My family rafted and camped with New Wave over three days. Our guides feel like family after this trip! They went above and beyond, not to mention they were just amazing people to be around in general. My favorite rafting trip thus far and we owe it all to new wave. 10/10 recommend. Cathy and Karen were the best!
My family and I went rafting today with New Wave Rafting company. Orlando was our guide and we had an absolute blast!! He provided geology, NM, and Rio Grande history to make the trip interesting and to provide knowledge of the local Gorge. We attended the full day Rio Grande Gorge adventure and was provided a delicious lunch at half day. Thanks Orlando for making our trip memorable!! We will definitely be back and will request Orlando for our guide again!! For future rafters, my family and I would highly recommend this rafting company!!
We love Orlando and Britt! The most awesome guides ever! Thank you, Orlando, for an amazing experience rafting The Box! You need to name our rock! Will never forget, “HIGH SIDE!!!! Let us know if you make it to Charleston, SC
Orlando was an absolutely fantastic tour guide — an area native, he had so much knowledge to share with me and my family. The racecourse was a safe, easy, and sometimes exciting ride for us all.
Testimonials Keep Coming … New Wave Rafting Co is very proud of our tradition of giving our guests all we got! Kathy is mentioned in the top testimonial. Who is Kathy? She is the President of NWRCo, she is 66 yrs old and still at it! And, she just loves the Rio Chama. Here she is, on the Rio Chama.
Today our daughter and our 2 grandchildren went on your New Wave No Wave Float Trip.
It was a wonderful experience. The kids LOVED it. Our guide, Jessie, was delightful. We would ask for him again. The lunch was delicious, and the presentation was picture perfect. We felt like we were the Rockefeller’s. Thank you for offering this option for younger children. We will spread the word.
Vanette and David Harris”
When potential customers ask what distinguishes us from other companies, there’s just one answer: our customer service, which really means our guides. Jessie continues to get rave reviews and requests. Come and meet him!
The New Wave No Wave Scenic Float in the Orilla Verde Recreation Area
The gentle New Wave No Wave Float trip traverses the scenic Orilla Verde section of the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument of northern New Mexico, and is perfect for kids of 4 or 5 years of age and for those who prefer a float to whitewater. Currently, we are trying to protect this National Monument from misguided attempts by the administration in in Washington to either eliminate it completely or alter its present configuration. This Monument is the product of years of advocacy by New Mexicans from every walk of life, and went through the designation process unopposed. Help us save it, so that you too can bring your grandkids to this beautiful place. Please tell your Congressional representatives to leave the Monument as is. Thanks!
Orilla Verde Recreation Area, Rio Grande del Norte National Monument
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
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.
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!
Powerline Falls with Kathy, June 5, 2017. Powerline Falls is the most unforgettable and photogenic rapid on the Taos Box section of the Rio Grande, located in the heart of the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument. Kathy is the President of New Wave Rafting Company, and she likes to keep her hand in! After all, she’s only 66 years of age … Here, she is seen rowing the “chase boat” – an additional boat sent along as a back-up boat, on what would otherwise be a single boat Taos Box trip. In these photos, the river is running at about 2700 cubic feet a second, which is a very bouncy level. At this moment (June 7, 2017), the river continues to rise, as the newly-arrived warmth accelerates the snowmelt in the headwaters (the San Juan Mountains of Colorado, uphill of the former mining town of Creede). Who knows how high it will get this season? We’re all guessing.
This series of photos is by Britt Runyon, the Operations Manager at New Wave Rafting Company. He manages to both guide his raft and take top notch photos!
All I see is an oar!
There she is.
Past the drop, with a big smile on her face!
What else does Kathy do? Well, besides her duties with New Wave, she is the Chief of our local (Dixon, NM) volunteer fire department, which keeps her pretty busy. She just recently earned her badge as an Emergency Medical Responder, since so many of the calls that the Fire Dep’t receives are for medical emergencies (more than for fires). And in the winter she is a ski instructor at Taos Ski Valley. And what is she doing at this very minute? She’s picking cherries!
Guide Training Program On the Rio Grande Racecourse, New Mexico
Today, on the last day of the instructional phase of our Guide Training Program (GTP), the candidates are practicing on the Racecourse stretch of the Rio Grande, near Taos, NM. On their second run, I took the following movies at three rapids: Big Rocks, Sleeping Beauty and Souse Hole. The level is 1910 cfs, and it’s been raining most of the day, with the temps in the high 40s. Brrrrr!
Vince captaining through all 3 rapids. He has taken the GTP to get the training, without intending to become a guide. The other three candidates (Greg, Michael and Todd) intend to become guides, and will continue into the practice period. We look forward to seeing them join our guide corps.
With the river running at 700 cfs, we had 11 guests do the PM Racecourse with us on April 11.
The Pittman party (Britt Runyon photo)
A Pittman (Britt Runyon photo)
As regards the coming run-off on the Rio Grande, the snowpack is now at 135% of average, with the peak flows projected to be between 4000 and 8000 cfs! This run-off situation is being compared to that of 1985, which was huge. The peak will probably occur in the first week of June, so you high water addicts should start booking those dates. They will go fast, once the word is out.
The Rio Chama will also have high water, with 135% of average snowpack.
Meanwhile, the Racecourse becomes Class 4 at the higher flows, and may be considered as hard or harder than the Taos Box at max flows. This will require that we raise the minimum age of children on that run, as the water rises. Please inquire!
Mile-long Rapid on the Racecourse section, at high water (Class 4)