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?
Run-off is predicted to be between 110% and 149% at various spots in the Rio Grande drainage of southern Colorado. See the light-blue and dark-blue circles in south-central Colorado. The peak is usually in early June – that’s when you want to run the Taos Box! Our 2017 season begins on April 15. Join our Taos Box trip scheduled for that day.
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. Photo by Britt Runyon
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.
Rock Garden scout and sculpted rock
Rock Garden rapid, with the notorious Camel Rock smack dab in the middle
AS OF June 10: The big snowmelt, aided by the snows of May, has arrived, with flows in the Taos Box of 1472 cfs. This is an above average flow for this date, and we’re very excited to bring this information to you. We’ll be even MORE excited to get on the Box with you, and give you the ride of your life! There is no better one-day wilderness Class 4 stretch in the country. The Taos Box is also the whitewater centerpiece of the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument. Come and enjoy YOUR public lands.
Today, the world-famous Pilar Yacht Club hosted a benefit breakfast for the Rio Grande Whitewater Festival. Pilar is the gateway to the lower stretch of the Rio Grande that is contained in the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument, also known as the Orilla Verde Recreation Area. Just look for the Pilar Yacht Club, which sits at the junction of State Hwy 68 and State Rd. 570, which leads you through the Monument. After yesterday’s rain, hail and snow, today is warm and beautiful.
Whitewater Festival and Rio Grande Rendezvous sign at the Pilar Yacht Club
Eva and Rico, our hosts at the Pilar Yacht Club
Chuck Zemack, of Los Alamos. At 84 years of age, he is one of the esteemed river running pioneers of New Mexico
Byron Sessions, former NWR guide, from Socorro and Steve Harris, of Rio Grande Restoration and Far flung Adventures
The rest of the Sessions family: Sharon, Sky (middle) and Rio. Sharon is a Professor of Physics at New Mexico Tech
Dutch Oven Cook-off, May 8, 2015. A dutch oven is a large cast-iron pot that is heated with coals placed both below and on the cover, and has been a staple of river cooking forever. The Dutch Oven Cook-off segment of the annual Rio Grande Rendezvous provided some very good eating! The winning dinner was a completely authentic paella. The rice was flavored with saffron (without which no dish can be called paella) and was topped with mussels. Bravo to the cook, a kayaker participant by the name of Chad, from Santa Fe. Congrats to John Seiner, of Kokopelli Rafting Adventures, for organizing the Rio Grande Rendezvous, and thanks to our BLM partners for the use of the group shelter at the Rio Bravo campsite, in the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument. Stay tuned for additional posts from this year’s Rendezvous.
The Dutch Oven Cook-off contestants
The food was soooo good, and went quick
Former NWR guides Shannon and Paul Allen and their kids
Only the beans went unfinished
Our geologist presenter, Paul Bauer, was fashionably late to dinner and was obliged to eat, you guessed it, beans
Kathy Miller, Pres. of NWRCo, took home two ribbons!