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New Mexico whitewater, Rio Chama

Rio Arriba county, Los Ojos to El Vado Lake section whitewater kayaking, rafting, and paddling information.

 

CLASS I-III     15 miles
 
This would be a nice run if not for the occasional fences.† Nice canyon with one rapid of perhaps III-.†† Rarely run. Says Cullen Hallmark

The natural beauty of Rio Arriba County and the beautiful way the water current moves down the stream make the trip here worthwhile. The Los Ojos to El Vado Lake section of Rio Chama is 15 miles long and is according to American Whitewater a class I-III section of whitewater. Whitewater rafting and
    kayaking spots in this state tend to be more forgiving than the national average, so you'd better keep in mind that many runs in this state are very easy. Whether you're whitewater rafting or kayaking in this general area
you'll find lots of paddling rivers. The beautiful San Juan and Jemez Mountains scenery is an added bonus. A good workout and just being out on the river for a while will make you glad you came. This section is long enough for an overnight trip if you take your time, so why not pack your sleeping bag too. 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. This is not the only paddling stretch in this river system, there are others too. The put-in location is a reasonable drive from Espanola, as you can see on the road map further down. And of course, there are campgrounds nearby.

Briefly about the general area:
There is a great hiking trail in the neighborhood of Rio Chama called the Hart Trail, and a tour to Heron Lake State Park is a wonderful idea. You'll really wish for more hours in a day to enjoy all the entertaining things in the San Juan and Jemez Mountains. Lots of folks from Canjilon come to Rio Chama, and a visit to El Vado Lake State Park when you're here is never a bad idea.

Rio Chama, Los Ojos to El Vado Lake 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, 6 miles away
      Class I-III - 15 miles long (Los Ojos to El Vado Lake)
Rio Chama, Rio Arriba County, 8 miles away
      Class I-III - 33 miles long (El Vado Lake to Abiquiu Reservoir)
Rio Chama, Rio Arriba County, 12 miles away
      Class I-II - 15 miles long (Chama to Los Ojos)
Rio de los Brazos, Rio Arriba County, 13 miles away
      Class I-III - 9 miles long (Corkins Lodge to confluence with Rio Chama)
Rio Chama, Rio Arriba County, 18 miles away
      Class II-III - 7 miles long (Monastary to Big Eddy)
Navajo River, Rio Arriba County, 20 miles away
      Class II - 20 miles long (Chromo Colorado to Colorado Border)
Rio Brazos, Rio Arriba Co. County, 22 miles away
      Class V+ - 14.5 miles long (above Corkins Lodge)
Navajo River, Rio Arriba (NM) / Archuleta County, 23 miles away
      Class I-II - 25 miles long (Lower 25 miles to San Juan confluence)
Rio de los Pinos, -blank- County, 28 miles away
      Class V+ - 8.8 miles long (Osier Colorado to Campground Close to San Miguel New Mexico)
Rio Chama, Rio Arriba County, 30 miles away
      Class I-II - 25 miles long (Abiquiu Dam to confluence with Rio Grande)
 Ski Areas Near Rio Chama:
Wolf Creek, Colorado , 44 miles away, 1604 foot drop, 7 lifts, 77 runs
Pajarito Mountain, New Mexico , 48 miles away, 1410 foot drop, 7 lifts, 37 runs
Ski Santa Fe, New Mexico , 77 miles away, 1725 foot drop, 7 lifts, 69 runs
Sipapu, New Mexico , 82 miles away, 1055 foot drop, 4 lifts, 31 runs
Taos, New Mexico , 84 miles away, 2612 foot drop, 13 lifts, 110 runs
Sandia Peak, New Mexico , 84 miles away, 1700 foot drop, 6 lifts, 30 runs
Red River, New Mexico , 86 miles away, 1600 foot drop, 7 lifts, 58 runs
Silverton, Colorado , 92 miles away, 3200 foot drop, 1 lifts, 1 runs
Kendall Mountain, Colorado , 93 miles away, 400 foot drop, 1 lifts, 3 runs
Purgatory, Colorado , 95 miles away, 2029 foot drop, 11 lifts, 85 runs
 Hotels Near Rio Chama:
Branding Iron Motel, Chama , 13 miles away
Gandy Dancer Inn Bed And Breakfast, Chama , 13 miles away
The Abiquiu Inn, Abiquiu , 36 miles away
Quality Inn Pagosa Springs, Pagosa Springs , 40 miles away
The Springs Resort And Spa, Pagosa Springs , 40 miles away
 Campgrounds Near Rio Chama:
Heron Lake State Park - Willow Creek, Cebolla, 0 miles away
Heron Lake State Park - Blanco, Cebolla, 0 miles away
Heron Lake State Park - Little Oso, Cebolla, 1 miles away
 Trails Near Rio Chama:
Hart Trail, Rio Arriba , 13 miles away
 Public Lands Near Rio Chama:
Bandelier National Monument, Los Alamos - NM , 53 miles away
Santa Fe National Historic Trail, Santa Fe - NM , 67 miles away
Heron Lake State Park, New Mexico , 3 miles away
El Vado Lake State Park, New Mexico , 5 miles away
Carson National Forest, New Mexico , 36 miles away
 Lakes Near Rio Chama
Heron Reservoir, Rio Arriba , 5 miles away
El Vado Reservoir, Rio Arriba , 7 miles away

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