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New Mexico whitewater, Rio Chama

Rio Arriba county, Abiquiu Dam to confluence with Rio Grande section whitewater kayaking, rafting, and paddling information.

 

CLASS I-II     25 miles
 
Interesting run with little traffic.† Used to be mostly ag land, but houses are being built along the river.† More of a canoe run than kayak run.† There are quite a few diversion dams and fences, so it is important to keep your eyes open. Says Cullen Hallmark

This stretch of Rio Chama in Rio Arriba County is 25 miles long and is according to American Whitewater a class I-II section of whitewater. The beautiful scenery of New Mexico
    and the playfulness of the water attract people from near and far. Great exercise and a chance to spend some time outdoors have a lot of people coming here. The starting point is not too far from Espanola, as you can see
on the road map further down. There are some good sections to paddle in this river system, the Abiquiu Dam to confluence with Rio Grande section is one of them. You might be into whitewater rafting or kayaking or both, doesn't matter, around here you won't find a large number of other spots. There arenít any hotels right nearby but if you're willing to drive a short distance then no problem but if you donít have reservations you might end up  
    sleeping in your car. Whitewater rafting and kayaking spots in New Mexico tend to be more forgiving than the national average, so if you're visiting here do keep in mind that lots of rivers in this state are good for beginners.
  There's camping available near Rio Chama. This stretch has enough mileage for an overnight trip, so why not pack your camp stove too. The river winds through the San Juan and Jemez Mountains and you get great scenery.

Briefly about the general area:
Going for a hike along the Apache Trail will let you absorb the natural beauty of this vicinity. Not far from Rio Chama you can enjoy the trees of Santa Fe National Forest, and if the weather is good, you can go for a hike along the Palacio Trail.

Rio Chama, Abiquiu Dam to confluence with Rio Grande road map
Printable road map with the put-in and take-out locations clearly marked.

   

Map
map
Detailed Map


Stats
map
Stats for this river stretch


Weather
weather
Local weather forecast


OUTDOORS
These outdoors activities are available near Rio Chama.
 Whitewater Near Rio Chama:
Rio Chama, Rio Arriba County, 13 miles away
      Class I-II - 25 miles long (Abiquiu Dam to confluence with Rio Grande)
Rio Grande, Sandoval County, 17 miles away
      Class III - 24 miles long (Otowi Bridge to Cochiti Reservoir)
Whitewater Outfitter - Known World Guide Service, Rio Arriba County, 20 miles away
      Whitewater outfitter
Rio Ojo Caliente, Rio Arriba County, 20 miles away
      Class I-II - 28 miles long (La Madera to confluence with Rio Chama)
Whitewater Outfitter - New Wave Rafting, Rio Arriba County, 24 miles away
      Whitewater outfitter
Rio Santa Cruz, Santa Fe County, 26 miles away
      Class IV-V - 1 miles long (Cundiyo to Santa Cruz Reservoir)
 Ski Areas Near Rio Chama:
Pajarito Mountain, New Mexico , 17 miles away, 1410 foot drop, 7 lifts, 37 runs
Ski Santa Fe, New Mexico , 37 miles away, 1725 foot drop, 7 lifts, 69 runs
Sipapu, New Mexico , 49 miles away, 1055 foot drop, 4 lifts, 31 runs
Sandia Peak, New Mexico , 53 miles away, 1700 foot drop, 6 lifts, 30 runs
Taos, New Mexico , 61 miles away, 2612 foot drop, 13 lifts, 110 runs
Red River, New Mexico , 67 miles away, 1600 foot drop, 7 lifts, 58 runs
Angel Fire, New Mexico , 70 miles away, 2077 foot drop, 7 lifts, 74 runs
Wolf Creek, Colorado , 83 miles away, 1604 foot drop, 7 lifts, 77 runs
 Hotels Near Rio Chama:
The Abiquiu Inn, Abiquiu , 5 miles away
Holiday Inn Express & Suites LOS ALAMOS ENTRADA PARK, Los Alamos , 15 miles away
Comfort Inn & Suites Los Alamos, Los Alamos , 15 miles away
The Inn At The Delta, Espanola , 15 miles away
Santa Claran Hotel, Espanola , 16 miles away
 Campgrounds Near Rio Chama:
Abiquiu Inn, Abiquiu, 3 miles away
Riana, Canones, 13 miles away
Eastgate - Sunrise RV Park, Los Alamos, 15 miles away
 Trails Near Rio Chama:
Apache Trail, Rio Arriba , 2 miles away
Palacio Trail, Rio Arriba , 3 miles away
San Lorenzo Trail, Rio Arriba , 5 miles away
Lemitas Trail, Rio Arriba , 5 miles away
Vallecitos Trail, Rio Arriba , 10 miles away
 Public Lands Near Rio Chama:
Bandelier National Monument, Los Alamos - NM , 15 miles away
Santa Fe National Historic Trail, Santa Fe - NM , 26 miles away
Carson National Forest, New Mexico , 29 miles away
Santa Fe National Forest, New Mexico , 34 miles away
Fenton Lake State Park, New Mexico , 35 miles away
 Golf Courses Near Rio Chama:
Los Alamos County Government Recreation Division Golf Course, Los Alamos , 14 miles away
Black Mesa 1 Golf Course, Espanola , 17 miles away
 Lakes Near Rio Chama
Los Alamos Reservoir, Los Alamos , 16 miles away

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Some content, including Reach Name, Class, Coordinates, and Length, comes from American Whitewater with permission.