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New Mexico whitewater, Rio Grande

Sandoval county, Otowi Bridge to Cochiti Reservoir section whitewater kayaking, rafting, and paddling information.

 

CLASS III     24 miles
 
There are so many trespassing signs at the Otwoi Bridge. You can't count them, 502 to Cochiti Lake. Says Randall Hughes

We went up to the Otowi Bridge yesterday, and there were 'NO TRESPASSING' signs everywhere by SanIldefonso Pueblos. Is there a legal put in? Says Brigid Fair

Prior to the closing of Cochiti Dam in the 70s, this was the place where everyone learned to kayak.  Now, it is seldom visited. Gorgeous basalt canyon. 
    Lots of birds during migration periods.   There are a couple of fun rapids (Water Canyon and Ancho), but the gradient drops below Bandelier NM.  It's a long paddle out across the flat water and the lake.  Rafts will run
aground except at high water. Optional hikeout at Bandelier for the fit. Says Cullen Hallmark

The starting point is not too far from Los Alamos, please print out a copy of the road map further down the page so you won’t get lost. This section of Rio Grande in New Mexico is 24 miles long and has been rated as a class III section by American Whitewater. The beautiful scenery of New Mexico and the sparkling of the sunlight on the water
 
make the trip here worthwhile. Great exercise and just being out on the river for a while are great reasons to come. If you've been whitewater rafting and kayaking outside New Mexico you might find the rivers here a bit more manageable, so if you're visiting here do keep in mind that many of the sections in this state are safe for beginners. This is one of a small number of paddling stretches in this river system, there are a few others too. Whether you're whitewater rafting or kayaking in this general area you won't find many other paddling rivers. No need to look hard for hotels, but you'd better reserve in advance because these hotels fill up quick.

Rio Grande, Otowi Bridge to Cochiti Reservoir road map
Printable road map with the put-in and take-out locations clearly marked.

   

Map
map
Detailed Map


Stats
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Stats for this river stretch


Weather
weather
Local weather forecast


OUTDOORS
These outdoors activities are available near Rio Grande.
 Whitewater Near Rio Grande:
Rio Grande, Sandoval County, 9 miles away
      Class III - 24 miles long (Otowi Bridge to Cochiti Reservoir)
Whitewater Outfitter - Santa Fe Rafting Outfitters, Santa Fe County, 19 miles away
      Whitewater outfitter
Whitewater Outfitter - Kokopelli Rafting Adventures, Santa Fe County, 19 miles away
      Whitewater outfitter
Rio Santa Cruz, Santa Fe County, 25 miles away
      Class IV-V - 1 miles long (Cundiyo to Santa Cruz Reservoir)
Whitewater Outfitter - Known World Guide Service, Rio Arriba County, 29 miles away
      Whitewater outfitter
Jemez River, Sandoval County, 29 miles away
      Class -blank- - 50 miles long (Battleship Rock to Zia Pueblo)
 Ski Areas Near Rio Grande:
Pajarito Mountain, New Mexico , 14 miles away, 1410 foot drop, 7 lifts, 37 runs
Ski Santa Fe, New Mexico , 29 miles away, 1725 foot drop, 7 lifts, 69 runs
Sandia Peak, New Mexico , 34 miles away, 1700 foot drop, 6 lifts, 30 runs
Sipapu, New Mexico , 52 miles away, 1055 foot drop, 4 lifts, 31 runs
Taos, New Mexico , 71 miles away, 2612 foot drop, 13 lifts, 110 runs
Angel Fire, New Mexico , 74 miles away, 2077 foot drop, 7 lifts, 74 runs
Red River, New Mexico , 77 miles away, 1600 foot drop, 7 lifts, 58 runs
 Marinas Near Rio Grande:
Cochiti Lake Marina, Pena Blanca , 13 miles away
 Hotels Near Rio Grande:
Hampton Inn - Suites Los Alamos, White Rock , 4 miles away
Holiday Inn Express & Suites LOS ALAMOS ENTRADA PARK, Los Alamos , 7 miles away
Comfort Inn & Suites Los Alamos, Los Alamos , 9 miles away
Cities Of Gold Casino Hotel, Santa Fe , 16 miles away
Inn At Santa Fe, Santa Fe , 16 miles away
 Campgrounds Near Rio Grande:
White Rock City RV Park, Los Alamos, 4 miles away
Juniper Campground, Los Alamos County, 4 miles away
Bandelier National Monument - Juniper Camp Ground, Los Alamos, 4 miles away
 Trails Near Rio Grande:
Natural Arch Trail, Los Alamos , 12 miles away
Highline Trail, Rio Arriba , 20 miles away
 Public Lands Near Rio Grande:
Bandelier National Monument, Los Alamos - NM , 7 miles away
Santa Fe National Historic Trail, Santa Fe - NM , 16 miles away
Santa Fe National Forest, New Mexico , 27 miles away
Hyde Memorial State Park, New Mexico , 27 miles away
Fenton Lake State Park, New Mexico , 36 miles away
 Golf Courses Near Rio Grande:
Los Alamos County Government Recreation Division Golf Course, Los Alamos , 10 miles away
Pueblo de Cochiti Golf Course, Cochiti Lake , 10 miles away
Black Mesa 1 Golf Course, Espanola , 16 miles away
 Lakes Near Rio Grande
Los Alamos Reservoir, Los Alamos , 11 miles away

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