It got this name because a “60 MPH” speed limit sign had been propped (for a while) against a rock alongside the rapid.

The flat-topped mid-stream rock in the Playground section

The flat-topped mid-stream rock in the Playground section

The "Dead Car"

The “Dead Car”

The approach to the right run of Dead Car Rapid

The approach to the right run of Dead Car Rapid

Dead Car rapid

Dead Car rapid

The approach to Rock Garden rapid, known as "Rocky 1"

The approach to Rock Garden rapid, known as “Rocky 1”

Below Rock Garden is Kathy's Cleaver, named for my wife Kathy

Below Rock Garden is Kathy’s Cleaver, named for my wife Kathy

These photos were taken with a point and shoot waterproof Panasonic Lumix camera.