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New Mexico whitewater, Rio Chama

Rio Arriba county, Chama to Los Ojos section whitewater kayaking, rafting, and paddling information.

 

CLASS I-II     15 miles
  The scenic beauty of New Mexico and the water flowing gracefully down Rio Chama have people coming here. This stretch of Rio Chama is 15 miles long and has been rated as a class I-II section by American Whitewater. The rivers for whitewater rafting and kayaking here in New Mexico are often easier than in other states, so if you're not from around here don't forget that rivers in this state are less demanding. Getting a good workout and
    just being out on the river for a while have people coming from far and near. The San Juan and Jemez Mountains scenery is wonderful. There are campgrounds quite near the river where you can camp. There are some good hotels
near the river, but you'd better reserve in advance because these hotels fill up quick. The Chama to Los Ojos stretch is one of many paddling stretches in this river system. If you're coming from Espanola it's not a long drive at all to the starting location, there's a road map further down the page with more info on that. Since you're on this site you are probably into whitewater rafting or kayaking, either way this is an area with plenty  
of rivers for that. You can enjoy this stretch more if you take your time, so pack your camping stuff.

Briefly about the general area:
Here at Rio Chama you'll probably meet some folks from Chama. Don't leave Rio Chama without popping by Heron Lake State Park, and a spree here wouldn’t be complete without a spree to nearby El Vado Lake State Park. A river like this is too good to miss. Summer at Rio Chama comes with high temperatures in the 80's with overnight lows in the 40's. The wintertime brings highs down to the 30's with temperatures at Rio Chama dipping down into the 0's through winter nights.

Rio Chama, Chama to Los Ojos 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, 4 miles away
      Class I-II - 15 miles long (Chama to Los Ojos)
Rio Chama, Rio Arriba County, 4 miles away
      Class I-III - 15 miles long (Los Ojos to El Vado Lake)
Rio de los Brazos, Rio Arriba County, 8 miles away
      Class I-III - 9 miles long (Corkins Lodge to confluence with Rio Chama)
Rio Brazos, Rio Arriba Co. County, 15 miles away
      Class V+ - 14.5 miles long (above Corkins Lodge)
Rio Chama, Rio Arriba County, 16 miles away
      Class I-III - 33 miles long (El Vado Lake to Abiquiu Reservoir)
Navajo River, Rio Arriba County, 18 miles away
      Class II - 20 miles long (Chromo Colorado to Colorado Border)
Rio de los Pinos, -blank- County, 20 miles away
      Class V+ - 8.8 miles long (Osier Colorado to Campground Close to San Miguel New Mexico)
Navajo River, Rio Arriba (NM) / Archuleta County, 22 miles away
      Class I-II - 25 miles long (Lower 25 miles to San Juan confluence)
San Antonio River, Rio Arriba County, 23 miles away
      Class II-III - 20 miles long (Lagunitas to Los Pinos)
Rio de los Pinos, Rio Arriba County, 24 miles away
      Class II-III - 12 miles long (Atencio Canyon to Los Pinos)
 Ski Areas Near Rio Chama:
Wolf Creek, Colorado , 40 miles away, 1604 foot drop, 7 lifts, 77 runs
Pajarito Mountain, New Mexico , 52 miles away, 1410 foot drop, 7 lifts, 37 runs
Ski Santa Fe, New Mexico , 78 miles away, 1725 foot drop, 7 lifts, 69 runs
Taos, New Mexico , 79 miles away, 2612 foot drop, 13 lifts, 110 runs
Sipapu, New Mexico , 80 miles away, 1055 foot drop, 4 lifts, 31 runs
Red River, New Mexico , 81 miles away, 1600 foot drop, 7 lifts, 58 runs
Sandia Peak, New Mexico , 89 miles away, 1700 foot drop, 6 lifts, 30 runs
Silverton, Colorado , 93 miles away, 3200 foot drop, 1 lifts, 1 runs
Kendall Mountain, Colorado , 93 miles away, 400 foot drop, 1 lifts, 3 runs
Angel Fire, New Mexico , 93 miles away, 2077 foot drop, 7 lifts, 74 runs
 Hotels Near Rio Chama:
Branding Iron Motel, Chama , 5 miles away
Gandy Dancer Inn Bed And Breakfast, Chama , 5 miles away
The Abiquiu Inn, Abiquiu , 38 miles away
Quality Inn Pagosa Springs, Pagosa Springs , 39 miles away
The Springs Resort And Spa, Pagosa Springs , 39 miles away
 Campgrounds Near Rio Chama:
Sky Mountain Resort, Chama, 3 miles away
Little Creel Resort, Chama, 4 miles away
Herron Store, Los Ojos, 4 miles away
 Trails Near Rio Chama:
La Manga Stock Driveway, Conejos , 18 miles away
Red Lake Trail, Conejos , 18 miles away
Elk Creek Trail, Conejos , 19 miles away
 Public Lands Near Rio Chama:
Bandelier National Monument, Los Alamos - NM , 56 miles away
Santa Fe National Historic Trail, Santa Fe - NM , 69 miles away
Heron Lake State Park, New Mexico , 8 miles away
El Vado Lake State Park, New Mexico , 13 miles away
Carson National Forest, New Mexico , 32 miles away
 Lakes Near Rio Chama
Heron Reservoir, Rio Arriba , 12 miles away
El Vado Reservoir, Rio Arriba , 16 miles away

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