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
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!
High Water and Rising, May 11, 2017. The Rio Grande was running at 3400 cfs yesterday, May 11, 2017. Today it is at 3600 cfs, and continuing to rise. This is an exciting level, and makes the normally Class III Racecourse a Class IV run. Here is a shot of a New Wave raft at Souse Hole Rapid (on the Racecourse) being captained by veteran guide and NWRCo Operations Manager Britt Runyon Huggins. In the raft are two guests (from the English island of Guernsey), along with two of our Guide Training Program participants. Those participants are being joined on the river right now by our returning guides, who are doing required re-training for high water (over 3000 cfs).
Souse Hole Rapid, on the Racecourse run, Rio Grande near Taos, NM
How high will the river get this season? We’re all wondering, but are encouraged by the continued snowy weather in the mountains of Colorado. It’s sure to exceed 4000 cfs, but how much higher than that is anyone’s guess. Stay tuned!
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?
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)
New Wave Guides, May 2016. We’re proud of our guys, and here are five of them, after returning from a Racecourse trip a few days ago.
From left to right: Jarrod is from Texas, and works at the Taos Ski and Snowboard School in the winter; Joey is a graduate student at UNM in mathematics; Orlando is a jeweler, and works at the Taos Ski and Snowboard School in the winter; Joe works at the Taos Ski and Snowboard School in the winter and Mike is a former Army ranger and was once celebrated as Santa Fe’s Man of the Year, for disrupting an armed robbery.
With the exception of Joe, all of those seen here initially went through our Guide Training Program. Joe switched over to New Wave from another company. Mike has been with us for over 20 yrs.